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I am blessed to have many good friends that I have known for a long, long time. They can best be described as falling into a couple of different groups, one of which I refer to as the “Delta Drama Gang” because we got acquainted when we attended San Joaquin Delta College in the mid-1970’s and participated in the drama program there. We performed together in numerous productions before transferring to four-year colleges, getting married, and establishing ourselves professionally. We have wonderful shared memories — and a few photographs — about those crazy times.

In recent years, we have made a deliberate attempt to be better at staying in touch and spending time together, a direct reaction to losing a couple of our members far too early.

I know that I am getting older, as evidenced by the increasing frequency with which I have “senior moments.” Those are the very frustrating times when I simply cannot remember something — usually it is a name, but it could be a date, occurrence, or even appointment if I neglect to note it on my calendar. Last year, I apparently had a major “senior moment” and my friends are still teasing me about it.

The first time I got serious about writing in a diary was when I was in high school. I had a good friend named Kathy who was a gifted artist. She carried a sketch book everywhere she went in which she not only logged quick pencil sketches of anything and everything, but also wrote about daily events and her feelings, thoughts, and dreams. She was eccentric and introspective, so when she urged me to begin writing in a diary each day, I complied.

And for several years, I recorded details about anyone and anything in my life. However, I eventually became too busy and fell out of the habit and when I went away to college, I left several volumes of journals behind. I distinctly recall the day I was home for a visit and my mother asked me to sort out some of my belongings so that she could make use of some shelf space. I was horrified to realize that my journals were still here in my parents’ house and wondered if my mother had read any of the entries. Rather than take those diaries back to my apartment with me, I ripped them up and threw away the pieces (we did not have shredders in those days). At the time, I thought the detail I had recorded so diligently about my high school days and the couple of years immediately following was pretentiously immature and would hold no interest for me in the ensuing years.

Boy, was I wrong! Because if I had those diaries now and could refer back to them, I could prove to my friends that I never had a crush on our friend Steven. They insist that I did which would have been ridiculous because, even then, it was common knowledge that I would never be his “type.” We were simply very good friends and spent a lot of time together, so I think that our friends merely misinterpreted the parameters of our relationship.

Increasingly-frequent “senior moments” prohibit me from remembering many of the details about those 18-hour days spent attending classes after which every evening and weekend was devoted to rehearsing the latest production.

But a crush on one of my best friends? A core member of our precious little gang? Surely I would remember that, right?

If only I hadn’t destroyed those old journals . . .

Do you maintain a diary? How long have you been writing in a jounral? Have you ever destroyed an entire or portion of a diary? If so, why?


  1. I kept a diary (a series of them actually) from about ages 19-23, a time in my life when I was partying heavily and madly in love with my best friend who I spent a ton of time with but never truely told her how I felt. So I wrote it down. Many years later, I suppose when I was about 38, I destroyed all of the diaries. I had re-read them many times over the years and as I got older I got further removed from those days, and I just wanted that chapter of my life gone, so I destroyed them. Technically I just threw them away so I suppose someone could have found them and is writing a screenplay…

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  2. It is a desire I wish I can be consistent with. Unfortunately, I often forget or will I say am too lazy to keep to it. However, it is always a great pleasure, whenever I go over old entries in my scantly filled diaries. It is a good practice to keep a diary. Thanks for sharing your experience. Cheers.

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  3. I’ve kept journals since we moved here to Hawaii 20 years ago. We’re going to be moving to the mainland and I’m faced with the decision of what to do with those journals. Having looked through them recently, there is nothing of real importance, mostly my adjusting to living 3000 miles from family and my weight loss efforts. Don’t know what I’m going to do with them yet.

  4. I have a yearly calendar planner, it has two pages per day. plenty of room to jot down important things I don’t want to forget. After the year is over I do a recap and jot the very important things down before tossing out the calendar. Why do I keep doing this lol. I came across three journals My great grandfather kept and they are so interesting. Would tell how he walked to town on certain days, he always kept track of the weather. Here I am reading those journals from 1915 in total awe

  5. Diary writing is a good thing it facilitates the person to plan the things in before and in orderly way to execute it .It may even serve the persons to review the happenings

  6. Janie,
    I can relate to this one. I have kept journals since I was 13. I ended up destroying the ones from my early teens because they were legible to others. The ones I kept only I can read! Hopefully, when the senior moments increase, they will bail me out!

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  7. Ruchir @ Colorado Lasik Laser Eye Surgery

    I actually maintain a digital diary. Use the software The Journal. It just rocks. Automatic backups, you can store any data into your diary. It’s awesome. I’ve been journaling since about 6 months.

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