I am in the process of moving as we are selling our house. The decluttering is in full gear and I had to ask the difficult question how to deal with old journals – keep or toss?
1. Keep or toss? – Pros and cons
First, I went with the old and tested process of listing pros and cons.
Pros – They help me remember and make me proud of all those written words. It makes me happy to see them stacked. I will feel lighter so will the moving boxes.
Cons – They feel like unnecessary debris from a former life. Afraid of tossing out a good idea, sentence, or note.
Taking care of my daughter has made me want to become an even fuller version of myself, making me feel comfortable closing old chapters. I know what it took to take myself from there to here. I can show her by being fully present, and I don’t need to keep old records. However, I am writing a memoir, and I will rip the relevant pages out of the journals.
Do I have time to go through them? I could go through one journal each evening while watching TV. The process is slow, and I don’t necessarily think the value is in the pages I keep but more a way to lean into the final toss.
2. A ritual on how to deal with old journals
The problem with the above approach is that it lacks a little soul. And one of the reasons I battle the question is because I poured a lot of my soul onto those pages. So now that I have decided to toss the old journals, I want to honor the goodbye.
For April, I choose the word lighter for how I want to feel. For May, I invite a fresh start. I already feel lighter from the decluttering. To have a fresh start, I want to say a proper goodbye.
The perfect ritual for this, I think, is to have a small bonfire for the next full moon happening on the 16th of May. I will burn one of the ripped journals as a symbol of gratitude and as a departing gesture. ( I like to check in with Wonder Girl Astrology when it is a full moon)
3. Goodbye old journals
So there is my answer for how to deal with old journals – keep or toss? I will not be packing my old journals. I am ready for a fresh start. I will gift myself a new beautiful notebook when I have gone through the ritual of saying goodbye to my old notebooks.
Any writing-related stuff you need to sort out. Download this free printable. You can even get creative and use it to decide which characters and scenes to keep in your book.
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