Journals

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30 Dec Retrospection

One of the things I always do at the end of December is re-read my daily personal journal for the year just past. It’s surprising and a little daunting to realize how much one forgets, even in the course of a year. The annual retrospective reading keeps me honest with myself.

I’ve been keeping a daily journal since 1983. Yes, there’s a lot of minutiae there—but I like to record the everyday things I do, well, every day. Walks, shopping lists, lunches, pleasures, griefs, dreams, success, failures. I can read a journal entry from any day at random and it brings back the shape and taste and experience of the day itself.

It’s remarkable and revealing to connect with my younger self, and I only wish I’d begun my journal earlier. Queen Victoria began keeping her famous diaries when she was thirteen! How I would love to be able to go back and read the truth about my own teenage years—I suspect it would not be anything like how I remember it today.

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