Tag Archives: Journaling

Deep Sigh

Over the last four months as I took a welcomed break from blogging on Brown Ink, whenever my thoughts would turn toward what “THE” first blog post would cover, I often became anxious. I felt…ooohhh, the topic needs to be mind-blowing or something that encapsulates my passion about writing. Something fresh, a new take on the importance of writing perhaps. And yet what I truly realized wasn’t a complete surprise at all but something I have written about through the past five years of  blogging; it simply comes down to the value of journaling. And why, more then ever, I feel so strongly about the need to keep a journal.

As Spring turned into Summer, there were more highs and lows in my life than I had planned. With unexpected sadness in my family as well as feeling a bit lost after closing the Brown Ink Paper Goods store, (though the decision was one I have never regretted), I found myself sinking a bit, looking for direction and clarity. Thankfully, I not only continued to journal in my daily diary but I also began writing in my long format journal as well.

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, The 5 Year Dairy provides support to my life in a variety of ways. Not only does the diary become my personal time capsule, holding little bits of each day which fly by at lighting speed (ahhhh!!), but lately I’ve been looking back to see what life was like just a few years ago. I’m often reminded of why I make changes in my life and see growth in myself and my children which is so difficult to notice on a daily basis.

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(My current favorite journal, the Tailored Journal from Sugar Paper)

And for the first time in awhile, my long format journal has become my own little therapist. It’s through the act of writing where I can throw it all out there, share whatever I need to, messy or not, embracing my sadness, joy and everything in between. Often feeling a bit of weight lifted as I sign off, like the deep sigh after a good cry. Within each entry, I gain a little understanding to what makes me the friend, daughter, sister, wife and mother I am and strive to be.

It’s never too late to start writing or begin again. I swear you won’t regret it!

    March Madness

    As I was recovering from pneumonia, working on new Mother’s Day cards from Brown Ink, and cleaning the yard – only to have it dump inches of snow once again – this past month, exciting happenings were hitting the web this month of March…

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    One of my favorite boutique stationer designers, Suann Song, is making headway with her recent Kickstarter Appointed, a gorgeous collection of tools to inspire the writer within you. Suann has raised well beyond her initial pledge yet the incentives for becoming a backer are too difficult to pass up, so much so that I recently became a backer (only a few more days before it closes!)  Look for this handsome collection to be a part of the Brown Ink Paper Goods boutique this coming Fall!

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    Talk about handsome, Autopoint, a 1918 company known for their All-American, fail-proof construction, has just come out with these timeless, mechanical pencils found on Best Made.

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    Being “old school” has its beauty, literally, in this lovely story used in the Hermes SS15 catalogue seen on Keep it Chic, where keeping a diary has become chic once again. Thanks for keeping it old-school with your hardcover agenda, Preston Davis.

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    One of the greatest artists of the 20th Century, the work of artist Martin Ramirez has been honored by the U.S.Postal Service by the new Forever Stamps. His work is stellar as he combines his personal take on the landscapes of life in Mexico with American culture.

    Back again, the inspiring folks from Egg Press and Hello!Lucky are challenging us all to write one letter, each day in the month of April with their Write_On campaign. Seem daunting? It may help to hear this group is kindly mailing out free Writing Kits to anyone up for the challenge. This year, I am fully onboard. As they mention in the video, both the act of writing and receiving a letter can bring a welcome change in your own life as well as others’. There are more reasons to write than you might imagine. Right on, #write_on — A worthy challenge.

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     Happy Spring. Happy April. Happy Writing.

      Red Flag

      While traveling for work a few weeks ago a simple quote caught my eye in the latest Real Simple magazine (flying seems to be the only time I have for reading these days!). In the Your Words column the question was asked: What advice would you give your younger self? One woman shared remorse for not writing things down over the years. “You’ll want to record important dates (like when you had a major surgery) or precious knowledge (like Nancy’s colelslaw recipe). You think you can remember but it’s just not possible.”

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      Not only do I think Christine Baker from Waldwick, New Jersey is on to something but I experienced this up close and personal. After not enough sleep, too much work and lack of needed down time, I returned home from New York last weekend with a bad case of pneumonia. Unfortunately, I had experienced pneumonia two years ago — and although I remember being tired for many months, the whole sickness and recovery was a bit blurry. I couldn’t recall all the details…How many days was I in bed? How long before I had an appetite? When could I go for a run? And for how long did I not feel myself? All of these questions were running through my mind as I lay in Urgent Care, wanting life to normalize immediately!

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      Thankfully and perhaps as unlikely as it sounds, I had answers to all of my questions in my 5 Year Journal. Not only could I look back at the end of October 2013 and see how pneumonia rocked my world for a good chunk of time, but I was reminded how soon I jumped back into the every day life. This bit of knowledge, I later came to learn, was not necessarily a good thing!

