Wrapping up Volume 40

Wrapping up Volume 40

On New Year’s Day 1975 I took a walk in the freezing cold down to the neighborhood Quik Trip and purchased a spiral notebook, one with a Friends of the Earth photo of a hazy forest scene entitled Pines in the Mist.  It became Volume 1 of my personal daily journal.  I began keeping a daily personal journal in the middle of my sophomore year of high school and with rare exception have kept a record via pen and paper or Word file every day since then.  The only time I did not keep it daily was the two months I was in Navy boot camp as the regimented routine was not conducive to such a practice.

Personal Journal Vol 1

Over time I learned that if you write down something be it an event on a particular day, the name of a person you met, the exact location of a certain establishment, or a list songs played by the band performing at a given venue then you are much less likely to forget it.  The minutia may not always be a spot on match with the memory of others but if you keep a written record of your own personal history it will endure longer than word of mouth eyewitness accounts.

Since that first entry on 1 January 1975 my journal has become a daily institution detailing the happenings of a quiet normal life punctuated by periodic lapses of sanity and departures from reason, my own and the World’s!  There is nothing like reviewing a 30 year old journal volume and riding that rush of exhilaration like you had when you pulled a fast one and got away with it all those years ago!  You will also be amazed at so many of the details you may have forgotten but are able to remember again because you had the presence of mind to write them down at the time.

All joking aside, it is my firm belief that we all have a duty to leave some written record of our life and times for posterity.  Even though it requires some degree of self discipline, it is not a difficult activity and really does not consume that much time out of the day.  It is an activity I highly encourage.  I would like to thank the public school faculty members who encouraged me to keep a personal journal as a student in their English classes.  The first was Mrs. Mary Ann Myers, my ninth grade English teacher at Wilson Junior High and Mrs. Jeanine Loftin who was one of my tenth grade English teachers at Will Rogers High.  Jeanine Loftin was also the sponsor of Creative Writing Club, an extracurricular activity that fostered writing on a daily basis.  Both those teachers have long since passed away but my journal keeping being the fixture it is in my day to day life offers them an ethereal bit of immorality, so long as I keep the record going.

When I finish my 31 December 2014 journal entry it will mark the end of the 40th volume of my personal daily journal.  It has gone from being kept in spiral notebooks to blank nothing books to an old green Navy log book to finely bound record ledgers.  As of 1996 it has been kept on a Word file, a hard copy printed at the end of every month and bound at the end of the year.  Since 2003 the hard copy has been kept in a D-ring binder and the Word document has had digital photos incorporated into it like a scrapbook on steroids, well, almost.

Journal Vol 40

  

2 Comments

  1. Jon Z.
    Dec 31, 2014

    Bravo Stan. I have never had the patience to put my thoughts to paper. I envy your ability to revisit days gone by. Perhaps one day in the future I will finally take the time.

  2. Andy Radler
    Dec 31, 2014

    That is really awesome. I wish I would have done the same thing. I really do. I really enjoyed reading this. I bet that journal is quite interesting. Have a very Happy New Year. I think about you always and really enjoy your posts.