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I used to buy myself a pretty journal every year. I guess it reminded me as an adult of getting school supplies at the beginning of the school year—a clean slate with fresh- lined white paper, ready to receive all the knowledge and creativity my brain was about to generate. So I have a stack of journals in a box in my closet, and thought, hey, I’ll spend an hour or two just reading back at what my life looked like in 1987 or 1996, you know, get nostalgic and verklempt for old times’ sake. Here is what I discovered:

I’m not a good journal-keeper.

Day 1: Pithy statements and lofty plans to order my life in such a way as to achieve perfect synergy. Goal-setting: Including everything from losing baby weight to cleaning out the garage so I can park in it, planning a real vacation with the children, and unpacking those last few boxes from the last move.

Day 2: A grocery list.

Days 3: An idea for a song lyric.

Day 63: Thought I’d lost you, journal! So glad I found you under the mountain of clean clothes that I hadn’t gotten around to folding and putting away.

Day 64: I love my children but they make me crazy. Where are our W2’s? Get laundry detergent and Spaghettio’s.

Day 97: Cleaned out my closet and found $5!!! I wish I had a moped.

Day 114: I hate my carpet. Just found a stain of unknown origin in Dylan’s room…I think it was living at some point. Wish I could afford new carpet. Aaron just asked me to get him a shirt made out of this “new material called flannel.” Who is Nirvana?

Day 115: Goal: lose 30 pounds by July 1. Starve yourself. Drink a gallon of water a day. Find your skinny 501 jeans from 1980 and hang them in the front of your closet as a reminder to stay on your diet.

Day 118: Recipe for Hashbrown Casserole and Cherry Cheesecake.

Day 204: %&@#^)@*#^!! (Scribbled through with a pen)

Last journal entry:

Day 226: Spandex, where have you been all my life?

Suffice it to say, it only took me about 2 minutes to scan through about 20 years’ worth of “journaling.”

All those pretty books, most of them mostly empty, except for the used gum I dog-eared on page 43 and the buy-one-get-one-free Snickers coupon I tucked away for later use.

I’m not sure if this is a character flaw in me or just more evidence of my undiagnosed AADD. Either way, this little “snapshot” of life made me smile when I realized that I’m okay. I was okay then and I’m still okay. I’m enough because Jesus is enough. I’m a little wiser. I’m able to laugh at myself without going into hysterics. I’m just not the journaling type. But I can make a mean hashbrown casserole.

Peace, y’all,


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Houston, TX, USA

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