I think a diary becomes something very different as you get older. There are certain stages it goes through.
When we moved house, I found my diary from ages eight--nine. It was full of pictures and I wrote in it that I'd spent the day at my best friend's house, what the weather had been like, what we'd spent our pocket money on... it was full of exclamation marks and smiley faces. It might have included a few fallings-out with friends, but for the most part, I had wanted to write about all the nice things I'd done. I think there was also a passage where I was convinced that not one, but two boys at school fancied me. Cringe!
Anyway, the next time I kept a diary I was about thirteen--fifteen. Yes, you can see where this is going. It's a difficult age for everyone--or it seems that way at the time. It's not a very pleasant read. It seems I only wanted to write about it when I was unhappy. I flicked back through it (both volumes, actually), last year and thought "Oh, come on, it can't have been that bad."
And it probably wasn't.
Yes, it was bad. Yes, there were horrible times. I'm glad I had a diary to vent to, and I think I deserve a pat on the back for surviving the "early teens", as does everyone! But I remain convinced that within those three years, there have to have been some good memories. It's a shame I didn't write about them, as now future archaeologists will think my life was a lot more difficult than it really was.
Oh God. If you're from the future... please don't read pages 12--38 of my diary. I'll say it again: CRINGE.
Anyway, I'm sure when I'm an adult--a real one--I'll have a diary much like my mum's, just a page-a-day affair with things like "Dentist" or "Catherine Ann's school concert", etc. To be honest, I look forward to it!
Now, yesterday, I had a really good day. You know when you sit down at the end of the day and you think, "what a nice day that was". So I got out a notebook that's been waiting for a purpose, and wrote the date and what I had done for the day.
This is not going to be a diary. I already have one of those (read about it here). This is going to be a "daybook" where I simply record what happened in the day--but only the good stuff, because what's the point in remembering the bad?
I think this will give me "strength" in that when I flick back through it I will know that I did have lots of good experiences--and I'll know, on a bad day, that if I keep clinging on, there will be lots of good days to come.
I like the old-fashioned word (sometimes "daybooke") because it gives a sense of that old-fashioned stiff-upper-lip, keep holding on mantra. I won't get all weepy and moany in this book. That's fine, of course, but for another place.
Next year, when I look back, this will be a diary I can be proud of.