On my last business trip, I had to hand-carry corrected workbooks. That shrank suitcase space, so I thought, “this time, I’ll leave the journal at home.” I don’t journal every day, so a two-day trip, well, I really wouldn’t need it anyway. The journal stayed in the studio.
Here’s what didn’t make it into my journal the day it happened:
- The full eclipse, around 3:00 a.m., the kind where the moon is red.
- I ate dinner overlooking an indoor ice rink and noticed that the youngest class fell as often as the older class, but the younger kids laughed when they fell and did deliberate pratfalls, bounding back up again. No fear, no shame, just ready for more fun. Something about being young that acknowledges the purpose of life is learning. By the time you are eight, you feel embarrassed not to know it all.
- I missed writing down a dream because it evaporated when I woke up without a way to write it down.
Sure, I can write down the two events I remember, but it lacks the immediacy and insight of writing it down as soon as it happens. And the dream is gone.
What to do when there is really no room to take the journal? Here are four ideas:
1. Buy postcards at the airport when I arrive and tuck them into the folder that holds my schedule. There’s always room to take a few postcard stamps. Write down journal entries on the postcards and mail them at the hotel before I leave. Instant journal page!
2. Take photos of things I want to remember and print them out when I get home. Print it out to the size of the journal page, and write on it, or on the back and add it to the journal.
3. Take a few shipping tags to write on. Send them back as postcards (the larger ones) or tuck them into the journal when I get back. Or keep it simple and simply tuck blank index cards into my schedule.
4. Pick something else not to take. A journal is my idea bank, comfort source and being-bored preventer. And it doesn’t have an uncomfortable underwire. A woman’s got to have priorities.
—Quinn McDonald is leaving for Houston, and this time, her journal is coming along.