Tag Archives: feelings

Why men should be writing a journal

It makes you a better person, you get to complete your thoughts, and you will lead a more meaningful life.

In my personal experience, I have found journal writing as an acceptable trait amongst women; but very few men I know actually write journals. As I work with this topic of journal writing, and its many benefits to me as an individual, I began to wonder why men do not write journals as frequently as women do?

This realization was a surprise to me as some of my earliest inspiration for journal writing came from men who made it a life habit to write diaries and journals, namely Thomas Jefferson, Issac Newton, John D Rockefeller … these are some of my favourite journal keepers and I can read about their journal writing habits over and over again. And the more I read, the more it appears that these men used their journal to record their habits, ideas and responses to the world around them, and over the years used these records to better themselves.

So this brings me back to my current question: why are men not writing journals as much as they used to? Possible answers: Too busy, nothing to say, nothing to write, no time, I am too tired to write by the time I get home… the reasons are endless. But in my opinion, journal writing is a process that forces you to introspect.

Does your work often leave you with a thousand voices in your head, each one telling you to do a different thing? Are you sometimes over-awed by the amount of work piled on your table, unable to decide where to start? Is the internet pushing too much information towards you and pushing your brain towards overload? Well, journal writing can help.

I know this sounds like I am coming up with a single solution, no matter what your problem, but it is not really that. The fact is there are different kinds of journals you can keep – some for your secret thoughts, others for your goals and plans, yet one may be just a record of the people you have met and found something interesting about… to name but a few.

If you have never had a journal, I urge you to get one. It does not have to be fancy and expensive, just get something you are comfortable with and something you feel nice holding in your hands. Initially you may find it difficult to decide what to write, and you may want to start with just putting down the thoughts that float around in your head.

If after the first couple of days, you run out of thoughts, you can try opinions, or issues that are bothering you, you can pen down your thoughts on issues impacting your neighbourhood, city or even the world. Sure, you may ask ‘what is the use?’ But do it all the same. You see, when you begin to write something down, your mind begins to solve a puzzle. The points you put down will surprise you… don’t worry about making sense, and writing in your best English. You just need to put your thoughts down, that is all.

Do this often enough and you will find yourself feeling lighter, because you have shared your innermost thoughts and feelings with your journal. You will find it easier to deal with the world outside. You don’t always have to be the tough guy, it’s ok to get upset and rant a bit.

And for those idea seekers amongst you, your journal is a great way to keep track of your many ideas that pop up in your mind all day long. Capture them, pen them down and come back to your thoughts days, weeks or even years later. Your ideas will still be there for you to access.

As you can see, there are so many wonderful reasons to keep a journal, a book by your bed, that it would be a sad thing if you did not make the time to write your thoughts down. Each of us is unique and has his own perspective on life. The myriad ways of looking at a situation is what makes our lives richer. So join the tribe of journal writers, and celebrate your uniqueness by penning it down for posterity!

~ bharti athray

Image source: http://www.daan-mag.com/index.php/2016/03/10/the-mind-journal/
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MY SISTER’S BIRTHDAY

It was a wet wintry morning, with dew on my window sill. I looked out to see the morning joggers run around the huge ground across the road. I liked gray mornings, they made the day feel timeless. I watched and wondered what the day would bring, when I remembered it was my sister’s 50th birthday. Yes, I had forgotten, well, not forgotten forgotten, but kind of put it away at the back of my mind. And it had suddenly popped out at me.

I sat myself down at my table and pulled out my favorite black diary. I loved writing in it, a dear friend had gifted it to me.

The page looked up at me, like a little child waiting to be told its tale of the day. I smiled as I put my pen to paper, thinking back to the days when we were young, and fought over chocolates, shared candy and lies, kept secrets, and generally grew up at a time when television was a prized possession and channels showed cartoons for a precious 30 minutes a day.

I loved my sister very much, she had been a wonderful confidante to me during my growing years. Of the two of us, she was the prettier one, and she truly dressed for the part. I had grown up looking up to her, but I can’t remember ever envying her the good looks.

My parents always told us we were both special in our own ways. The memories, the chats over tea, the lazy summer afternoons during school holidays made me smile. I so wished I could be with her right now, but she was far away in another city, almost a lifetime away.

Sure, we had kept in touch and shared stories about our boys, but right now, today, I felt it was just not enough. Finally having committed the memories, the reveries and the sweet warm feeling to the pages of my diary, I proceeded to call her.

She was busy getting breakfast ready for her family.
“Happy Birthday, M.,” I wished her. She was pleasantly surprised to hear my voice so early in the morning. “Hey, B., how sweet of you to call. Thanks a ton, B, for calling. But listen, I am in the middle of breakfast,… may I call you back like in 30 minutes?”

“Sure,” I said and hung up. I smiled to myself, the dew from the window had gone, the window was clear, the sun shone brightly through the leaves. The joggers had slowed or so I felt.

I sipped my tea, took a deep breath, watched the lane around my home come to life. Before long, it was time for me to wake up the kids… the moment had passed.

She did call me back a while later, but now, I was rushing to work. We made promises to connect back soon, and I never did get around to telling her just how much she meant to me… then or now. May be, another day. Another birthday.

~ Bharti Athray

Image source: paulagatto.com