When I was a teenager, I used to write in a journal quite regularly. Often, I would light several candles in my room at the same time and listen to melancholy music. I wrote special entries two times a year. Inventories. One was on New Year's Eve and the other was on my birthday. Sadly, but perhaps wisely, I threw out those journals, filled with teenage angst as they were. In later years, I wrote in journals and continued, for a while at least, the yearly inventories. Unfortunately, they devolved into really sad accounts of everything I was failing at. They would always end with goal setting. Lose weight. Read my scriptures more. Be nicer. Keep the house cleaner. I stopped writing in my journal.
Still, it is in my nature to write. I've attempted comebacks from time to time. Vacation journals. Spiritual thoughts journals. Scripture memorizing journals. Food and weight loss journals. And most entries start the same way--"It's been so long! I can't believe I haven't written in so many months!" Then blogging came along. I decided to write essays to satisfy the life long dream of writing; my thinking being that if I wrote semi-public blogs, it would inspire me to edit and re-write and thus improve a talent. I blog less often than I write in my journals.
It is less than an hour before my 58th birthday. Inventory time. I'm still trying to lose weight, still not reading my scriptures as often as I could, I'm still not nice to everyone all the time, and I will never have a house to which I'm comfortable having company visit unannounced. I have not fulfilled my goal in writing fiction for children. Well, that's not true. I've written plenty, but never worked hard enough to be published. I'm a decent teacher, my students know I love them and most of my co-workers like me. Not all of them. I'm single, wish I were married but can't imagine how that could ever happen. I have four children and six grandchildren on whom I am too dependent for love and approval, but are unquestionably the greatest joys in my life.
I sound as though I am filled with middle aged angst. Perhaps I am.
Oddly, one thing saved me as a teenager when failure and discouragement weighed me down, and it still saves me today. Forty some years ago, I had a deep knowledge of a Heavenly Father and Savior who loved me. I knew that no matter how imperfect I was, they would always love me. And despite my other failings, I pray often, and am subsequently blessed and comforted.
So, when I lose 5 pounds and then eat banana bread muffins all day and gain it back, when I waste time watching TV instead of writing or cleaning or exercising, even when I am unforgiving or cause offense, I can honestly say that it's a wonderful life. I will get up in the morning, feeling a little older, and spend time with friends, talk to family on the phone, and count my many, many blessings.