Keeping a journal doesn’t have to be a chore, and it is a great way to check in with your life. Not only can it be a repository of the record of daily goings-on — from the mundane to the marvelous — but a journal can also be used to help you make decisions, work through dilemmas, and sort through your emotions. Getting thoughts down on paper can clear away the cobwebs.
We’ve already given you these three ideas, but here are four more fresh inspirations from contributing editor Lucy M. Pritchett:
- Art Journal: Perhaps your talents run to sketching or painting rather than paragraphs. Using an art journal to record memories is a wonderful way to bring life to your experiences. Take a sketchbook with you on your next trip, whether to Paris or the park. Instead of taking a thousand photos, take a few minutes to actually see and sketch the people and places you encounter.
- My Life in Lists Journal: I love making lists, and this type of journal is another way of thinking about and documenting your life. Some suggestions for your lists: Places I Have Visited; Favorite Movies/Books/Songs; People I Admire; Places I Want to Visit; Things That Scare Me; People I Would Like to Meet…
- Grandparent/Grandchild Exchange Journal: You could write a bit about your day-to-day doings — maybe for a month — and then send the journal to a grandchild and let him or her write what they are up to and then send the journal back to you. This could be done via the computer, of course, but just think how much more of a keepsake you would have if the entries were handwritten. You could include ticket stubs, photos, menus, or postcards along with your written thoughts.
- Gratitude Journal: If you think aging doesn’t bring things to be grateful for — aside from the fact that that pain in your right foot has gone away — then keeping a simple gratitude list will lift your spirits. Every night before you go to bed, list five large or small things you are thankful for: your neighbor shoveled the snow off your sidewalk, the grocery store had your favorite ice cream flavor in stock, you found your reading glasses…
Read about more journal ideas in our spring issue.