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Journaling Article

Journaling – The good, the bad & the ugly

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Editor’s Note

The post below was originally shared on our old blog, but it has a particular resonance for me at the moment. Someone very dear to me is going through hell, a hell which I know well. Originally, Ian wrote this post when we were talking about journaling and scrapbooking loss as part of a Project Life album. Written back in 2016, the sentiment still rings true and I hope it helps you in your journaling journey.

Natalie Ballard

Journaling – The good, the bad & the ugly

When I think of journaling I have always thought everything should go in; but Natalie disagrees with me and says, “Why would I want to remember that? It was bad enough the first time, I don’t want to look over my journal and be reminded.”.

Today my response was this……

Life is not just good or happy days; there will always be bad days and almost certainly ugly days where everything is just too much and you just want to give in. But if you don’t document everything how do you measure progress? Reward yourself for getting through that particular bad patch? Remind yourself that you are strong as you have gotten through worse; when you can look back on those really ugly days and see that you survived and came out stronger for it?

If you only document the good things that happen, you are not getting a true reflection on your life. I am not saying don’t celebrate the good days because those are your reward days and moments to cherish; but sometimes we also need to reflect on the bad times we have had. Journalling it down, how you felt, what got you through, what went wrong, who helped, could be a valuable resource at a later time in your life.

I personally don’t think journaling always has to mean that you are writing or designing for hours to document one event. There is a lot to be said for “less is more”; sometimes a simple photo with a little memento of the event and a short journal piece is enough; and may be tells a much better story than a full on description of the event.

Bad days can also feel a lot better when you put down on paper what caused the bad day. It is a great way to offload the events; allowing you to better reflect on the events. Thus, helping you realise that sometimes we just have to roll with the bad and ugly days to get the great and happy days.

I hope you have enjoyed my insight in to journaling and welcome your comments and thoughts; always remember that no matter how bad the bad days are there is always something great sure to follow.

Ian Ballard, 2016

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