      I completely understand if this all seems a bit over-the-top for some of you. However, as time moves on, even being 41, I don’t remember every ailment or how I celebrated a birthday or how often my husband cooked or how early Spring arrived or my highs and lows with Brown Ink or whatever the occasion or event may have been. Although this 5 Year Journal holds only a few thoughts from each day and doesn’t necessarily allow my creativity to flow (that’s where my “other” journals step in), I’ve come to rely on these everyday thoughts, even the mundane ones. Each single day stands out on its own, each win or loss, thoughts, feelings, events. As I’ve looked back and reflected on this particular time in my life when pneumonia first appeared, a big old red flag popped up. Journaling gave me the ability to see why life needs to change a bit and take a different road this round of healing. And this is why I journal, to learn and to remember.

        cool mom.

        Although not so common these days, I love finding little nuggets of wisdom on the radio that ring true. So while I was driving back from my father’s farm after an early holiday gathering last month, I caught my favorite radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, and found Mr.Garrison Keillor speaking in his always wise yet kind voice, channeling right to my heart…

        “Things are changing around us, you older people. Instagram is now the thing. It’s more popular now than Twitter. It surpassed Twitter here this past week. Facebook? No, I don’t think so. Old people have now taken over Facebook. And young people are running as fast as they can to get away from this because you don’t want your mother to see pictures of you and your friends that night you got hammered, you just don’t. So where are you gonna go when Instagram is over taken by geezer as you know it will be? Well, I have an idea for you. If you take a pen and write down on paper. And you put this in an envelope and you mail it to somebody its security is pretty darn, well guaranteed. And your parents and your grandparents are not going to look at this. But this will be around for decades and decades. So that your children will be able to see how cool you were. This may be useful for you someday.”

        YES

        Now this bit of insight might be something I’m well aware of. Even so, it was a reminder and a reinforcement of the value of handwriting, be it a letter, journal, document, or whatever. Just a hunch, but I’m guessing my children won’t be looking at my Instagram account in 30, 40 years. By that time I’m sure they’ll have moved forward to a more modern device 10 steps from where we are today. But they will have my journals, letters to their father, and also to them. My hope is for my written words to provide them with a glimpse into how I spent my days in single, married and mothering years, the many highs and lows that come with each season, the scribbles, the smudges and hopefully the close-to-legible writing as my life slows down. Maybe I’ll even look like a cool lady, a cool mom. I’m pretty sure they’ll simply be happy to carry these written words for decades and decades.

          Boogie Nights

          It snowed last night in my hometown and the world has become a quieter place. Perfect timing I’d say. After all the energy we put into the holidays, a bit of slowing down is much needed, at least in our house. I’m not suggesting we don’t give end-of-the-year celebrations their due, but perhaps we’ll end 2014 with a reflective, thoughtful spirit.

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          If you’re gathering folks on the 31st, these DIY written hearts from Oh So Beautiful Paper may inspire a few New Year’s intentions or at least ignite conversation among guests.

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          I love a good house cleanse and these smudge sticks will do the trick. Write a note to your guests, welcoming 2015 as they may clear out any negative energy from the past year. Thanks for the idea, Of-a-Kind ladies.

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          These inspirational New Year’s Eve Confetti Fortune Pockets from Design Sponge are gorgeous and a completely playful DIY idea, a perfect party favor to kick off the new year.

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          If you’re looking to pick up party decor for New Year’s, head to Red Stamp for all your paper needs (And fabulous digital invites since it’s a bit late for paper. Shhh, I didn’t they say that!).

          Although I love a good party, I welcome a clean slate even more – (Wow, you’d think I was a bit of a bore, although my husband will remind me I’ve gone out dancing twice into the wee hours just in the past week! I know, every so often I’m crazy like that.).

          The new year brings a clean calendar, it provides one a moment to breathe, take note, and forces a certain reflection of how we are walking through life. Now having two kids in grade school, bringing family into a conversation about resolutions is appealing. The always inspiring Gabrielle Blair from Design Mom created an idea on how to involve your children during this time of reflection.

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          Her family keeps a journal which they open around the New Year, where they include their daydreams and goals, providing a simple format to see where they have grown over the past year. I may give it a try myself…at the moment our children are floating somewhere between the sledding hills, Christmas gifts and multiple holiday-break-movie-nights. Although they may not fully understand the idea of “becoming better people” through New Year’s resolutions, as Gabrielle suggests, perhaps the process of handwriting their intentions will reinforce the idea they actually have a bit of a say over their own direction in life.

          Here’s to a beautiful 2015 – A year of more writing, reflection, and knowledge of oneself. As for me, I plan to include a few more boogie nights to keep me young! Cheers.