Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Our Past Can Speak to Our Present

I’ve kept a journal for years in a Week-at-a-Glance calendar. That format kept the entries short as just a few lines are allotted to each date. I told myself that if I had limited space, I would be more apt to write a bit each day. And that proved to be true. I have about twelve years of personal history recorded in those calendars.

Recently I decided to read through my journals because I was looking for specific information to use in the fourth Kyle Shannon mystery. I was out of touch with one part of my life and since it is the subject of my next novel, I needed to revisit it.

While I read, I discovered something in those pages I wasn’t expecting. Approximately every three months, I had a cold, sinus infection or bronchitis and it always the worst in the spring and fall. Aha, you say. Allergies. I had the same reaction.

I’ve taken enough antibiotics in my life to keep Abbot Laboratories in business for the next twenty years so I began allergy treatments with an acupuncturist. I am pleased to say that the treatments are helping.

The subject matter of this blog is communication. When I started it, I expected to write commentary on advertisements, things I saw in the news, or my writing journey. I had no idea that the Linda of the past would be communicating so significantly with the Linda of the present.

Years from now, your journal will remind you of how you felt when your neighbor passed away or when your child brought you a lightning bug in a jar. You’ll remember the warm winters, the cool summers, and all the little bits of life that make up the bad times and the good. Your journals may even help you recognize a health care need.

People tell me that they don’t have time to keep a journal. I suggest that everyone has five minutes per day. That’s about all the time it took me to jot a few quick sentences into those Week-A-Glance calendars. I urge you to do it, too. The payoff may come years from now and it may surprise you.