Saturday, May 27, 2017

Diaries. Keep? Chuck?

I have kept diaries for years. As a child, whenever we went on holiday, my mother would give me (and I assume my siblings) a small notebook to record events and memories. I still have them going back to about 7 years old! During my teens, although I kept diaries, I seriously wonder why. "Was bored; went to school" is hardly worth the ink really, especially when it's day in and day out. I can only assume that I was carrying the weight of academia on my shoulders and didn't have the bandwidth (word du jour) for more writing. 

The university years are noticeably missing, and I don't actually remember keeping a diary at that time. Again, probably so much writing for my degree that I had nothing left to give. (Blimey, I sound like Hemingway.) My twenties' diaries read something like a slightly more moderate Bridget Jones job, (definitely be keeping those), and my thirties (married, working and having babies)  - well, again, why did I bother? I have already thrown a few years out since all I did was complain about people at work. (I've kept the years when kids were born, just FYI. I'm not that cold!)

I'm about to read through the remaining diaries and then what? It's no surprise that they're hardly publication-worthy, but should I schlep them back across the ocean one more time? And if so, for what? Actually, the way my memory is behaving at the moment I could read them again in ten years time, as if I'd never clapped eyes on them before. 

I've already had one gut-wrenching diary event this past week as it is. Daughter was here for the weekend (her last time in her growing-up bedroom - wah!) and I asked her to go through her desk and drawers and take what she wanted. She left everything!! 
She too was an avid diary keeper, and she's instructed me to throw them all out. Now, (she's probably reading this), I refrained from reading through her older ones, but I read through the ones she kept before she was ten, and actually, there wasn't really anything to keep. So, I've thrown them out and just hope she doesn't give me the old "Why did you listen to me?" routine when she regrets her decision. If we were moving within the US I'd probably keep them but this transAtlantic moving lark is bloody expensive. 

But back to diaries in general. Anyone keep them? Do you have any plans for them? I'm trying to decide if I want anyone else to read them anyway. Not that there's anything salacious in them but I've hardly crossed the Great Plains in a wagon trail, or sailed through shark-infested waters. Readers would probably get to about page two and throw the towel in. 

And more importantly, am I over-thinking this? 


PS. Have to start saying "diary" now when I'm booking things. In the US a diary is definitely a journal and when you make arrangements, you put them in a calendar. 

9 comments:

  1. I say keep them. I don't know why. I have faced this particular conundrum myself, and there is salacious stuff in my journals. I don't want anyone ever to read them, so why do I keep them? I don't know. They seem to be written by a different person than I am now. Maybe that's why.

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    1. I'm very tempted to tear out the good parts and just keep those! That's a lot of work though.

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    2. you could also just photograph the good parts I guess.

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  2. I have many, many journals. I have kept them all. My angst filled younger years ones, however, are long gone. I think I got rid of them for fear that my mother would happen upon them and read them! They've actually come in handy when I've tried to recall when we did such and such, or went on a particular trip, or made a specific purchase. -Jenn

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    1. I would keep them all if I didn't have to pay for shipping them back across the ocean. They weigh a ton!

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  3. Last fall we sold our house in the U.S. I flew back from Germany to clean out the garage and...diary dilemma! It seemed wrong to toss them, so I painstakingly took photos of every page. Now I have a digital record instead of more books to lug around the world. Not sure that I'll ever look at them all, but some have proven useful in refreshing my memory on certain events.

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    1. I may have to think about that. Not sure I have the time or the energy though! LLOL

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  4. I've kept diaries from 2009 when I was diagnosed with cancer and I often read events that happened a few years back. Example today is the 28th May and I sometimes look through all the diaries and read what was happening to me on that day throughout the years. It's good to be reminded of the hardships I went through and I'm often left really grateful to be here and inspired by my sheer determination.
    Pity you have to pay so much for the transport but do be careful you won't regret throwing things out.
    Sorry this is going to sound like a diary by the time I'm finished!
    Maggie x

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    1. I suppose we do have the blogs Maggie, but then there's the fear of it all disappearing. I used to take screen shots of my blog posts and have records of the early years, but we've been at it for so long now.... x

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