Food & Fitness

Poll: Do You Journal?

Last month’s poll

Last month we discussed the issue of wearing sunscreen, and whether it is healthier to slather sunscreen on our skin (which some studies are suggesting can be toxic to the body), or if it is healthier to expose ourselves to the sun without any SPF (which has also been shown to be dangerous to our skin). Out of 33 voters, 42.4% regularly slather on sunscreen, 33.3% are sunscreen slackers (me!), and 24.2% sometimes use sunscreen. It’s fairly even all across the map: apparently consumers haven’t decided any more than the scientists whether it is better to put on sunscreen or to soak up the sun without it.

This month’s poll

Recently I have been looking back through old diaries. After successfully passing an interview forΒ the RCMP telecommunications operator position (which I am very excited about), I was given a number of forms to fill out. These forms required me to go back in time, as it were, to recall the places I have been and the things that I have been doing for the past five to ten years.

As someone who typically has roughly a dozen things going on in her head at the same time, I might be fairly well-equipped to multi-tasking (isn’t everyone in my generation?), but if you ask me what I was doing three years ago, my mind is going to be more than a little rusty. I’m a bit (ha!) of a workaholic and I adore taking up hobbies – lots of hobbies – so that means that even in my “down time”, I’m still working towards something or other.

I have sporadically kept journals and diaries throughout my childhood. When my family and I moved to Europe for three years, the mother and father dear were very encouraging that the sistertraveller and I keep diaries to document the adventure. Throughout my years of nightmares and vivid dreams, I have also off-and-on written my dreams in a dream journal. Then, in November 2005, I started writing in a diary on a regular basis. In fact, up until November 2008, I was writing in my diary (which wound up being four books worth)Β on an almost daily basis. I crunched to a halt until my trip to Cambodia in May 2009, in which I once again began writing in my diary daily. The last entry I wrote was June 2nd, 2009.

That makes me a little sad that I haven’t been continuing to write in my personal diary, but I am incredibly grateful that I did write in those journals for a solid four years, because they proved very helpful for recalling information needed in the RCMP forms. When I think about why I stopped writing in my journal, I think that it is partly because I have not found it strictly necessary: most issues that I wish to write about can be managed between Living Healthy, Living Rhetorically, or Health Writer Eats. More than that, I no longer feel the need to write in a diary consistently for therapeutic purposes.

But the biggest reason why I no longer keep the diary is because of time restrictions. I already record much of my thoughts and my activities on the blogs. Between working as a receptionist, writing three blogs, working on two books, writing for a newspaper, job-hunting, and engaging in various hobbies, my diary-writing has rather fallen by the wayside. Hopefully I will re-prioritize it at some point in the future, but as yet my diaries will continue to be stacked on my bookshelf, full of memories for me to peruse.

Do you journal? Is your online blog your form of diary? If you don’t keep a diary, do you regret not documenting your daily activities and thoughts? Answer the poll and elaborate on your answer in the comments section below!

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  1. Danielle

    I used to try to keep a journal. I have beautiful notebooks with dozens of entries but never a complete year, or summer, or even vacation. I like to dictate my thoughts and ponder over my experiences but I don’t think I was every able to get into the habit of taking the extra time to do so. Instead, I was busy with activities and friends and school work. I like looking back at my few entries though, it’s like my blog, a “glimpse” at the life that was. I was quite the introspective thinker back then too πŸ˜‰

  2. Mary Anne in Kentucky

    I checked “I keep a handwritten diary” but it isn’t. It’s a computer file, and it’s not online, and it is backed up (with the rest of the computer) every day. I wrote journals in spurts from sixth grade on. By the time I was in college I was pretty steady at it. For the past twenty years I’ve kept it on the computer. I may never get the earlier parts off the paper and typed up so it’s searchable, but I’d like to. I go back and read a random swatch of the past every month or so.

    What I put on my blog is more like what I write my friends in email, only with more pictures. A “hey, this was interesting” kind of thing rather than “this is what I’ve been doing in great detail.”

