I’m really not good at having a consistent schedule each day. I’m more of a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of girl. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I plan all sorts of stuff I’d like to do but I don’t have a solid list of events for each day. In that vein, I’m always promising myself that I’ll start doing x every day.
“I’m going to exercise 20 minutes every day.”
“I’m going to clean for 30 minutes every day.”
“I’ll scoop the litter box every single day.”
(I know, that last one really does to be done every single day. It just gets away from me sometimes… most of the time. Oops.)
Needless to say, many of these resolutions last a few days then fizzle out. There’s one thing though, that almost without fail, I do every single day.
I’ve always wanted to be a “journaler” and at almost three years in, I think I can finally claim that title. Keeping an art journal has made that possible for me. This style of journaling has helped me in so many ways.
I don’t have to fill an entire page every day.
When I first began journaling, I intended to write at least one sentence a day. As such, I didn’t need large spaces to write in. A two-page spread on my 5×7 journal covers an entire week. Allotting smaller spaces to myself encourages me to summarize as much as possible and focus on what I’d most like to remember, and keeps me from feeling the pressure to write every single detail. Now, I usually write 5-7 sentences per day. It’s still not a ton of writing, but enough to write down all the things I’d like to remember about a particular day.
It jazzes things up when my entries are dull.
Let’s be honest, especially as a mom, entries sometimes all look the same. “I stayed home all day and bounced the baby. Forensic Files was watched. The end.” The artwork keeps things exciting even if the entries themselves are not. As a side note, though, you would be surprised how much you’ll enjoy looking back on even the days you thought weren’t exciting.
It encourages me to be positive.
This one is HUGE. When I first started journaling, I had worked so hard on the pictures in my journal that I didn’t want to muck them up with ugly thoughts and bad memories, so even on my worst days I tried to find something good I could write. Even if I described a bad day, I was sure to find an “at least”. “At least” we had the money for the car repair. “At least” the Squish is healthy and safe, even though he was crabby and needy all day. “At least” the Hubs and I have a good marriage. Etc. There were a few days that ended in “But I know somehow Heavenly Father has a plan for all of this and it’ll all be worth it.” I know for a fact that journaling the way I do has made me a much more optimistic person.
It helps me to see God working in my life.
It’s pretty incredible sometimes to look back at prayers that have been answered and negative events that have been changed for the good. It gives me hope when I’m going through hard times that I know He has fulfilled his promises before, because I have proof!
It gives me an excuse to be artistic.
Having a set-aside place to make art that needs to be tended to regularly is an excellent way of encouraging myself to do it, even when things get busy. The act of making art is in itself so soothing and anxiety-reducing that I can’t possibly imagine my life without it.
I get so many comments when I share my journal from people wishing they could do the same, and with good reason. Look at all these benefits! Wondering where to start? Click here: How to Start an Art Journal (Even If You’re Not an Artist) And don’t worry: You don’t have to be a fantastic artist to do it. I promise.
I’m a twenty-something LEO wife and stay-at-home mom to a one-year-old little boy. I enjoy writing, reading, taking my son for walks and runs in the stroller, and crafting. My goal is for Love and Blues to be a resource for first responders and their families. I write about marriage and family topics, as well as about the quirks that come with being married to a man in law enforcement, firefighting, or emergency medical services.
This is the third installment of my art journaling series. If you’re…
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