Sunday, May 18, 2014

On the Journal: Part 1

     No, that wasn't an auto-correct. I did write Journal, not Journey. The two words share the root of the French "jour" meaning "day" and are therefore both based on time. According to those who should know and don't mind telling us that, we should journal daily, just as we journey along in our daily lives.

     But I am terrible at journalling unless combined with a journey outside my regular sphere. A visit, a trip, a vacation, in other words, inspires me to write something down every day. Not so much when I'm home, despite the fact that I would love to be a regular journal-er.

     I admire and envy those who keep a running account of their daily adventures, thoughts, ideas and observations. I wish I could make myself do it.

     Recently I have been purging my home of "junk" after 25 years of living in the same house. I discovered a whole bunch of gorgeous little writing books with lovely covers and decorative pages. You see, although I am sporadic at writing in the journal, I adore those exquisite books. My favorite is a leather-bound journal that I bought in Turkey. That one I use to write plot outlines.

     Reading over the short-lived diaries, I realize that my writing in them tends to become lists. Bucket lists. Financial lists. Shopping lists. Lists of ideas for stories. Complaint lists.
     Here is one such list that I found yesterday. It's entitled "10 Things To Do Before I Die". I wrote it a whole bunch of years ago, likely around 1999, before the 2000's even existed. I'm including a little update with each one, so you know how far I got with this particular list.

10 Things to Do Before I Die  (not in order of importance)

1.  Visit Barbados √ Two years ago, we went with my cousin and her husband. We had a ball. It was worthy of being on the list! But now it can be replaced with some other exotic location—or a return trip to Barbados would be great too.

2. Visit Auschwitz. Dreadful, I know, but there is something that has always compelled me to go there. If I fully believed in past lives, I might suspect I'd been there in person already. But I haven't made it in this life...yet. Surprisingly, no one wants to go with me, but it's staying on the list.

3. Have a traditional publisher publish my book. √ Thanks to Cheryl Kaye Tardif of Imajin Books (, I can check this one off my list. By 2013, I had five published! Not to mention a bunch of short stories in "real" magazines. This item stays, however, since I have more to write.

4. Reach my ideal weight and stay there. All I can say to this is, ha ha ha ha ha ha. Still, I'll keep it on the list.

5. See Sisbro be a HUGE success. Sisbro and Co. Inc. is my children's film company. (I am a not-so-silent partner.) We haven't made a huge success yet—but there have been strides in that direction. This one stays on the list.

6. Go on a cruise. √ We went on a Mediterranean cruise last year with a bunch of our best friends. It was awesome! Glad I had that on my list. Might have to see about a couple more of those, so let's leave this here for now.

7. Return to Israel/Palestine and see Halil and Amitiée. This one hasn't been achieved—yet. It stays here. Someday I'll tell you all about these two people.

8. Get to know Vince's kids better. √ As the "other woman", it was a difficult thing to be accepted or liked by my husband's children, and I didn't blame them. But oh my god, I am grateful every single day that I can check this one off the list.

9. Learn to relax. Well, I have employed some pharmaceuticals and red wine to help with this. Seriously, however, it's not an art I have perfected by any means. Leave it on the list.

10. Learn to take care of myself and not worry so much. I think I've done a pretty good job of this one. It should probably stay on the list, though, since it's something to practice every day.

On the Journal...Cathy

This is the purple diary in which I found my Bucket List circa 1999. I think I bought this one in Turkey, too. Should've written that down...
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