Last night while volunteering as a timer during a swim meet with my youngest, a woman from the neighboring town recognized me as the author Before You Forget, and thanked me for inspiring her to keep diaries for her children. This doesn't happen very often, and I was grateful it happened after an afternoon spent reconnecting with my diary writing after quite a few weeks of silence.
There's No Such Thing as Catching Up
For a couple of weeks I have been grabbing my kids' diaries every time I head out the door to drive a child somewhere, thinking, hoping, planning to catch up on time passed. There is never such a thing as catching up, but since that's what I thought I should try to do, no writing got done. It's impossible to open the diary enthusiastically with unrealistic or oppressive expectations.
Yesterday, I finally remembered this and had the good sense to open my daughter's diary and just begin writing about the moment, the day. Not the past, not everything that has happened since I last wrote to her - just about today. I wrote about her bugging me to get a tattoo, and I wrote for forty-five minutes without stopping, and I ended up writing about the past few weeks during the course of the entry because I got warmed up to it, and then it was easy.
I am back in the stream, back in the flow of the diary writing, simply because I started writing on a blank page.
As my new diarist friend and I left the dock at the end of the meet, I said I was glad to meet her, and she said she hoped our meeting would spark a return to her own diaries. I hope so too.