I was with some friends last night talking about memory and how some people, whatever their age, seem to have better memories than others.
It’s a fact that I’ve always had a shocking memory for people’s names, but these days, my grown children often say, “Do you remember when………..” and I honestly don’t. Frankly, the 25+ years of raising 4 children whilst holding down several demanding roles are somewhat of a blur.
I am incredibly grateful therefore, that something inside me yearned to write from a young age and that my primary school headmaster insisted that all pupils, from age 7, wrote a diary every Monday about their weekend and also about the major events unfolding in the world.
This habit was something I never gave up, even after moving up to high school.
I now have over 40 journals, some written every day, some written weekly, which chart my life from age 11 to (well you don’t ask a lady’s age!)
So…. back to last night. One of my friends said she thought it was incredible that I’d never given up and she wondered why not, when so many of us have a stab a journal writing in our teenage years, which we then grow out of.
I’ve been thinking about this today.
For me, writing my journal every evening for 20 minutes or so when I go up to bed has always been a chance to reflect on the day. Especially when the children were small and everything was going at a hundred miles an hour. As our family business grew, we went through really challenging times and writing my journal gave me a way to express my worries and frustrations instead of carrying them over to the next day. Often, by writing about a problem, a solution would come from somewhere, or it just wouldn’t seem as bad once I’d expressed it on the page.
Having my journals has enabled me to photocopy written memories to go alongside photos and place them in ‘This is your life’ books to give to my children when they reached special birthdays for example. For my son’s wedding last year, I put together a huge scrap book; two or more pages for each of his 28 years, with copies of journal pages where I’d recorded something funny or special about him from each year of his life and corresponding photos, school certificates, swimming badges, also the news headlines and what was in the charts. I got all the family to sign the back two pages and add a little message the night before his wedding and gave it to him and our new daughter, on their wedding evening. It was his life seen through my eyes and I know it is very special to them both.
It is very easy, in our mad, fast world to not pay attention to the seemingly ordinary day to day events. But I can assure you, that one day you will miss those untidy teenage bedrooms and the noise and taxi service and the fall outs on holidays and you’ll even miss or perhaps forget the people you once worked with or went to the gym with. The every day stuff of life is the good stuff and if you’ve got it down on paper, in your own words, you can feel it and see it and live it again.
Much of the work we focus on during our Role retreats invites delegates to pay attention to responses in their body, we also teach delegates to improve communication confidence by focussing their attention on the ‘other’ whether that be an individual or an audience.
A journal invites you to focus your attention on the events of your day or week and is also an amazing gift for your future.
Our September retreat will enable 11 delegates to pay attention to themselves and no one else for a whole weekend. If this sounds like heaven, there are just four places left. See http://www.role.uk.com/retreats.html
If you enjoy my blogs, you can read more of my work in my book available here www.amazon.co.uk/Words-Walks-Wisdom-Wendy-Bowers/dp/1671172353