I always thought that I made it through my teens better off than many, thanks to my dedicated journal writing practise. Every night, propped up on my bed, I bared my soul through pen to page after page of my one-year diary, until I’d covered or uncovered it all. It “all” was the musing of a teen-aged girl, trying to understand herself, her relationships and life, or sometimes just the happenings of a single day.
And then I quit. Whether I thought I had life all figured out or maybe connected with a friend deemed more trustworthy than my journal, I decided to retire my writing ambitions and put my journals aside.
By the time I was a thirty-something mom, I’d lost touch with who I was. It was only by returning to journaling that I regained my sense of self, became clear on my family priorities and reconnected with my inner writer. Proof, once again, that the journal is a powerful tool.
This time I didn’t let it drop. Instead, I felt so strongly about the benefits of journal writing that, in 2003, I became certified as an instructor of Journal to the Self ®. I knew I wanted to help others benefit from the tools Kathleen Adams outlined in her book of the same name.
In 2011, My Course Changed
But, it was 2011, that set me on this course to share legacy writing through the use of journaling tools. I can’t think of much that didn’t change for me that year. It started with the passing of my mother-in-law in February, followed by my dog and my dad in June and my mom in July. In April of that same year, I quit my full-time job as a financial advisor’s assistant to travel with my husband to his temporary contract locations for six months each year. This was a decision in favour of our relationship but it expedited the empty nest syndrome for me. I’d actually moved out on my kids and left my entire support system at home.
I’m not going to lie. The first three years of this lifestyle were a struggle. But, starting with one of Kay Adams’ women’s writing retreats, I recommitted to my love of writing. Then I started working with the gifts of my parent’s writing while reflecting on their lives and my life so far. I’ve emerged on the other side of this overwhelming transition as a legacy facilitator, having worked with Rachael Freed author of Women’s Lives, Women’s Legacies, and a journal-writing instructor on a mission to connect family through writing.
If you are interested in reading about those transitional years – the empty nest, what I call “my temporary life” or family legacy – and the people who have supported me through it all, you can check out my blog at kathiostrom.com
So, here we are at writinglifematters.com and the next chapter of my life. Welcome!
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