AS THE JOURNAL TURNS
DAYS OF MY LIFE
20 March 2002
It's hard to believe, but today I will join the ranks of those journalers who can add
"two years ago" to their current entry. Yes, today is the second anniversary of Funny
the World. Moving into the third year of daily journaling must be some sort of
accomplishment. I've skipped a day or two here and there, mostly when traveling, but for
all intents and purposes, this has been a daily journal.
It seems like only yesterday, and yet it seems like I've been doing this forever. How
life can change in 730 days.
When I started this journal, the country was at peace. We were complacent in the
knowedge that "it couldn't happen here." People felt secure. Smug. Now we know
it can happen here and it's a different world than it was when I first started
writing this journal.
But on a bit more personal note, it's been an interesting two years of growth and
self-discovery. Shortly after I began this journal, I started on Weight Watchers (the
last time I started--and then stopped). I began keeping lists of activities and food on
the journal, and then got embarrassed when I wasn't able to stick with the program and
that brought about a design change in the journal itself.
In the early days of this journal--the second entry, in fact--I
talked about how Peggy and I would spend our mornings sitting at our computers on opposite
sides of the world, both watching lions and elephants in Africa through Africam, and
discussing what we were seeing through IM chats. Africam seems to be defunct now, and
Peggy and I have moved into a different relationship through her visit here in 2000. It makes a
lovely difference when a computer friend becomes a real face to face part of your life.
My emotional ups and downs were played out on these pages over the past two years. On Father's Day in 2000, I poured
out all of my feelings about my father and found that by the end of the entry, I was able
to forgive him for the things I'd been holding on to since his death. At the time it
seemed like a nice effect written for the journal, but I have discovered since that entry
that I really did put all of the old baggage behind me and I have the journal to
thank for that.
The entry which received the most reaction was "Speaking Ill of the Dead."
It was a controversial entry, which I wrote to try and let Ned know that despite all the
good things I wrote about Paul, I understood that Paul wasn't the easiest person to live
with and that I really didn't mean to "canonize" him after his death. It was a
difficult entry for the family to read, but ultimately it was a good thing to have done. I
used the journal to express things that I was having difficulty saying publicly. It was
very gratifying the number of emails I received from people who, through that entry, found
permission to admit to the shortcomings of people they knew who had died.
There have been, of course, a lot of mood swings over coming to terms with the loss of
both Paul and David. It has been very therapeutic to be able to pour feelings out here,
and the support I've had has been very helpful.
But there has been more "up" than "down" in the past two years. My
life has changed in many ways, some of which have been detailed here, some not. I
interviewed for an got a job,
after 5 years without working. It was fun to have the adjustments of a job to record here
(it's all journal material, dontcha know!)
I became a theatre critic
after starting this journal, and my first stumbling attempts at writing reviews were
posted for all to see.
I also got serious about taking control of my life and getting my body healthy. With
each milestone, the reaction from all of you guys who read this has been like having my
own personal cheering section. It keeps me going.
In joining the journaling community, I opened myself to meeting new people (even though
we are really all shy people who like to hide behind our computer monitors!) I've
detailed, in these pages, my meeting(s) with SecraTerri and David, with Sunshyn, and with the group of No.
California journalists who met at the
home of our favorite bitter Hag.
Thanks to a laptop computer and cyber cafes, I've been able to keep the journal going
through many trips--to Boston to
watch Jeri receive an award and conduct an orchestra playing one of her own compositions;
to Washington, DC to meet Tipper
Gore and for a gay rights march; to Seattle to visit my friend Diane, first with Peggy and then by
myself for the Skagit County Tulip
Festival (a trip I will be repeating in a few weeks); two trips to England, one of
which originated on that fateful day, September 11, 2001. Writing this journal in the aftermath of 9/11 was cathartic and was my
link to the world back home.
I did a lot of volunteering for Breaking Barriers and became friends with Priscilla, who has made many
appearances here. Readers of this journal developed kind feelings for her and helped make
two of her Christmases very special, when she was saddled with her grandchildren
unexpectedly. (I haven't seen her in awhile, by the way. We talked on the telephone a
couple of weeks ago. She's still fighting the fight to get custody of her mother and she
is managing to hold her own health-wise. Worry about her mother was almost a tonic for
her, and though we had no hope of her living this long, she is determined to live long
enough to take care of her mother.)
It has been an artistically and personally rewarding two years. I love doing this
journal. I am pleased and humbled that I have a group of regular readers, and that they
take time to write when something I say hits them the right way.
So I look forward to starting Journal Year #3. I'm here for the duration.
Thank all of you for being there with and for me.