My better half recently wrote an entry about an article he read on the health benefits--both physical and mental--of journaling. This was in honor of J-Land's 5th anniversary, and Guido has created an anniversary blog in which we can all participate.
First a bit about journaling in general, then some things about J-Land in particular.
I started writing a journal when I went off to college. I went through times when I was pretty faithful with it, and other times when I let it slide for a while. But I always came back to it. There were times in my life when it was a lifesaver, and allowed me to get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper, usually releasing their negative hold on my life. Writing things down was a mental purge, allowing me to focus my thoughts and figure out my choices. (It usually came down to something pretty easy like, "Am I going to get through this, or am I going to curl up and die from it?" That really simplifies things!) I haven't looked through those multiple notebooks in some time, and I don't know that I really want to. The person in those pages bears little resemblance to the person I am now. I sometimes even dislike her, but I forgive her, because she was a work in progress.
I still keep one written journal in which I write about our travels. It came about because of an offhand remark from Ken's mom about some of the adventures they experienced when they moved from the Chicago suburbs to the Ozarks in Missouri. She said, "I wish I'd written those things down--they'd be fun to go back and read." Ken and I were struck by that, and agreed that we would do it. For some reason, I just like writing it instead of typing it. We're still working on Volume I, but I have more downstairs waiting to be filled.
Online journals have made things considerably easier, especially for those of us who can't write as well as we used to. I may not be able to write as much as I once could, but I can type up a storm! If your journal is private, it can be for a small group or just for you, taking the place of those spiral notebooks I kept all those years. If your journal is public, it's a chance to share a little slice of your life with others, which brings me to J-Land specifically.
J-Land is 5 this month, but this journal is just under 2 years old. While I haven't been around from the beginning, it's been such a pleasure sharing things with you all, and learning more about you and your lives. Both Ken and I feel that we have made some true friends on here, friends that we know we will meet one day. As those of you who read us know, we do our best to "accentuate the positive," and believe me, if we make you laugh, it brings us just as much joy as it does you. So here's to you, J-Land, and here's to all of the wonderful, kind-hearted people who make it work. Huzzah!