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My Stage of Life Companion

Joined: 1/2/2012
Posts: 118
Through the years, I have experienced many phases of life, all with one constant companion – my journal.

It has served different purposes and taken on many identities – mentor, friend, confidant, life coach, counselor, travel buddy and dumping ground to name a few, but it has always been there with me.

As a confused twenty-something, it helped me evaluate and prioritize. It was filled with “to do” lists, timelines and pros and cons concerning potentially life altering decisions. I poured out my disappointments and heartaches among my successes, adventures and new relationships. Life was always just a little out of control but I learned a lot about responsibility.

In my thirties, I chronicled motherhood, milestones and daily life. Those blank pages allowed me to quietly express my thoughts about the transition from business professional to mother and how ill equipped I felt for that responsibility. Daily writing helped me unburden the sometimes overwhelming feelings I was having and embrace my chosen path. I recorded my daughter’s first words, first steps, first tooth, first day of school, her skinned knees and the time she smacked a kid for taking her toy in the sand box. I devoted pages and pages to writing about family vacations, birthday celebrations and “mommy camp” during our summers. I wrote love letters to my daughter and carefully planned her future. Those were the “self-less” years when I learned to put myself aside and be completely available to my child.

During the “decade of my discontent” (forties) I filled the pages of my journal with cathartic passages, fantasies and plans for the future. I dwelled in the past, fretted about the future and recounted countless unfulfilled dreams. Writing helped me to realize my accomplishments, accept and appreciate my life and be less anxious about the future. I found balance.

Now, in my fifties I write about joy and resignation, dreams for my daughter’s life and the peacefulness and fullness of my own. Having my diary as a constant companion for all these years enables me to have hard evidence of the journey I have traveled. I don’t have to rely on the frailty of memories – it’s all right there penned on paper. It holds the truths of who I am and how I came to be, and it is largely responsible for molding me into the person I am today. I am thankful to have had such a faithful companion and look forward to the remaining years.

In November of 2012, I created a Blog that is much like a "sanitized" version of my personal journal. I like the added benefit of being able to include pictures and I love to share what I am doing, if not what I am thinking and feeling. I recommend this avenue for anyone who would like to chronicle their life, but may not be quite ready to look inward.

What do you think about personal journals? Are they weird, scary or comforting to you?
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Comment by warren

Joined: 6/22/2011
Posts: 293
How wonderful that you've kept your journal going for so many years and pages! I'm envious. As an undergraduate, I took a course in creative writing (relief from engineering) and had to keep and show a journal. I stopped at the end of the semester.
Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:09:09 PM
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Comment by Suzanne

Joined: 1/2/2012
Posts: 118
It's never too late to begin again.
Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 11:46:51 PM
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Comment by mcoly618

Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
I wanted to let you know that we featured your essay on the Stage of Life Facebook page today. If you would like to check it, out go to Feel free to share the news with your friends and family. You're famous! :)
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012 1:36:47 PM
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Comment by Noraloveswriting

Joined: 2/4/2012
Posts: 13
I liked this piece a lot! I'm a big journaler and at the end of the day I write down a list of all the nice moments I was grateful for that day. It keeps me feeling positive!
Posted: Friday, March 2, 2012 1:54:56 AM
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Comment by Suzanne

Joined: 1/2/2012
Posts: 118
Thank you for the positive reinforcement. Today I am grateful for you!
Posted: Friday, March 2, 2012 4:04:49 AM
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Baby Boomers (and older!) blog on StageofLife.comAbout Us is a blogging community for "Empty Nesters" and those in (or near) retirement to share stories about the adventure of life in an online journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Read the blogs and stories from Baby Boomers (and older), or check out the writing contest for Baby Boomers, quotes about retirement, etiquette advice, videos about retirement, discounts for retirement, and other resources for those in the Empty Nest and Retirement stage of life.  Register to start your free profile, share an essay about your life experiences, and pass along your wisdom to help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a college professor, teacher or educator - review our literacy, blogging and writing resources.

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