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I’ve kept a diary/small journal for 30 years and decided this year will be my last one. Do any other grans keep one? 📖

(90 Posts)
Urmstongran Thu 25-Feb-21 16:13:07

I was having a sort out this morning. I came across my box of diaries. The first one is 1991. I very rarely reread them. Occasionally they’ve been handy to look something up. But writing in it last night I thought ‘what’s the point’?

Our youngest daughter was at junior school when I started and she is a 40 year old teacher herself now!

I’ve decided to carry on for this year, then when I’m no longer adding to ‘The Collection’ I might riffle through some of them, have a laugh, shed a tear and bin them.

Do any of you keep a diary? I don’t mean ones that jot down hair and dental appointments. They’d be easy to chuck out each New Year! I mean ones expressing your inner feelings.

Actually I’m glad I’ve made a decision. I’ve been wondering for a while why I still write in one and why I bother.

AGAA4 Thu 25-Feb-21 16:19:12

I still write a line or two most days. I have found them useful if I want to remember something that happened a while ago.
They don't express my inner feelings much but more about what is happening with family, friends and the wider world.

It would be a pity to throw them out Urmstongran. Part of your past.

Pantglas2 Thu 25-Feb-21 16:22:49

How spooky Urmstongran- I’ve just been sorting the cupboard where my diaries/journals from 1973-1995 are kept!

Since 1996 I’ve only bothered with small appointment type ones - no deep thoughts and pondering, but I’ve got all those as well!

I might get DH to burn them in our fire pit one winter whilst cooking a few sausages- about all the use they are to anyone!

I did ask DD if she wanted them and she sighed, shook her head and said she’d be too bored......

DanniRae Thu 25-Feb-21 16:25:31

Oh yes I keep a diary and have done for many years.....if I don't get around to burning them before I depart this life some people are going to get quite a shock!

Chestnut Thu 25-Feb-21 16:32:58

I am the original diary fanatic. I have one for 1965 (aged 15) and then from 1968 until now, thus spanning over six decades. I have never been able to throw them out.
They are just pocket diaries but have a note for the day, usually what happened that day that made it different from other days. I've tried to avoid hairdresser, dentist etc.
As you say, Urmstongran, it is so useful to be able to check something from years ago and I love that. Those diaries are my life!
My children will be interested to read the years when they were born and when they were small. There may be something they would really like to know. So I don't think you should throw yours out, let your children have them for that reason.

Bodach Thu 25-Feb-21 16:34:15

I used to have a small collection of my childhood diaries - which I invariably received as a Christmas present from one or another of my adoring Aunties. Sadly, none of the diaries included any entries beyond (at best) mid February. And most entries from mid January consisted only of the immortal words "Usual schoolday". Talk about deathless prose...

Urmstongran Thu 25-Feb-21 16:36:45

Bodach 😂😂

Chestnut Thu 25-Feb-21 16:38:04

I should add, that just because your children don't show any interest in family heirlooms, diaries, letters or whatever, it doesn't mean they never will. People change as they get older, and they may think very differently once you have died. Suddenly everything that belonged to you becomes very precious. I know that's how I felt when my parents died.

chloe1984 Thu 25-Feb-21 16:45:23

Have kept a diary ever since I retired about twelve years ago. I find writing down my thoughts and feelings very therapeutic also helps to know it rained in March 8 years ago😂

crazyH Thu 25-Feb-21 16:46:28

Yes I have always kept a diary and entered every detail meticulously. During the final years of my marriage there some very sad and difficult entries. So 2 years ago I destroyed all my diaries as I didn’t want to read and re-live everything. Neither did I want my children to read them. I still keep a diary but the entries are very mundane and probably won’t hurt anyone....hmmmmm.....I wonder 🤔

timetogo2016 Thu 25-Feb-21 16:49:34

I did Urmstongran,untill i re-read them and realised what a prat i have been by letting xdh treat me like shit all year round.
And very few good times with him.
But family entries always made me smile.
I stopped around 20 years ago.

Urmstongran Thu 25-Feb-21 17:06:03

Actually I feel somewhat liberated now I’ve made the decision that this year’s diary is THE LAST ONE.

I can leave them stuffed in the box and decide what to do with them (if anything) at a later date. I’m just not adding to the pile.

They would take up hours of reading time to go through them all.

Funny isn’t it how some of us keep a journal and others don’t? I blame my love of stationery ....
And a nice pen.
And sitting quietly with my thoughts at the end of a day.

But now, I’m just done.

paddyanne Thu 25-Feb-21 17:19:13

I set fire to mine a few years ago,I'd been keeping them since I was in high school.To be honest I wouldn't have liked other people to read my teenage angst and self doubt .Or my musings in the dead of night when I sat and watched my babies sleep .It was personal and I liked reading it and remembering but I'm more a look forward than look back type so they went in the big fire along with some old photos and letters from old flames .I'm not sorry I did it .

Blossoming Thu 25-Feb-21 17:30:06

Odd that I just spotted this thread right after I realised that 2021 is the first year I haven’t bought a Moleskine diary!

