2013-12-05 / Lifestyles

Jest for Fun

Lois A. Corcoran Lois A. Corcoran It all started with a bad memory. When Dan the man brought up some adventures from our past, I had no recall whatsoever. Soon afterward, I began a journal and have been filling them ever since.

They’ve evolved quite a bit over the past 20 years. At first I wrote a chronology of each day, which included such exciting events as “I went to the grocery store.” Rereading such entries felt therapeutic in that it cured my insomnia.

Early journals served as a depository for negative feelings as well. It felt cathartic spilling them out on the pages, as I relayed what some thoughtless acquaintance said or did. But reading them years later made my blood pressure soar all over again.

Eventually I reached a point where I thought, Do I really want to relive the bad stuff? Wasn’t it tough enough plowing through it the first time without repeating it? That’s when my journaling took a detour in the road.

Rather than a boring run-down of the day’s activities or upsetting things that occurred, I started focusing on positive moments and funny dialogue from family and friends.

To that end, I keep a notebook and pen tucked in my back pocket so I don’t miss a quip.

I staple these notes to to-do lists and email printouts, which also jog my feeble memory.

Then every weekend I sit down for an hour or so and record the best memories for each day. Granted it would go faster to keep an electronic diary, but then I’d be stuck in front of a computer rather than nestled in an easy chair.

I read an article about where to store a journal from prying eyes. It suggested removable ceiling panels, under loose floor boards, or inside one’s pillow case. Even more ingenious, tucked inside a hollowed out textbook.

But, fact is, no one in my family is interested in my day-today drivel. Even if they were, I wouldn’t have to hide it. I keep it in my cluttered office, where I can barely find it myself.

The journal itself is pretty cluttered, too. Newspaper clippings, ticket stubs and other mementos mark where I left off. The pages are rife with cross-outs and ink smears, and an electronic spell checker would have a heyday.

But if it helps save my fading memory, I’ll keep my “Dear Disorganized Diary”.

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