I have been in a bit of a funk lately. I am not sure of the exact cause, but it may have to do with a bad case of poison ivy that I got while doing some work in the woods. Constant itching and lack of sleep doesn’t put one in a chipper mood. The constant divisiveness and hatred in our society also contributes. Whatever the cause, the symptoms are there: irritability, lack of motivation, isolation, and general negativity.
Fortunately, I have been given tools to help get me through such dark times. Journaling is a practice that helps me to get the junk out of me. I have several journals that I keep around, including a bullet journal that my wife recently gave me. I use this to make lists, such as books that I want to read and projects to do.
One project listed was to clean out and organize the shed in our backyard. This shed had become a disorganized mess of yard tools, ladders, broken outdoor furniture, half used bags of potting soil and fertilizer, old documents, various empty containers, and lots of creepy crawlies. I hated opening it up to see this massive clutter.
Last Sunday, despite not feeling motivated to do anything productive, I forced myself to at least open the door to the shed. I did this first step. Next thing you know, I had cleared everything out of the shed, swept it out, evicted the bugs, tossed the trash, got rid of the clutter, folded the tarp, and put all of tools and supplies back into the shed in an organized manner. I accomplished something and could mark it off of the list.
Yesterday, I refilled one of my bird feeders with a new bag of seed. After filling the feeder, I opened the shed to store the remaining seed. Seeing the clean and organized shed brought a smile to my face. I could actually see everything inside. I can find what I need without the distraction of clutter.
Journaling is a way to clean and organize the clutter inside my head. I can take the negative thoughts and emotions out of me and put them on paper. As I write and remove the useless noise, I can more clearly hear the voice of the Higher Power that dwells in all of us.
I try to always end each entry on a positive note by writing something for which I am grateful. This is like putting the useful tools back into the shed of my head. Gratitude always brings a smile to my face.