Sunday, March 06, 2011

Thee lift me and I'll lift thee and we'll ascend together. -Quaker Proverb

I know I've talked about it a little bit before, but I really am a complete failure at keeping a journal. The sum total of records I've made in my life is paltry, and each of the few entries is usually headed with a variation on a common theme: I'm sorry I haven't written in so long but I promise to do better...

Usually I am frustrated when I flip through these few pages. I often do in fact do better, but for such a laughably short time I sometimes feel I shouldn't have bothered to make the effort at all.

But that is where I've been wrong.

I'm learning with my journaling efforts, as in practically every other area of my life, that as long as I keep trying, every single step is worth it. Even if I feel I'm taking two steps forward and one step back.

In a syzygy of events over the recent days I've come to realize that my life has reached a point equatable to most of my journal entries: I haven't been doing what I should for a long time. But this is me promising to do better.

I don't find it necessary or appropriate to air my dirty laundry over the interwebs, but I also think I can be more successful if I have someone more than myself holding me accountable to sustained change.

So, this is the syzygy of epiphanies I had this weekend:

1. The Temple: I went to the Provo Temple on Friday for the first time in far too long. I was blessed to attend a session that was bursting with missionaries on a field trip from the MTC. I was shocked at how young most of them looked (which was compounded by the realization that my baby brother will be joining them in just a few short months). But despite their youth, I can't describe the feeling of sitting with over fifty elders in and sisters in the celestial room and seeing them gather the strength from the House of the Lord that they would need to sustain them all over the world as they worked to preach the gospel. I am not making anywhere near the sacrifice they are making, but I can be better about attending the temple, especially when there are so many so close to me, and taking the strength I receive there to work in my own little corner of the field.

2. Financial Planning: We had a combined Sunday School class this Sunday. The speaker was a senior in the BYU business school and will soon graduate with a degree in accounting. He talked to us about the importance of financial planning. This is something I've been almost as successful at doing as I have been at writing journals. I need to be better.

3. CES Fireside: Elder Perry has been one of my favorite speakers ever since the time I was weeding in the front garden and heard a voice behind me asking if I could use a hand. It was Elder Perry and he was kind enough to not notice the dirt on my face when my jaw literally hit the ground. His talk tonight was inspired and I need to do much much better at prayer. At scripture study. At temple worthiness. And at service.

I'm committing to make time this week to come up with concrete goals in each of these areas which I may or may not share, but please know that I truly would appreciate any suggestions for success, calls to repentance, and requests for progress reports.

Every time I try develop a journaling habit, I feel confident that this will be the time it sticks. But I know that no matter how good my intentions are, it is so easy to falter, fall, and fail. I also know that it is just as easy for us to lend a hand to guide, steady, or even pick each other up in those circumstances.

I promise to help you if you'll do the same.


Jena said...

You are wonderful! And your blog can count as your journal!! Especially if you're writing about these epiphanies and such!

Mostly, thank you for the example. I definitely want to see the progress reports, and will probably adopt some of your goals. You're inspiring!!

Brittany said...

I was never a journal-er up until last year; all of my attempts to be better fizzled and died. But last year it was one of my new year's resolutions, and somehow it stuck. I think it's because it became part of my bedtime routine: brush teeth, wash face, say prayers, write in journal, read scriptures, turn off light. It took a few weeks before it became routine, but after that, I didn't even have to think about it.

It also helps that it's in a drawer right next to my nightly prescription is, so I will always see it every night. So I would try keeping it someplace where you will see it so you don't forget about it.

If you can do it every day for a good month, even if it's just a sentence or two, maybe you can get into the habit, too!

Adriane said...

I love you! And I promise to be better too. Especially at Zumba ;)

Liesl said...

You know what helped me become an avid journaler? When I was 18, I received a re-gifted journal from my sister. In it I wrote: "I'll probably never write in this, so whatever."

It was the first journal I ever finished.

That's pretty impressive, considering I wrote in all my other journals "I PROMISE TO WRITE IN YOU EVERY DAY" and never finished them.

Annegirl said...

Thanks for this Meags. I needed it.

Rachel said...

Thanks! I needed that. I'm trying to get back in my journal writing habit too. It's not easy but I love going back looking at my journals from the time I did write every day. Just remember to not be too hard on yourself, you are amazing!