My responsibilities at AgileBits have changed over the past couple of years. As with the rest of my experience at AG, I am incredibly fortunate that these changes are for the better. In addition to doing the technical support work that I love, I now have taken on some responsibilities for writing and editing.
I have always had a love/hate relationship with writing. When I am in the flow, I love it. But when I am blocked or my brain is overtaxed, I loathe it. And it seems that I spend way more time loathing writing than loving it.
One of the things that I have found helps is warming up the writing part of my brain. I can do that either through my blog or by writing in my poor, usually ignored, journal. I have never been a consistent journaler, as is evidenced by numerous partially-filled notebooks that have now relegated to a box in the eaves.
Part of my issue with journaling is that I couldn’t figure out why I should bother. I don’t tend to go back and read them and I figured that after I die they will just be part of a huge recycling dump. But my friend Sarah has convinced me otherwise.
Sarah recently lost her mother and is now working her way through her mother’s journals, letters and other writing. Although the experience has clearly been painful at times, it is also obvious that she is enjoying getting some insight into how her mother saw the world. Reading Sarah’s reflections on her mother’s writing led me to wonder what I will be leaving behind for my (future) daughter. And the answer was, not much.
Ok, that is an understatement. She will have her paternal great-grandparents’ love letters to each other. She will have way too many sets of china from her father’s mother’s family. She will also have several journals and books about the history of the people to whom the china used to belong.
But except for scraps of writing here or there, she won’t have much about my life and my journey leading up to her joining our family. But I want to change that. I want her to know something about the grandfather that she will never have met. I want her to know that she should live on the Lower East Side of Manhattan at some point in her life so that she can be the fifth generation to do so.
I want her to know about my time as a dairy goat farmer from more than just some unlabeled pictures and old newspaper clippings. She should know how and why her father and I chose to live in Portland and came running back here after our stint in Philadelphia.
I want her to know just how perspective-altering the birth of her first cousins was to me. And how much I have learned about parenting by watching some of the greatest parents I know working their magic.
More simply put, there is so much I want to tell my future daughter about my life before her.
But embarking a parenthood is not the time to start a new habit (unless that habit is learning how to live in a horribly sleep-deprived state). So I am going to take this time while I am waiting for our child to join us to get into the habit of keeping a journal.
Wish me luck.