Old Journals: Keep or Toss?

Every season I get the urge to sort through my things, rearrange furniture around the house, and refresh my inventory. Following this exercise, I feel a sense of excitement, which is consistent with holistic physician Isaac Eliaz’s, MD, MS, LAc belief “that the overall energy efficiency and clarity created by good organization truly leads to increased longevity and better health.” You can read his HuffPo guest blog more about why Organization Boosts Health and Vitality here.

What about your old journals? Why do you still have them? And do you still need them?

journals pixy

Keep healthy mantras

Flipping through my SMASH journal from 2012, I wondered if it was helpful or necessary to hang on to the stories from my past. As I re-read where I had copied the 12 symptoms of inner peace, I knew this was something I wanted to hang on to. I cut it out of the book.

Toss your past when it does not offer value for where you are today

Next came anecdotes about what recipes I made for book club, various dating tales (which ultimately led to a previous post, why you are attracting people who are wrong for you), and exercise and nutrition chronicles. While amusing and evoking feelings of “wow, I can’t believe how much I have grown since then”,  I did not feel these entries did anything else to propel me forward. I kept flipping through.

Keep famous quotes

What about relationship advice from others? Many of the things people told me during this post-breakup phase resonated. I had jotted them down for reference should I need inspirational reminders. Now I look at them and feel that I could offer these encouragements to others going through a similar phase. A few examples:

People will think whatever they want. You can’t control it. You just have to be OK with whatever happened.” – A former boss, over margaritas

“Forgive yourself. The relationship that took two people failed. Not You.” – an article on the Internet – maybe it was this one.

“Love yourself. Shine Outward. Listen to your gut.” – Mom, during a phone convo

“What I think matters just as much as what others think” – Me, working through my people-pleasing tendencies.

Unsplash_journal and tea

Keep your values

My core values in 2012 are consistent with my values in 2016. I tore out the page that honored family, honesty, work ethic, organization, fun, and a healthy lifestyle.

Keep your vision of your ideal partner (and a sense of humor)

What are the 10 traits your soulmate should have? Back on 12/18/2012 (I date all of my entries, like what am I handing this in to a teacher?) underneath the list of values including family and trust, past the lifestyle and geographic descriptions, there in the lower right hand corner of the page was this:

  • Loves football
  • Crazy about me
  • Basically Daniel Craig*

* I did write this, but I was mostly kidding slash alluding to his character traits of being smart, humble, having charisma, etc.

Do you keep all of your old musings? Have you found any hidden gems that you preserve? Lmk in the comments or @kellymc247

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Kelly Christiansen

A top columnist at MsCareerGirl, marketing guru Kelly Christiansen has 10+ years of strategic leadership experience and is a Senior Marketing Strategist on the Health Care team at Kahler Slater, an architecture firm in Wisconsin. An avid reader, runner, and recipe experimenter, you can follow Kelly on twitter @kellymc247

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