Keep Moving Forward

When I began my 4(2) Days of Letting Go, I imagined that for 42 days I would write about one thing per day, finishing six weeks later with a lovely list of 42 things I could let slide off my shoulders. Life, of course, rarely follows the straightforward path I frequently imagine. Instead, the path curves in unpredictable directions, doubling back on itself, sometimes skipping up the side of a mountain or hiding irritably in a pool of mud for a while. As my 42 Days have roughly followed Lent, I should be wrapping them up sometime this week, while in reality I’ve only posted 14 up on the blog so far.

Deep breath. Today I’m letting go of the past, so I can keep moving forward.

Several years ago my mother gave me and my sister each a ten year journal. The journal has ten entries per page, one per year for a specific day. This way you can write on April the 21st of 2014 and see what you wrote on April 21st four years ago, and on this day for every year in between. My mother and my sister diligently write in their journals, scarcely missing a day. Mine looks more like a block of Swiss cheese, haphazard entries here and there and large gaping holes throughout. I actively ignore this journal on a regular basis. It squats, toad-like on my bookshelf, staring me down and reminding me that it should be gathering more than dust each day. My internal stress from the journal’s inactivity (see Day 3: Letting Go of Guilt) hunches my shoulders a bit, but I’ve found the journal imparts more stress when I try to buckle down and write in it every day than it does from its lurking on my bookshelf.

There are many reasons why – distaste from seeing the shenanigans of my life over the last several years, discomfort at seeing how lackadaisical I am at completing this seemingly simple task, and the internal pressure I place on myself to try to remember to write in the damn thing. I think the main issue with the ten year journal is every time I pick it up I am quite literally faced with how I’ve often failed at this before. I see the empty pages, scattered entries, and all the times I didn’t write in the past, which makes it more difficult to actually sit down and write today.

Did I manage my 42 days of letting go? Not according to my original plan, but I’m not giving up. I’ll keep plugging away until I complete my list of 42, and I will keep working to let these things go. five minute journalI’m hoping that by fleshing them out into longer blog posts I’ll be able to maintain my momentum and finish off the list, even if I do it at a slower pace.

Based on the recommendations of G+ friends, I’m also thinking the Five Minute Journal might be a good next step to push myself to journal daily, with each day as a new blank page ready for me to fill.

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