(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ... though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
'Memories are special moments that tell our story.'
"What? I didn't know that? When did we do that?" My youngest daughter was totally mystified. We'd just enjoyed an extended family dinner and my kids had started talking about some of the activities and fun that we had enjoyed as a family when they were young. We laughed a little since we'd had this discussion on previous occasions. As the youngest, there were often things that she had forgotten, memories that she had been too young to take in and remember.
'Every day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.'
Family memories are important. There are so many lessons and truths that are a part of learning and growing together. But memories are fickle. While some loom large and bright there are others that remain tucked into little recesses of our mind, lost and forgotten. Every so often, a comment or a photo or even a smell will pry those forgotten recollections out into the light. While it's great to remember those fun family activities, those special moments that matter, it's also great to share them with your kids and your grandkids.
'Memories are the key, not to the past, but to the future.'
Why start a journal?
As you probably know, journaling is the practice of writing down your thoughts and feelings in a book, similar to a diary. As a grandma, a journal serves a special purpose. It provides the opportunity to journal about your life, your grandchildren, the quality time you spend with them and your family, faith and life lessons you've learned, and the ways you seek to build a legacy of faith for your kids.
There are many ways to journal and many different types of journals, from keeping a gratitude journal you write in just 5 minutes a day, to choosing something more complex like a bullet journal.
Why start now?
While it is great to use a journal during any time of the year, there are some unique benefits to starting one in the new year. A new year feels like a new start, where you feel like you can start over, be better, and do better. This is why many New Year's resolutions are about getting healthier, being more organised, or trying to keep up with your personal and professional obligations.
But what better time to begin a Grandma's Legacy Journal! You might want to focus on those great times you spend with your grandkids and family building connection and creating memories. You might like to create your journal as a gratitude journal of those daily moments that matter for you and your grandkids. You could also create your journal as a comparison of your childhood memories and present day family life.
What do you include?
Many important events, both good and bad, happen in our lives, but unfortunately our minds can't capture every single one of those experiences. As a grandma, journaling is a great way to record your own significant memories, including life milestones such as a graduation, births of your children, buying a first home, reaching a certain age, or becoming a grandma. Journal about the fun times with your grandkids, the funny things they do, the food they love (and hate), the book they want you to read to them over and over again.
What does creating a journal achieve?
A journal provides the opportunity to record your life and tell your life-story to your family. While it's important for you, it's equally important for your kids, keeping track of those important family memories- those moments that matter. Keeping a journal has also been found to increase your creativity.
If you’ve never considered keeping a journal, reconsider today.
It's a sad fact that we don't remember all events equally. We tend to remember bad things more clearly than good things, and our emotional responses to events can change the way that we remember them over time. You can avoid that problem by writing things down in your journal and looking through them later.
It will help you paint a picture of events as they really happened, which can give you valuable perspective on the balance of good and bad things in your life. It's just like looking at history to get a better grasp on how well the world is doing at the moment, but at a personal level.
Your journal can also help if you find yourself getting discouraged when you try new things. That often happens when people focus on their failures and ignore their successes. If you write down your victories as they happen, you will get a clear record of your success. Sometimes, growing old can be discouraging. A journal can help you track everything- experiences, lessons learned, failures and triumphs- and help you remember all those things you have achieved. That will act as proof that you can succeed at things, and looking at that proof will be a powerful motivator when you feel discouraged in life.
It is a really amazing way to keep track of your New Year's resolutions or new habits that you may aim to develop, too, no matter what they are, so that alone is a good reason to start your journal now.
Still with me? Convinced? Well.. you may be wondering just how to start.
Here are a few great suggestions for your new journal:
Check out the following ideas but don't just stick with these. There are other options and ideas that may suit you. Just decide your needs, and what is the most comfortable and convenient format for your needs.
1. Grandma's Memory Journal
Most people forget things far more often than they realise. Keeping a journal will give you an opportunity to take notes on your life while you still remember things clearly. You can check back and add more details later. At a practical level, this will make sure that you can remember any good ideas that you have for when you have time to pursue them. At an emotional level, it will keep a record of the good times in your life so that you can look back on them when things are a little bit harder. And it will be a practical way to share your memories, life lessons and moments that matter with your family.
Use your journal to boost your memory and create a journal that becomes a legacy to pass on to your children and grandkids. This is the traditional type of legacy journal- and it's a wonderful family legacy to hand down to your kids and grandkids. You can buy a simple notebook or one of the the beautiful writing journals available in newsagents or bookstores. You can also find journals that are specifically designed as legacy journals and often include questions or ideas to prompt your writing and help you include meaningful recollections and family content. (see samples below)
Get started now with a FREE journal.. Just click the image below to download your copy of this Grandma's Memory Journal from AtGrandmasPlace. You'll find 30+ lined pages. Print and slip into a folder, ring binder or take to the printers for spinal binding.
2. A Day with Grandma Legacy Journal
Want to lose a few kilos or start a new business? How about something simple like, cooking biscuits for your grandkids. Writing down personal goals, including step by step lists of how to reach those goals, combining a planner with a journal, is a great way to make use of a journal in the new year. Even favourite family recipes and when you prepare them is a great memory and a wonderful feature to include in your journal How about how you spend your day? What about recording your creative talent? Here's a journal that you can use that will do all that and more.
3. Grandma's Gratitude Journal
In the midst of life's challenges, maintaining a journal listing of all the things you have to be grateful for can be especially helpful. But hardship or trials aren't required to keep such a list; jotting down expressions of gratitude, no matter how small, on a daily or weekly basis can help keep life in perspective through good times as well as bad.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have amassed a body of research on the benefits of gratitude exercises. Being grateful can be an incredible way to cope with stress, making you more resilient to begin with when facing stressors.
There are simple strategies to nurture and increase feelings of gratitude in yourself, which can be easily be incorporated into your daily schedule by taking 5 minutes each day to document your progress in a gratitude journal.
And these journal entries are a wonderful part of your legacy to share with your family.
4. Grandma's Journal of Quotes
Kids say such funny things. They mix up words. They mispronounce words. They say things that are cute, endearing and sometimes, amazing. Although we often think that we will never forget a funny or cute memory, sadly, we do- often. Get in the habit of writing them down in a journal so you can reflect on them whenever you need or want.
Don't just stick to kids' quotes. There are a wealth of memories built into simple yet meaningful, or humorous, comments made by family. Take time to record these in your Journal of Family Quotes.
5. Grandma's Bible Journal
A Bible journal is another option that you might like to consider. This style of legacy journal involves a journal Bible with areas for writing or art journaling to record, illustrate and share your inspiration, ideas and memories. It's a wonderful way to create a legacy, not just of memories and experiences, but also how verses and Bible passages became real in your life. While the life stories of Bible characters unfold, your own journal entries can show God's love, care and protection within your life and your family. This makes a legacy journal that has special meaning for you and your family. You can write your story within God's Bible story.
Check out theIncourage Devotion Bible. This journal Bible provides plenty of space for your journaling at the bottom of each page. There is also a Bible art journaling kit available to use with this devotion Bible if you want to illustrate and write your legacy.
Oh.. and for something a little different, check out below for a sketching/journaling idea for those of you who are artistic and like to include a bit more of just who you are in your legacy journal- Draw your Day and include journaling for an amazing creative legacy journal. See below/
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself. If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.