    1. Sagan Morrow

      That’s fantastic that you have so much of your life recorded! And true about the online version being more accommodating for searchable purposes. Very good idea to back it up daily; I really need to get an external hard drive or something one of these days.

  3. asithi

    I’ve journaled regularly since the 6th grades. I have two boxes full of filled journals. This last journal only lasted 5 months before I filled it out. I tried journaling on my computer for a couple of years. Then my laptop crashed, so that ends electronic journaling for me.

    I am very forgetful. While my husband might recall what we did two years ago, I often have to flip open my journal. If something is an re-occuring issue in my journals, then I know it is something I want to work to resolve.

    1. Sagan Morrow

      Love that about the recurring issues! Recording certainly allows us to take a peek at what we might have problems with, even if we don’t realize that they the issues are there.

      Keeping journals helps me to remember when birthdays are. Facebook also helps to remind me of that these days πŸ˜‰

  4. fd

    I’ve just recently come to journalling(though there are short episodes in my teens when I wrote). So far I’m enjoying it, but I’ll let you know in 8 weeks. I feel like I’m enjoying it too much, like the first weeks when I have a new year’s resolution!

    1. Sagan Morrow

      Hehehe I definitely know what you mean about the New Year’s Resolutions… like with my blog challenges, I get SUPER excited about them at the start, and then the excitement begins to fade a bit as time goes on. Hence why I like to keep them to just a couple weeks or a month, before frustration and boredom kicks in. Hope that your journaling keeps up!

  5. Marsha @ Green Mountain at Fox Run

    Girl, you make me tired just reading all you’re up to. And your travels, well, those sound wonderful. But to your question, I think journaling is great. Although I don’t do it. Not sure why I never do because my career has been as a writer as well as a nutritionist. If I did journal, it would be my thoughts and feelings. I don’t like keeping a record of my food. It makes me focus on it too much. Or at least it would have in the past. Now probably not. But I really have no reason to journal about it as my eating is very intuitive/attuned. Not sure it would be interesting to anyone else. πŸ™‚

  6. Yum Yucky

    I actually journal for my children. I keep accounts of what they were going through at certain times – happy, sad, people they knew, events, etc – and also write down gushy “I love you, my dear child” stuff. I can’t wait to give them their journals when they are older. πŸ™‚

  7. Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15)

    Every time I tried to keep a journal, it was a dead end after 2 days. My blog’s the closest thing right now, though in the past, it was scary how “honest” I’d get with my food diary. I was about two steps away from weighing pre-sliced bread.

    But sometimes I’d make up fake little notes, age the paper, stuff ’em in bottles and leave them on the beach. Let some poor fool think I was dying on a deserted island whilst evading a three-legged panther. πŸ˜‰

  8. Emergefit

    I keep two journals, one of my daily thoughts and experiences — focusing on those thoughts and experiences which fall outside of day-to-day living, such as the homeless woman I took to lunch yesterday. In somewhat of a coincidence, this week’s blog tease (posting tomorrow) will be an excerpt from my personal journal.

    And my fitness journal. I have written down EVERYTHING I have eaten for over 30 years. That process has helped me develop a very keen sense of when I’m not being good to me. I also write dwon ALL of my daily action. I love going back and reviewing workouts from years gone by πŸ™‚

    1. Sagan Morrow

      That calls for a hair toss! Haha.

      I think it falls under the category of public diary/blog. I think you’re the only person I know who has a journal with tons of different people writing in it. More of us should be doing that – can you imagine what wonderful things would be written down by all the different people that we all meet? It would be great!

  9. Pubsgal

    I kept notebook journals for years, ever since 6th grade. I still have one, but I don’t write in it very often…usually to jot down what our family has been up to, or something funny the kids have said. Now, I think my blogs are filling that need for me.

  10. JavaChick

    I used to keep a journal when I was in my teens. I always liked writing out events, and my thoughts. I keep thinking I would like to again, but I find it hard to keep up with. I guess my blog is a journal of sorts, but I’m not even great at keeping up with that these days!

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