This is the time of year I reread my journals. I keep two of them.
One is larger, kept on my bedside table, for the purpose of collecting my thoughts at the end of the day. The other is small enough to fit in my back pocket, accessible at any time, to capture whatever thought may come at me unexpectedly any place I happen to be.
I do my best to avoid doing this while in traffic.
One reason I do this is because of another journal entry, written by Søren Kierkegaard. He writes:
In Danish –
at Livet maa forstaaes baglaends. Men derover glemmer man den anden Saetning, at det maa leves forlaends.
In English –
… life must be understood backwards. But with this, one forgets the second proposition, that it must be lived forwards
When I review what I’ve written, I wish to know:
- What events or themes cropped up in my life that might need to be explored further?
- What have I’ve been most concerned with?
- And, how am I tracking toward those goals that are difficult to measure?
Kierkegaard does go on to write that because of this issue of reviewing the past while living in the present, “life, therefore, cannot be fully understood” so perhaps my time is wasted asking these questions.
I began my first journal over seventeen years ago. Since then, I have always enjoyed taking the time to look back.
I read and consider what I might need to change about who I am. I also read and am thankful for the year of life, whether good or bad, I have been given.