Sunday, December 30, 2007

Unexpected Journaling

I'm a complex combination of packrat and not-a-packrat. I hate clutter and love shelves and organizational systems. If everything has a place to go when it is not in use, then I'm happy, even if there's a lot of it and it is not always in it's place. On the other hand, I've grown ever fonder of the idea of a small house with very little stuff in it. Back to the first hand, I habitually save stuff. Doesn't make much sense, I know.
I'm good at purging stuff that has outlived its usefulness, like clothes and shoes and out of date decor, etc, but memorabilia, specifically anything that has a connection to a certain moment or a relationship, is really difficult for me to give up.
This morning, I had some time and got to work on my routine email purge. I save a lot of it because I have a computer with a huge hard drive and it doesn't really take up that much space. It just looks scary to have a 4 digit number of messages hanging around. As I filtered out the true junk mail and then got down to the personal emails from human beings I actually know, an interesting pattern emerged. It was a kind of journal. Each message brought back a particular memory, surprised me by causing me to realize how short my memory is (I thought that happened in 06, not 05...) and formed a sort of narrative of my life. I think what I am going to do now is, when I sort and file my emails, I'm going to have a folder for "journal" emails that pinpoint a place in time or offer insight into an event or emotion. My story is not big or exciting or made up of dramatic events, it is a million little things. Here is one more way to record some of them.


  1. Good plan! Now that Jake made me my email book, I am so sad I didn't keep all his emails too! That's a good idea.

  2. Wow, what a good idea! I don't know if I have such great emails though... I will have to look back and see (:

  3. You find such great ways to follow the advice we're given from our church leaders with little effort! Those are tons of emails! How fun to go back and read them.

  4. I hear you on balking when it comes to parting with memorabilia. I still have letters and cards I received as a child and they are a treasure to me.

    Sounds like you've got a great plan. It would be fun to make a book like Cami's Jake did for her, just to have a hard copy you could put on your book shelf.

    I'm sad that I stayed away from your blog for a whole month, but it was a pretty crazy month. I couldn't comment on everything I wanted to, but I'm back now! :)

  5. We did this with our emails back and forth while we were dating/engaged and I'm SOO happy to have them! Jared even printed them ALL and put them into 3-ring binders. It really is a precious journal to me if not to anyone else of that special time in our lives. I'm glad that you have found a good way of hanging onto those emails!

  6. that is a fabulous idea. somewhere I saved all my correspondence from my freshman year at BYU, the first year i'd ever used email. but I never printed it and have no idea how to get the Eudora .mbx file into text to format.


Thank you for sharing your insights!