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!