I am a busy mom working from home and don't have much time for "me-time". But now I write a short few words at the end of my day in a journal and have found it to be so very therapeutical that I thought I would like to share this as my top tip for all those in the same situation as myself. The online journal I use is from MomsTribute.com. It offers a free-to-use-journal that makes ideal sense when pen and paper are not to be found and the few moments sitting down with a coffee and your phone can be transformed into a quick and thoroughly satisfying trip down memory lane or an empowering moment of self-awareness. I have chosen to write about my own mom's life, and I get inspiration from the wonderful truthful memories in Tom Henn's book "Lois and her Irishness" which records the life of his mother. Here is an excerpt from that book:
"The first ten years of my mom's life, from 1928 to 1938, started off brutally during the start of the Great Depression" my mother, Lois, said to me. As I was listening and typing her life story, I could hear the fear in her voice and see it in her eyes as she recounted her daily struggles as a young girl. She told me, "We did not have a dime to spare." I saw my mom cry several times during this process, and the first time was due to the feelings she still held onto from the Great Depression. She did not cry like an eighty-year-old woman; she cried like a ten-year girl. It all started with one question: “How did it feel?” I had never asked my mother that question, and my hunch is no one had. It was the way of life back then to simply move on. Once our mom knew it was okay to show her emotions, she became much more comfortable. She finally got the chance to twist off the cap and be at peace.
Lois Rita Walker grew up dirt poor, and she spent much of her life dealing with so many fast and furious unknowns. Some bad, some good- but all these experiences stuck with her. At times, Lois returned to the state of mind she adopted during the Great Depression. The world, and her children, were moving at lightspeeds. Lois kept up, yet at times, it brought her back to the fear of yesterday, the fear of too much, the fear of loss of family and friends, and the fear of bone-dry poverty with not a dime to spare. As life went on things got better for Lois. She met wonderful, long-lasting friends, and found her husband, William George Henn Jr. She elected to create a life with him rather than go to a girls' college in Minnesota.
Many of their early dates were going to Chicago Cubs baseball games. Our mom, a die-hard Cubs fan has her Cubs hat and uniform with her in the casket. My family believes that, while our mother left earth on October 4, 2016, she was in attendance, hovering over Cleveland Progressive Park for Game Seven of the 2016 World Series. Many have called the seventeen-minute rain delay prior to the 10th inning, ‘divine intervention’ – and I’m inclined to agree. After the rain delay, the Chicago Cubs came out in the 10th inning and won the Baseball World Series for the first time in 108 years! The Billy Goat Curse was lifted!
Your Mom has just as many stories and truths to tell as my mom had, if you give her the time to listen. As Lois said in 2013:
“Family has been an important part of my life. I want to share my family history.”
That excerpt triggered me to ask if my own mom was like me. Did she stay in control during the fast and furious times in her life? Did she look for time management tips like me? I explored the depths of my childhood memories and found some lovely snippets that were immediately preserved in my journal. I now can refer to these pages and lift my spirits because I have familiarity of locations, appreciation of decisions made and plenty of good-feel comfort in recognition of my mom's eternal optimism.
If you are busy, busy, busy there is a saying that's appropriate for you; "If you want something done, ask a busy person." Now you have the ability to spend some 'me-time' with a short few minutes in your day to connect and ground yourself in a personal journal. You will not be disappointed. With memories to inspire us we can all learn and appreciate life stories and relate them to our own if we wish.