Blank spaces

Jul 20, 2017

I have a ten year journal. My husband has a five year journal. It’s really the format that makes it different. Each day of the year has a page that’s blocked out with different sections dedicated to each year. The idea is you that you write approximately five lines each day and, as you fill in the years, you can look back and see what was happening on the same day, but several years ago. So all on the same page for July 20, I have short entries for 2010, 2011, 2012, all the way up through 2017. 

So as I wrote in my journal tonight I could see that a few years ago we spent the evening playing games with our friends and eating pazookies, which is fun enough to remember, but all the more poinient now that they have two kids and couldn’t come over to play games in the evenings anymore, especially considering both they and we have since moved to different states. 

It’s fun to look back and see what we were doing in years past. Sometimes it’s sad to remember hard things that were going on. But perhaps the most striking entries in my ten year journal are the days left blank. 

Usually if I miss a day from being tired or lazy or on vacation and don’t want to lug my big journal with me, I’ll go back the next day and fill it in. I don’t do it very often, but it happens sometimes. It’s not a big deal. In fact, it happened yesterday/today. I opened up my journal to write today and realized I accidentally skipped yesterday. I must have gotten on here to write my post last night and then forgot to write in my journal. So after writing for today I went back and wrote for yesterday too. No biggie. It wasn’t like anything monumental happened yesterday. Just regular stuff. 

But the blank spots. Those were not just regular days. Sure, there may be a few scattered blank spots where I just plain forgot to go back and fill in what I’d missed, but the longest blank stretch I remember was from one of the hardest times in recent years. 

At the time, I first stopped writing because there was so much going on I was too panicked and exhausted to sit down and write. And because we moved in a hurry and everything was in boxes and all over in scattered places and I don’t know if I even knew where my journal was for several of those days. And when I found it and things calmed down, I found I just didn’t want to record that time. I didn’t want to write it down and relive it year after year as those days cycled back around. So I left them blank. Moved on. 

But of course the great irony is that the blank spaces themselves have come to represent so much about what was going on at that time. Those empty lines say so much more than I ever could have written about those dark days. 

Thank goodness for all the boring, ordinary filled-in pages that have filled up all the months and years since. 

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