Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Lesson From a Diary

 I noticed and read with interest as different bloggers decided to start their new year with a one word affirmation for 2013.

My word is "LESS".

Why such a strange choice - certainly different from the "bravery", "comfort", "family" and others?

I bought a diary from 1940 at an estate sale written by a high school girl reflecting on what was important to her and realized my life was too complicated, and I consumed more than my share on this planet.

For 2013, I have decided to pare down in what I purchase, what treasures I save (HARD!), what I stress about, and what is not essential to the well-being of our family.  Of course, there will be the forever resolutions of less weight, less reasons to not exercise, and less conflict at home.  My husband has made a conscious effort to join me - he is working on less criticism of others.  

The two of us have stuck to our LESS so far and it seems easy at times, but I know something will pop up, and we might squander our resolution for a few days.  Unfortunately for those of you who read this blog, I did not include less of my terrible photography or less of my rambling posts.  I will, however, keep you informed of my journey.

Back to this diary - a small look at a young girl's life in 1940 in Columbia, SC.  It is a five year diary, but she only made it until September of the first year.  Better than I did when writing in a diary.

Note the plea "Please don't read my diary" added to the top of the page.

"Memory is Elusive - Capture It"  is printed at the top of the second page.

 I love the look of the typography throughout the pages.  Here are four of the calendars for the five years.

For most of the year she went out with Fitz.

At the picture show, Fitz tried to put his arm around her, "but noooooo!"

There are several entries about what Fitz tried and every time she said no.

In the back of the diary is a section for special events to remember.  

"I want to remember Fitz A. liked me from Feb.18, 1940 to May 9, 1940."

Throughout the May entries were suspicions that Fitz was seeing three other girls.

On May 9th she wrote "I still love Fitz."

You can faintly see in pencil on this page that love did not last.  She wrote,  "I now like Cotsie Pinky.  June 12, 1940"  

Another memorandum is about her Uncle Roudolf's death.  At one time there appears to have been a pressed flower on this page, but it has been lost.

In the diary, she devotes several pages to the sudden death of her uncle and the effects on her family.

The last entry on September 15, she writes of beginning a new year at school with some of the same teachers.  

Gretchen lived a simple life of going to the picture shows, dancing, listening to music, and enjoying the company of her friends.

Less truly can be more.  

Those of you wondering what happened to me the last few weeks may be interested to know that hard drives can and will die!  Mine started by not knowing who I was.  Every time I started up, it was like a new computer right out of the box.  My nephew determined that on December 17, at 9:16 PM, my hard drive began its slow descent.  Luckily my genius nephew, Ferris, took it home with him and restored 99% of what I had stored on it.  I am back and glad to be here.  I really missed all of you.

By the way, there really are withdrawal pains when you have no access to a computer!

See y'all!

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  1. I love your word Donna - and what a great find that Diary was - what a time capsule!
    So happy you're back!

  2. Great to have you back, Donna! Wouldn't it be amazing if somehow someone who knows this person happens to read your posts? I'm curious Donna. Did you buy that as part of a group of stuff or did you by the diary separate? Also, what do you plan on doing with it other that posting this great piece on how it has inspired you to be more frugal?

    1. Please excuse my spelling. I should re-read what I wrote, first. It's buy the diary . . .

  3. Hey Donna, that diary is such a fun find. I am definitely working on making do with less....have been working on it for awhile, actually. Problem is I love to recreate things, which requires a few supplies on hand! Getting better at recognizing what I might use and what is truly junk though. Have a great day.

  4. Such a great word, one that I know I would benefit from.

    Oh what's that, I've got to go to rehearsal? Hmmm, well maybe next month! LOL

  5. I really enjoyed this post and reading through the old diary. Such precious words. I still have my five year diary from my early teens around here somewhere:-)

  6. I love this! Such a treasure!

    Happy New Year from your newest follower!

  7. Great word. Love the diary. Makes you think about a much simpler life. Not sure if we could make it in this ole world without or internet. It just isn't fun without all our BFF Bloggers. :) Glad you are back and look forward to more post for the 2013 year. I guess if you think about it, our blogs are the 21st century Diaries. At least mine is. :)

  8. Hey Donna;
    I am so glad that you are back, as I Love your Blog so much. Thank-You for sharing the Antique Diary with us, as it sounds so interesting.
    I cant wait to see what else you have been working on, lately!!!
    Take Care :-)

  9. Yes Donna ... you have been missed. Just had been wondering what you had been up to, but everyone has been extra busy. Love your blog about the diary and how you have been inspired to make 2013 a better year. I am working on mine too ... hoping to slow down and purge a lot of this stuff that I have been collecting for so many years.
    Blessings and good luck.
    Audrey z.
    Timeless Treasures

  10. What a great treasure. I fondly remember writing similar moments in my diary (but it was in the late 60's - '70's). The "good ol' days" when life was simpler...

  11. What a fun buy! OH my when putting an arm around a girl was something. So very different from today!

  12. I read with rapt attention, as I bet you did, about the girl and Fitz and her new love Cotsie. Oh, how I love an old diary. I so wish I had mine from when I was like 9, 10 or 11. I remember that after pouring out my heart about my love for Kenny whatever his name was (I'd have taken he or his brother who was equally as cute - you can see how deep my love ran) that I later ripped those pages out and burned them in case someone ever found my diary and read it, (someone like you who disobeyed the explicit instructions not to read). Ha! Had she truly not wanted it read, she should have known better like me and burned the pages. Oh but then we wouldn't have enjoyed this entry so much. What a great treasure to have found. Thanks for sharing it! Is there more?

  13. Your post pulled me in from the beginning. My word(s) for 2013 are Less...and more. Reading what you want less of was like reading my own. And oh...what a treasure. I love reading diaries and what better than one that challenges us toward change.

  14. I didn't pick a word...but I like yours! I do try to remember that less is more, but I'm not always successful! I'm so glad you're back girl and that diary...what fun!!! I have a box of old love letters....years of 40, from the same couple. I should do something with them, but I don't know what.

  15. I can only imagine the withdrawl :) So not only did you read her diary, but you post it to every one in the whole world! I will laugh if the lady actually reads your blog, but I am guessing she may not be computer savy. :) Neat Post. Thank you for sharing this at Rustic Restorations Weekend!

  16. Welcome back!!!!! Gosh it must be amazing to go through an old diary!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality!

  17.  Hi, great post. I found you through the blog hop. Please stop  by and say hi when you get a chance.  .Be sure and check out my new Blog Hop that started. It's Weekly Goals Link Up. It's a great way to stay on track. Have a great day. :) Now following you.  Here's the link for it if you would like to check it out.

  18. Hopping by from the winthrop chronicles share it link party. Super idea to choose 2013's word of the year to be LESS. Odd, but wise. :)

    I'd love if you would come visit my blog when you have some time.. :)

    Have a great weekend!


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