This is my favorite Kenny Rogers song, and it’s perfect for today. I have written in my journal everyday for the last 20 years. I wrote 5-6 times per week for the eight months prior, and a few times in high school. I really started to write in the MTC when I started my mission. When I was in Lucca, my first city, I met JD Smith. He used to draw things and put things in his journal, which seemed like a good idea. I included post cards from every city, some bus and train tickets and other souvenirs. I wanted to be able to see what things were like in Italy during that time period. One day I was riding my bike when I heard a loud noise and something hit me in the chest. Two cars traveling in opposite directions were too close and their sideview mirrors hit, sending glass in my direction. I saved the piece of glass and cut the bottom edges out of my journal so I could include the glass and still close my journal. I was in Belluno when I finally got sick of writing about what I did the previous day and decided to commit to writing every day. And here we are. This picture is of my bookcase containing my journals.
I have heard a lot of people tell me that they don’t have anything interesting to write, but I don’t believe them. My entries aren’t always exciting, but that’s because I lead a real live. I would love to travel the world and save the day like Jason Bourne or James Bond, but unfortunately I am neither of those people. I wake up tired, sometimes I shave my head, I drive a car with over 100,000 miles, I try to exercise everyday, I love dessert and junkfood, and I hate the cold weather in Utah. My life isn’t that exciting, but I know it’s important to record what I do, think and feel. I want my posterity, especially my kids, to know the smart, stupid and funny things I’ve done. I want them to celebrate my triumphs and mourn my failures. I want them to know that it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them and repent when necessary.
This Kenny Rogers song is also important to me because I am at the point in my life when I am looking back 20 years ago and remembering how things used to be.
If you don’t keep a journal, I encourage you to start. I promise you will not regret it. For those of you who have done it for 15 years, I welcome you to the circle of trust. You know who you are.