Each year, from I was very young my Auntie who was a Lecturer at her local college, would gave me a brand new exercise book and ask me to write in it every day while I was with her and to carry on doing so at home when I went home a week later. I hated doing it, this blank, lined page, I didn't see the point, but to please my Aunt I would write the date and about four lines, doing the same amount, daily while I was there and as soon as I returned home, I'd throw the book in the bin, never giving it a second thought. The following year it would be same, and again it would go in the bin when I returned home.
Then one day, when I was nineteen, I was working for at as temporary, for a well known Tyre Company. I was only there for four months over the Christmas and New Year period. All the workers, including me, was given a brand new, slimline, hardback diary! It was So special, I had never had a diary before, it was 3” wide and 5” long it was so slim if it was in your pocket it wouldn't be noticed, it had 7 days on one page. I LOVED it! The date was on each page, THAT made a difference and the small spaces was more than enough for me to make a note of what I had done at the end of the day and I could also put in advance plans for what friends and I would be doing and where we would be going and Birthdays etc. address I would put at the back, even extra little notes could be put in and thoughts that people had said that I felt was too good to forget, ever. It changed my life!
So then after that year when I was nineteen, the end of that year I bought myself a diary. I bit bigger for now I was used to it and had a bit more to say and more to add in it. I always wrote my diary at the end of the day, sort of a reflection of what had happened, good and bad.
Over the years I would have all sorts of diaries, I rememberer a well to do friend I had, she knew I had a diary and she said to me one Christmas, “Don't buy a diary this year, for I have bought you one as a gift” it was fantastic! Burgundy and in was in a burgundy matching box. It was handy that box it for it meant that I could cut out snippets of newspapers, that were either funny like a cartoon strip ffrom the paper or article that was tiny and it would, be added to my special little diary, and box. I would add lots of others things in my normal sized diary’s now, you know the ones where they are about 4” across and 1” thick and about 6” tall with either a page to a day and boy, would I fill that page!!
It was important to me, that I had space to write! What is better that that, getting your thoughts down on paper forever. Whatever big news that had happened in the world that day, it was recorded in my diary. I never missed a night!
If there was song a that truly blessed my soul, it would be written in either at the top of the page or the bottom. Or a good film that I'd seen either on TV or a good book I had read and then that would go in, for we easily forget.....
I had rules that I have always kept and never broken the rule I made, and that was to NEVER bring my diary that I was using, abroad or in hospital if I went for an operation, just in case I didn't return! For if I didn't return, I would rather my diary was found at home and not by a stranger. But if I went on holiday, it always came with me.
So when I went abroad, I would buy a tiny note book size about 3” tall and 2” wide and very slim, for it would be enough to get my thoughts down of what I had done and places of interest I'd been to and lovely people I'd met!
So every year I bought a diary and have kept each one! When I went into hospital to have my kids, for each child there is a tiny note book of my few days in there. Its always amazes me, how much we forget! The details, are SO important!
I have said to people, from time to time, “Do you write a diary?” When they reply, “No, I cant' be bothered” it saddens me, I say to them “But, it's YOUR LIFE, it is gone forever!” But they don't see what I see, my LIFE is history for me and history of the world I grew up in, the wonderful places I've been, its the hurts and the joys – it's life.
There have been many hurts in my life, and they are ALL recorded!!!! My dark thoughts and innermost hurts, sometimes difficult to put into words, so sometimes that's where the songs come in handy, the words are just right for the situations I am in, and so that song becomes MY song.
I remember saying to my Mum, “If I die before you, please keep all my diary’s” to my horror she told me, she would, “Throw them all away!” It's an understatement to say I was shocked, but I wouldn't have been able to take them with me! Mum knows there is pain written in my diaries, not that she had read any of them, she is not like that, for she is like a lamb and I am like a bear!! A lamb wouldn't think of doing such a thing, for she is TOO sweet. But it troubled me that my world would be thrown away! I saw it as ME been thrown away! I know my Mum loves me very much, but Mum doesn't like confrontation or trouble, but sadly that is not real life, is it.
Then about two years ago, one of the hurts that had blighted my life was written in as a major article in her newspaper in the country that she retired to and it opened her eyes! And for the FIRST time, she understood my pain! It was my Birthday and she rang me from abroad to wish me a Happy Birthday and she gave me one of the BEST gifts she has ever given me. Mum told me about the article in the major newspaper and that everyone was talking about it, most had never heard of such a thing, but Mum had ….. from ME! She said to me, that she was, “Sorry” and that she “Wants me to KEEP every one of my diaries!” With tears streaming down my face, I said, “Oh Mum, I do love you, I am SO glad you have lived to understand, and accepted me, as me and for the hurts and trials I have been through.”
You see, my diaries are outlets, somewhere I can VENT my anger if I want to! It's mine, I can do what I like! No outside rules!
I carried on with my diary after I got married, and whenever I argued with my Husband Paul, I would go upstairs and sit on the bed and often I would go to where I keep my diary’s and just pick one out, anyone, randomly and open it anywhere and read.... and after a few pages, I would see that my life is better now, than it was then, single and without him and the difficult kids as they are at times.... and Paul! But the main thing was that I could look back .... reflect, I never wanted to go back there! Don't get me wrong, we have had some difficult times since we have been married!
All my dreams that I have had, while I slept have also been recorded, I had four dreams when I was expecting our Son. And so I KNEW he was boy, but I just need to find that little note pad as I can only remember the first and the last dreams, so his story before he arrived has got to wait until the booklet is found. It is not missing … as I have SO many!
The good thing about my diaries, is that if I want to, I can go to the date TODAY and look exactly what I did when I was age 26 or 37 or 19!! I can also read what was in the news, or world events that interested me and music and concerts I'd been to that I have long forgotten about.
Now I don't write my diary before I got to bed, that's just not practical, as I am a very early riser, have have been all my life, I now make myself a cuppa (after I've fed the King & Queen cats, for to them, nothing is more important than their breakfast, and put them out) I take my diary and write!! Yesterday, is still fresh in my memory, the day after that is a bit blurred!!
I've had all sorts of diaries, I've had large A4 sized ones, and filled its pages but not really practical, have loved them just as much. Now I buy my diaries from my favourite shop in the world, some are pretty covered, seeing that is always a nice start to the day and others that I have bought now are soft covered and leather-bound, and made in Italy!
All my Auntie had to do was get a real diary, one with the dates already in, but that was the right time, for me, age 19. That little blue book that changed by life. My Auntie would be proud of me. RIP xx