Monday, July 20, 2009

Personal Journals or Diarys

Hello Good People:

I hope everyone is happy and smiling today. If so, make a note of it in your Journal or Diary. Now I haven't look up the exact definition of those two words, but I take them to mean as follows:

Journal. A book wherein you post the random coming's and going's of your daily life, and can include anything you care to enter , but is not "Calendar Specific", you can jot down anything you wish, for your own edification or that of your descendents. Thanks to the Journals of a lot of Historical figures, we have, as a people, learned a lot about our America and our Antecedents. Journals are , or can be, a very important part of your life. I wish mightily I had started keeping a Journal at an early age, as memory fades, but the written word endures, if preserved. I also wish my Father had kept a Journal, although I am positive that he never gave a thought to such an endeavor, being more occupied, as he was, in the "daily grind" of earning a living for his family, at which endeavor he never paused. But if he had kept a Journal, I would treasure it. I know my Father had been a Cavalryman , in fort Bliss,Texas, during the time when Mexicans such as Pancho Villa were making cross border raids. When the Army found out that he had run away from home, at the tender age of 15 to join the Army, and his Father had appealed to his Congressman for help in finding his wayward Son, he was promptly discharged. But instead of returning home as the Prodigal Son, He and another guy hopped a freight train, to Alamogordo, New Mexico, where they took jobs as cowboys. I have a picture of him, taken during his sojourn on the ranch where he worked, in his Stetson Hat and high boots, which I treasure. After sometime, I never knew how long, because I didn't ask, my Dad next joined the Navy, and served on the Minesweeper U.S.S. Swallow. Dad finally came home, embellished with Tattoos, all of a Nautical theme, on both arms and his chest. In later years of his life, he said many times He wished he had never gotten them, but his Grandchildren loved them, and would often sit on his lap, trace the "Tats' with their fingers, and ask Dad what they were, and Dad would always explain them. (Compass Rose, Fouled Anchor, Eagle, and the like.

Diary. As mentioned above, a diary is usually a small book, based on a "calendar", with a page or more for each day of a given year, and are usually constrained by the parameters of its capacity. What is one to do if so much occurs in your life, that the designated page or pages for that day do not allow enough space for all you wish to notate? This instance, I think, speaks in favor of a Journal over a Diary. But that's just my opinion. Use whichever forum works best for you, but for all means, give one or the other a try. I think you'll like the results.

So the purpose of this lengthy explanation is just some of the reasons I wish I had kept a Journal during my lifetime.

I kept a diary when I was in High School, during the 1950's, filled mainly with writings about my Girlfriend, who later (Blessedly) became my Wife, due to a probable lapse in judgement. Thankfully, 55 years later, she is still my Wife, and my Treasure.

Diaries, are usually for a given period of time, usually one year, and as such will no doubt have many blank pages, leaving one later wondering what they did on that day, or did not do, to occasion such a blank page.. Other pages might include such entries as "another Day another dollar, or "just an ordinary day.

So.... My prejudice, if I may have one, is in favor of the Journal. Guys, if you don't already utilize a Journal, you ought to give serious thought to starting to keep one. In my case, at least, If I had kept a Journal, there wouldn't be so many blank spots in my memory.

I Think the operative word in all this is Kept. When something is kept, the inference is something, an occurrence, an idea, a story, a retelling of a tale, the list is almost endless, but all of these things, if preserved, will someday be of interest, and probably of value, to a later generation. Perhaps it's just the tiny bit of historian in me, but I value highly the "pieces of History" that my wife and I possess. Some are of family (photos-letters & etc) some are books, some are pieces of "Antique" furniture, and some are just memories, and as memories often are, are someday lost. So don't have your memories lost to future generations. Preserve them to the best of your ability for those who follow us to cherish.

Try it, Later you'll be glad you did,or someone will.

cheers, TOP

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