Oops!

My writing practice has been sporadic and lacking commitment my whole life. One possible culprit, which I look at as an  “Oops!” is when I destroyed a few years worth of my journals early in my twenties.

Why?

I was embarrassed someone would read them. I’m not sure anyone would have been patient enough to read through the drivel, but I was scared they would.

Now, I look back and think I would like to read them again, especially after so many more life experiences.

Back when they were written, I was a new Christian and dating and breaking up with my future husband. I would have never believed a few years later he was going to turn out to be my husband of 38 years and counting.

Now, I would like to see what I wrote about him.

That probably started my semi-unexamined life’s journey. Of course, my life has been well worth living. It’s been a delightful journey. I believe I have grown and developed through many of my mistakes, but I do wish I had kept more journal entries.

I have continued to toss out occasional journals over the years since, but a few writing successes along the way include:

  • I journaled during my pregnancies and the first year of both my daughter’s lives. As the children grew, though, I wrote less in their journals. When I was a mother of young children, and then later when I became a full-time teacher and mother to school-age children, I did not take much time to write. The stresses of life and exhaustion kept me from the page.
  • For the past eleven years, I have used, very sporadically the website 750Words.com. I have written nearly a quarter of a million words–237,845, to be exact. That is not that many over eleven years, but there is some truth there.  I just went to the page after being away for a year and half, and I downloaded the entries I made. Much drivel, to be sure. However, I stumbled upon one gut-punch entry about a nightmare I had, but how it turned out to shed light on how I had hurt one of my students. Now, I had not remembered the dream or the pain I had caused that child, but reading it took me back and makes me want to be better. That’s some examination I need more of.
  • The third success is that since Covid came, I kept a book of journal entries and daily jots in my weekly planner. I felt like it would be good to capture this pandemic as it was happening day-by-day. I also created a Covid-19 time capsule with my students last spring. I interviewed my children and had my husband write a letter to me.
  • Finally, I have been a fairly consistent blogger, which has helped me to write, record, examine, and develop my writing over the past twelve years. In addition, it has helped me to develop friendships with people all over the world who are also writing about learning, life, and education. Blogging led me to meet Gallit Zvi, and we wrote The Genius Hour Guidebook together, so that was fun. Lately I’ve been writing poetry with the Ethical ELA and Poetry Friday communities, the Slice of Life on Tuesdays, and now here is the Sharing Our Stories Magic group I just discovered too.

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic

This post is inspired by Connor Toomey’s prompt on The Isolation Journals: “What interrupts your writing practice? What keeps you from the page?”

Birthday Bouquet for #SOS Magic

My husband celebrated his birthday last month. Soon he will retire after 4o years being a pastor and hospital chaplain. It will be a big change for him. He has been working since he was 16, so he looks forward to taking some time off to fiddle around and hang out at our desert home in California. Then I can imagine he will get busier volunteering to help people with their cars or computers and who knows what else.

We had a Zoom surprise party on the day before his birthday. Then on his special day, flowers came as a gift from the church here in Bahrain, where he served half-time for six years, before he went fulltime as hospital chaplain. Other than that, it was a typical Covid-19 chapter birthday celebration.

As I contemplate and look forward to our retirement, I do appreciate the fragility of life and know that we are not promised years ahead but just today. This past year has helped me to appreciate every single day, and today I celebrate again my husband’s birthday and these beautiful flowers.

bouquet of flowers in a vase with a painted map of Bahrain behind them

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic