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Paper Clips

Jot it down

I've kept a journal for many, many years, ever since my first pink diary when I was a little girl. I enjoy thumbing through past pages and exploring all the Lynda Jo's I used to be.

Sometimes when I want to write I get stuck, though, and for that reason I will Google "journal prompts."

I was snooping through some of my old journals the other day and found an entry I'd written using an internet prompt. The prompt was to hastily write down questions off the top of my head without over-thinking it.

My entry made me laugh out loud, and still makes me grin broadly when I think about it.

Evidently, slugs were the topic de jour and I was tremendously upset about it, as two of my questions were "Why are there so many slugs here?" "How come I can't bring myself to kill slugs?"

Slug questions abounded.

Finding the humor, I used the prompt on another recent journal entry and the topic was a result of moving all of my shoes and putting them in a cedar chest I had made for my grandmother when I was in ninth grade:

"Why do my shoes smell like shoes?"

"Why do I dwell on the fact my shoes smell like shoes?"

"What did I expect my shoes to smell like?"

"Garlic?"

"Why do I lament the fact that my shoes do not have new shoe smell?"

"Do they make air freshener in 'new shoe' scent?"

"Should I buy lotsa shoes to compensate for the lack of new shoe smell?"

I titled this particular entry "Quelle Horreur," something I understand the French say sardonically over something trivial that means, "What a horrible thing!" I also made note of how the topic came about, just as I explained it to you.

Writing doesn't have to be boring and it doesn't have to be serious.

Simply recording a list of the days accomplished to-do's will do to pass on to your loved ones.

Think ahead 50 years. Imagine the changes in store. Imagine your kids and your kids' kids.

What will they know about you? Will they know you worked hard? Loved deeply? Stoically survived? Secretly resented? Healed? Relished new shoe smell?

My mother was a gifted writer, something I only discovered by reading her college papers. She hated writing, for her it was cumbersome, a chore.

What I wouldn't do to know what mattered to mom on any given day.

My son, his children and their children will know what mattered to me, captured on paper in the spur of the moment, trivial or not, and hopefully find the Lynda Jo in it.

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