July 18th, 2018 by Jan

Where do I begin?

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here. It’s obvious that I’m not writing.

Still life moves on, shit happens. We go places, do things and meet people. Things change and everything is the same. And, right now, writing stories seems a bit silly to me.

You see, over the last few months, I went on another cleaning and sorting jag. I get on these every once in a while and I start in one room and move to another, sorting, clearing, tossing and purging.

This time, I went under the stairs. This small room is really the only “storage” area we have in this house besides bedroom closets. Under the stairs is where we keep Christmas decorations, and suitcases. I also found two big boxes full of old notebooks.

One box was full of martial arts notes. FULL. The other box was full of personal journals. FULL.

I started to go through these and was blown away by my redundancy. Bla, bla, bla…. Year after year, I wrote basically the same thing in both sets of notebooks.

In the tai chi notebooks, the instruction to relax came up more than once. I was also amazed at how often “modes of attention” were mentioned.

In my personal journals, wanting to lose 10 pounds was the top topic, and striving to be better, and different from how I am was front and centre. OMG! Enough!

It was super easy for me to decide nothing in the personal journals needed to be saved. I got the paper shredder out and burn through notebook after notebook. Once in a while, an interesting story showed itself, but who cared? Into the shredder everything went.

With the martial arts notebooks – I thought it would be cool to take a lesson from my niece who made a collage out of old letters, Ken and I had written to his parents for over 30 years. We have this work of art on our wall and in my mind, I saw another work of art on the wall with years and years of notes, from years and years of classes and workshops.

I started cutting and gluing, then all of a sudden I was shredding, and burning all these notes as well.


I realize, writing for me serves a purpose in the present.

Nothing makes much sense looking back. Oh, sure a spark of a memory is fun. Certain stories bring smiles, a few brought tears, but for the most part, what is done is done.

So, as I let go of notebook after notebook, it didn’t make any sense to me to fill up any more books, and I stopped writing altogether. (The exception, being letters and cards and emails to friends.)

I know this bloggy thing used to be read by a few people. But, now that it’s been months since I wrote anything, I know folks have quit checking it.

As I’ve come to understand, writing for me to sort shit out as I do it. Write and move on. Especially, if I write the same stupid thing again and again. And by the way, I still haven’t lost those 10 stupid pounds, I wrote that I wanted to lose in 1985, 1995, 2005 and 2015.

I could write more interesting stories — to what end, I don’t know.

Writing would help me process my feelings about the death of our sweet doggy Boze, or share the joy I had in watching Ken launch Cricket, the cool boat he made. Maybe I could/should write about the bear I saw, or the interesting book I read, or the cool quilt I made, or the paintings that challenge and frustrate me, or the company we’ve had.

And maybe I will, time will tell.

Writing on the computer instead of in a notebook certainly takes up less space and the the delete button is so close.

I know this JamJimjam page is a gift.

I don’t remember the motto I chose for 2018 – but “On We Go” is fitting right now.

3 thoughts on “Onwego

  1. LauraB

    Hi Jan, I am one of those who checks frequently for a new post. I know that you are not writing for me, yet so often what you write speaks directly to me, and I am so grateful. Todays post: no different. The only journals I ever kept were taiji journals, which somehow expanded to include most of the important (or not so important!) realizations that came to me in the process of journalling. Those journals pretty much ended when I left Victoria and the relationships there.

    Those journals became very important for me as I tried to understand what had happened to me in those years. Many things I wrote, then forgot, and was shocked to re-read my journals and see what I had seen, felt, realized.

    Now they sit in the bottom drawer of my desk, but I am not ready to get rid of them, though I do sometimes think of it. I hear the voices from the past, and the things that I forget and have to re-remember.

    Maybe someday I will be able to let those thoughts go, but for now I am comforted to know that they are still there for me of I want to visit.

  2. Laurie Brocklesby

    Nothing changes even as everything changes, we just get to ride the cycle I guess.

    I’m in league with LauraB, what you wrote resonates with me an dI learn something about myself or my life with almost every one of you posts. Today’s Step was a vital link in my early sobriety too. That you and Allison were sharing those small daily insights left a proverbial trail of crumbs that this beginner could follow. Thanks.

    I’ve filled notebook after notebook with tai chi notes too, always planning to rewrite them or organize them somehow. Maybe that will happen, maybe not. I usually write and rewrite class notes as that’s always been my way to learn new material. This time though, I think that maybe the tai chi lessons are more likely to have been written in my heart instead.

    I’d miss your written presence and your voice if you do stop blogging but that’s not a reason for you to choose one way or another. You’ll know your next right step.

    All the best to you, always.


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