I decided after over 30 years of a daily journal to give it up. While I believe strongly in putting on paper with pen firmly in hand, the written word, something we seem to be missing in this world of the instant message, tweet and Facebook posting, my little red journals are lined up neatly on a shelf and problem is, I'm running out of room on that shelf and I've decided I don't really care if the world knows what the weather was on November 2, 1982. It became more and more difficult to just keep up the daily logs and when I fell behind, harder to remember what happened with any great regard on that day.
The people most important in my life, my 3 grown children and their wives and husbands will smile indulgently at me and tell me to keep on journaling if it makes me happy, while secretly plotting ways to get rid of all those books when I am committed or dead whichever comes first and that depends on which child you speak to, on which day.
So while I have momentous things coming around the corner for me this coming year, it seemed a good time to say goodbye to some old things. And when I decided not to plunk down the now, $40 for the red journal books, I felt no remorse and just felt it was time, and that was very satisfying, something that I have learned in my over 50 years is a very good thing to know. I don't sweat the small things any longer and seem to naturally know when its time to say goodbye, something even 4 short years ago would have been unfathomable. Its a good feeling.
I took down the Christmas cards I keep on my bulletin board every year. Its always at this time that I have the time to really look at the pictures of nieces and nephews, grandchildren of friends, and cousins who now have young families. I reread the Christmas letters and find bits and pieces of friends and families lives I had missed the first time around. Then I get out my "Christmas book" and add this year's Christmas letter to it. I now have 15 years worth. I look back over the years of my children's Christmases in pictures, and of parents and grandparents no longer with us. And finally I add the picture cards of those nieces and nephews who now have young families, knowing how much they will change by next Christmas and also smiling that next year I will be the one adding a grandbaby picture or two to my Christmas book.
Yes, I will become a first time grandma in the coming year and thats a great joy to anticipate.
For the first time in a long time I see the continuity that my "Christmas book" represents and maybe it is why in the quiet of my country home I savor it again along with the Christmas tree that still shows the ornaments that I bought for my children when they were young. The ornaments are slowly leaving as the children claim those for their own grown up Christmas trees but new ones always take their place and next year another generation will be added. The tree should come down tonight, but maybe not quite yet....