I don’t know who first said the statement, “When you are enjoying life, time flies by,” but time and time again I find myself looking back on an experience and wondering what it was that I just went through. It’s sometimes sad how we at times look so forward to something for so long, a vacation to the Bahamas, a friends wedding, a first day, yet as soon as it’s over, we forget about all of the nervousness and excitement we had. We finish the event and then brush it aside as if it was another “typical” day. Why is this? How can we cast things off that are sometimes supposed to have such significance in our lives? What is more, how can we learn to cherish those moments, not only after it has ended but while we are in the moment? Now while I’m not tying to suggest that everyone feels this way about every memorable event, I do believe that most people have experienced that feeling of belittling. I applaud those that can reflect on their experience while they are in the moment, whether through blogging, personal journaling or even by tweeting or facebook, partly becuase I understand how difficult it is.
Last summer I was able to take a trip abroad for school and I made it a point to keep a journal of my experience each day so that I could not only reflect on my experiences but also be able to recall and talk about them to my friends and family who would inevitably ask the question, “So what did you do in Europe?”. I must admit though, it was no easy to sit down each day and to be honest I was playing ‘catch-up’ most of my trip, spending daily “quiet-writing-time” recalling the events of the day before, sometimes two or three days before that. At one point in my trip, I was so busy working that I neglected my writings for three or four days, but it did make up for it with a 8 to 10 page entry later on. I found that this was the hardest challenge next to the initial motivation to start; the motivation to continue and sustain. When it was all said and done, I was able to pull the now torn and somewhat ragged book out my bag that was riddled with stickers, postcards, coins, sketches and misspellings and display it as my personal memoir of a trip that has significantly influenced my life. I don’t know if my experience would have been any different had I not journaled, but I do know that looking back it was by far the most important souvenir I brought back. I look forward to the day where my children or grandchildren find the book in some dusty suitcase in an attic somewhere and read about the adventures and thoughts that I had. Maybe that is the true purpose of journaling and reflecting in the moment, not so you can look back and recall all of the fond memories, but so others can as well.
The beginning of the end…I guess to some it might be too late to begin reflecting about this experience.
They might be right, but then again it’s not really for us.