One of the most important things a journal can do for us is help us to cope with life's challenges; both Danny Gregory and Laura Frankstone addressed this issue in their interviews--Laura's recent blog entries continue offering us a glimpse into journaling as a coping tool. I've certainly found it to be true for me, over and over again, whether I simply sketch what is, express my feelings, or poke fun at myself. It helps.
My dear husband has recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and though it's early days and the prognosis is very good, still...I find the journal helpful. Above, life goes on, with music and our good friend Kevin Morgan. (As I noted here, the boys look much more solemn than they were! We had a great time...)
I journaled the day we went over to North Kansas City Hospital for what the doctor refers to as his "cancer talk," and I'm glad I did. I sketched, yes, but I also made copious notes that will help us in the days to come, as they did to reach a decision about treatment, at the time. We'd NEVER remember all those numbers and what they mean if I hadn't written them down.
I've sketched before my own surgery, and when J. had his esophageal procedure, as well as when visiting his mom in the hospital and his dad in the nursing home...it helped. It not only calms us, but helps get us outside of, and beyond, our immediate concerns.
Of course there are all types and grades of challenges in our lives! A test we need to pass, a job that needs doing, a trip to plan, a meeting to record...all of it can end up here.
This not only reminded me of the first bird at the new feeder, but that it was one of those times when I needed my cane--it's a wonderful old blackthorn cane from Ireland that Joseph gave me, and I love to draw it, if not to have to use it. It happens, from time to time!
(I usually sketch it to keep track of when this occurs and why--in this case it was a long run through two huge airports! I learned my lesson, I am NOT too proud to have a wheelchair at the gate. Any more...)
I had the blues, bad, when I did the above watercolor pencil sketch in the back of my journal...it helped! I still remember the blues, but I recall the beauty of the day much more.
Of course recording the minor challenges is good, too. We'd misjudged the drop-off on the snowy road and landed in a ditch way too deep even for my 4WD Jeep to climb out of. So that was me, climbing up the seat to the only door that would open! Every time we pass that road THIS winter we joke about taking a trip down memory lane...
I made my Fantasy Journal when things were particularly stressful with the family. That involved WAY too many phone calls, as you might deduce! (And no, we didn't have a wonderful vintage phone like this, nor did we actually use dynamite. It was just what I WANTED to do, every time the phone rang!)
These goofy images helped me deal with things with fun and humor--good for BOTH of us! The above image is the last one in that little journal, but you're welcome to go see the others at the link!
How has your journal helped YOU to deal with the curves life can throw you?
Note: gentlemen, have your PSA checked at your next checkup! Early detection is the best for this slow-growing cancer!
And oh, yes, good thoughts and positive energy are more than welcome...