I was going through a large wicker basket that held an assortment of clutter: old report cards and art work, receipts, warranties for items I no longer own, and a few old, random notebooks.
I swiftly sorted through the kid’s report cards and school work; moving most of it to a few large manila envelopes, and storing it in my closet with the other tangible pieces of their childhood that I’ve saved. Another bag quickly filled with old chargers that I cannot identify, a broken belt, and old paperwork. I was feeling quite pleased, dealing with this clutter in a quick and efficient manner, until I began to sort through the notebooks.
Much of my life can be viewed in my journals and in notebooks I have scattered throughout my house. I have notebooks in kitchen drawers, in both of my desks, by my bedroom chair, and on the shelves of my night table. They are everywhere, including my car and scattered at work, because I love notebooks.
I like writing lists-jotting down things to do, creating shopping lists and menus for a holiday, or recording a random thought or idea for further contemplation later.
Flipping through pages of the notebooks I found my notes to update my resume, lists of school principals who were hiring and a check mark next to each one who received my resume. I remember standing in the FedEx store three years ago, faxing my resume to twenty-five area schools.
There was a menu and a name next to each dish being prepared for Thanksgiving. Another list of potential jobs and their websites, numerous user name and passwords for the online job applications. It was exhausting just reading through the extensive list.
Tucked between the lists and resumes I found pages crammed full of reflections, quotes, and hastily scribbled journal entries. Sometimes my journal isn’t close at hand, so I make do with whatever paper is handy: the back of a receipt, a church collection envelope, or a notebook.
As I read through my scribbled pages, I found some entries overflowing with pent-up frustration and pain, while others were brimming with deep, insightful beauty.
In the end, I added the notebooks to a box that contains my journals. Perhaps one day, I will look through them all and find a story within their pages.