TwiceAsNice Thu 25-Feb-21 17:40:51

I started writing one the year my grandchildren were born in 2009. The first entry is about us waiting to hear when we new DD1 was going into hospital for her Caesarian as one of the twins was breech and the other transverse. They are 11 and Im still writing. Sometimes it is about them , mostly about our family and including them and occasionally about me and close friends. There’s detail about family members/ occasions. Lots about birthdays/Christmases/holidays and other special occasions. The early ones are about their milestones and funny expressions etc. I have re- read them occasionally . The daughters joke about what I am saying when they watch me writing . I hope the grandchildren will be interested when they are older. I have no pre 2009 diaries didn’t have time to write

muse Thu 25-Feb-21 17:49:24

For the latter part of my first marriage I kept a note book. This was an outlet for my worries and stress. I'd date the entries. I didn't need the note books any more after 1st January 1990, the day I walked away from him.

2019 was a difficult year so I bought a diary for 2020 and have one for this year. As back in the 1980s, I find writing down my emotions very cathartic and therapeutic. 2021 is having more positive entries smile.

Calendargirl Thu 25-Feb-21 17:50:37

Have kept a 5 year diary from being ten years old. I’m now 68.

Useful to check certain things back, as long as you have an idea when to search for.

Some happy writings, some very sad, some plain daft!

Don’t think I want them read after I die, certain private thoughts, but also a lot of ‘rain today, didn’t get washing dry’ type of stuff.

Urmstongran Thu 25-Feb-21 18:05:40

muse 💐

twiceasnice I suppose writing a diary about your grandchildren per se is a wholly different concept. You are noting down events probably in the hope that at some time in the future your little ones (who will be big ones at your demise, hopefully) will want to read them. Some part of you will be mindful of that whilst you are jotting stuff down. I had no such thoughts with 11 y.o. And a 14 y.o. daughters. In fact to be honest I don’t even know what might be in them.

Family dramas (not too many thankfully and we’ve survived), a few sad times (who hasn’t) and my emotions... teenage girls, boyfriends - suitable and unsuitable ... luckily the unsuitables didn’t survive the relationships!

paddyanne I’m glad you’ve no regrets about getting rid of all yours. It’s given me optimism!

I feel lighter knowing I’m not going to continue. Silly really. I like things to be ordered - well, in my mind.
Still #lazygran!

It’s cathartic know I’ve made a decision.

God, this is like a ‘Dear Diary’ entry in itself! You can see what I’m like ... thank you for reading (my nonsense) & responding.


seacliff Thu 25-Feb-21 18:08:15

When my Dad died 10 years ago I was then an orphan, and it hit me really badly. I derived a lot of comfort from rereading Dad's diaries over the years. It was not his innermost thoughts but the mundane details of our lives, very comforting to almost hear my Dad's voice through the pages. I kept dipping in to them for about a year, it helped me get through that first stage of loss

I suspect that future generations will not write diaries much at all, now they all have smartphones. It's a shame really as they are quite historical documents..

GreyKnitter Thu 25-Feb-21 18:17:23

I have kept a diary at various stages in my life and probably for different reasons each time. My first diary was when I was getting married for the first time back in the mid 70’s. I recorded everything - my thoughts and feelings plus the practical stuff - nothing x rated I promise! I then kept a diary for a while when a long term relationship came to an end and I found myself single and living on my own in my 50’s. A couple of years ago I kept a detailed diary of the awful break up between my daughter and her now ex. I was her listening ear and I kept such a close record as I hoped it would help me to cope from a long way away and maybe help when her abusive husband was taken to court - he never was - never quite crossed the line enough. I’ve also been keeping a diary since we went into lockdown last year - we isolated yourselves a week or so before the national lockdown began. I’m still keeping this one and hope that it may be of interest one day when we all look back in these strange times. I think the first three diaries are destined for the bonfire before I pop my clogs.

grannyactivist Thu 25-Feb-21 18:24:31

I have notebooks all over the place - I usually have about four on the go at any one time - and I jot down all sorts of random things in them. My diaries detail my work and home life, with an occasional odd musing, but nothing to make me blush. When I finally retire (if I can ever get anyone to replace me!) I look forward to burning the lot.

Grany Thu 25-Feb-21 18:25:42

I would say it's a good idea as it gets your thoughts down and can remember them they come to mind in a conversation and you can speak of things as you remember and can recall your thoughts.

I always mean to have a diary to write in for those reasons but as yet haven't got around to it ha.

Urmstongran Thu 25-Feb-21 18:27:33

Aw seacliff that’s a lovely story to hear - how your father’s diaries brought you comfort. I do agree with you that with today’s technology and ‘time poor’ adults - always so so busy - that diary keeping might well be a dying occupation.

GreyKnitter that’s really interesting to know that you kept diaries more mindfully at different stages of your life. Good to reflect that your daughter escaped her abusive ex. However your ‘lockdown diary’ might well be a keeper. Just chuck the others. When you’re ready.

Jaxjacky Thu 25-Feb-21 18:53:00

As a family, we inherited Mum’s, they just sit in a loft, a lot of days record the weather, others detail holidays, the only very sad entries are when my dear old Dad was dying. To be honest, I can see them going. Far more interesting are her ledgers, detailing her daily spend, down to every pack of chewing gum, fascinating piece of history.

Urmstongran Thu 25-Feb-21 18:59:58

Now don’t be giving me ideas Jaxjacky for when I’m no longer writing in a diary....