John Lennon's 'Happy Christmas (War is Over)' is for me a special song, for it sends me back to X-mas 1992. The song was playing as I received a diary as a gift from relatives. I had tried keeping a diary in the past, but nothing had come of it. After a half-hearted start with this one and many, many days between entries, in 1994 I fell into a serious routine of keeping a diary. It is 2008 and I started my 10th diary earlier this month.
The timing was perfect, for I hit adolescence and all its turbulence in the early 1990's, and really needed a place to vent. I'm glad I kept a diary in those years, for now I can look back and smile at all my diatribes and emotional storms. They really are funny and make me shake my head at the person I used to be. After the waterworks and angst-storms of my teenage years, I went to university and recorded my experiences in Religious Studies, which was my major, and other courses needed to get my B.A. There were other storms and events to record, and in the years since those days, my journals have become very useful. My folks ask me when something in our family happened, I usually have some sort of answer for them.
I had my journal near at hand September 11, 2001, and can recall where I was when I watched CNN give its grim report in the morning hours of that day. Each vacation we have taken, be it to do cross-border shopping, to the lake for summer holidays, or to Cancun (our most recent trip), I documented to the best of my ability. On a more personal level, I have watched as my spiritual beliefs have evolved over time thanks to my keeping a consistent journal. I'm a voracious reader and I have kept notes of books that really piqued my curiosity. Someday, should destiny choose me for notoriety, I will have more than enough documentation to write an auto-biography.
There does not appear to be any end in sight, as I have another empty journal waiting in the wings when my 10th one is full. Nor would I want this to end. Keeping a blog is fun but very ephemeral. Keeping a diary is just as much fun, and is also solid and will not disappear like so much html. It's been close to 15 years since I heard 'Happy Christmas (War is Over)' and received the best X-mas gift I could ever get. It's a gift that truly keeps on giving.