In addition to this daily online journal (blog), I try to write what Julia Cameron calls “morning pages” first thing every morning, as part of my morning routine. Like what we homeschoolers used to call a “free write,” it is merely a splat on the paper of a specific length, getting out whatever needs out. I use a large ledger size journal, and make myself write a page in it longhand, in moderately small handwriting. It is instructive, since in doing this you encounter yourself as you actually are, have to own what you bleat on about, and eventually it makes you want to do something about stuff rather than just go on about it.
Mine crosses into diary-land where I record some family or professional happenings (the NON-confidential ones!), or spiritual inspirations, frustrations, anticipations, vignettes, or reactions to something I read. There is everything in there from the totally quotidian to the genuinely revelatory, but most falls somewhere in between. Maybe someday these journals will be plundered for all sorts of jewels.
But why not start now? Since you’ve all expressed that you like when I intermittently do the next edition of a blog series (such as my Grace Notes, my Bits and Clips, my Featured Artists, Polly’s Preaching, etc) I thought I’d add one more, Diary Reveal. Promising myself not to become self-conscious while writing my page every morning, I thought that once in a while, I’d pick out an entry to share with you. I quote all sorts of other people, so why not myself? So here we go, this is yesterday’s entry:
“This morning Facebook reminded me that three years ago we were visiting Virginia [our older daughter, Facebook photo above, blog about that visit here ] in Sacramento. I loved waking up to that photo of the two of us in our sunglasses in front of the California capitol. Since then, she has switched jobs, and just yesterday had her one year anniversary in her new position working on education policy for the State of California. She also has a boyfriend now, who has been around for about a year and a half. It is funny how things evolve and change– and we do too– when on the other hand, it doesn’t feel so much different. Looking at that photo, I know all the ways both of us have grown, but somehow still, the essence remains the same.
I lapse into wondering where the progress is being manifested, because, for example, I keep cleaning up the office, but it always still needs way more work than I have done. But the progress IS there! It is just like an aunt or uncle that lives away. When they come to visit and see the child they exclaim, “oh, how they have grown!” But the parent, who has been there the whole time, doesn’t see it so much.
We just keep on working, learning, loving, trying, making adjustments, alternating between being still and bursts of activity, reflecting and doing by turns. Somehow we weave this into the life of our dreams. We are building something only we know best, while simultaneously being too close to it to see all the amazing growth. I love to quote Mary Baker Eddy who says, “Progress is the law of God,” and “Infinite progression is concrete being.” I firmly believe that is true.
So I make to-do lists in my bullet journal, and check off what I can, without “should-ing all over myself.” If something doesn’t get done, I trust there will be another day. I’m grateful each morning when I wake up with another chance, and grateful each night for all the good that was squeezed in. I feel like one of those graphs whose line is shooting endlessly up at a 45º angle, each day infinitesimally better than the last. Like a crescendo, the longer it holds, the more it builds. And there I am, teetering at the tip of that rising graph, suspended and in awe.”
by Polly Castor