Thursday, October 1, 2009

Journal Therapy

When I was a junior in high school, Mr. Harrison made us keep a journal. I found writing cathartic, as I do now. I never looked at that black and white composition book as homework. I regarded it as an extension of my brain, my heart. I could be creative or sassy or impudent. I wrote with unabashed flair about my crushes, my longings, my worries. I didn't care that my English teacher was reading. I got lost in a world that was 100% my own.

My pen my voice, my paper my therapy. And being the anal perfectionist that I was (rather, am, ahem), I used lined paper only. Still do.

One of the most simple exercises I'd write every so often was a list of 10 things that made me happy and 10 things that made me shudder. It's been a good 20+ years since I've done this, but here goes:

10 Things That Make Me Smile
  1. The sound of Whoppers when you shake them in the cardboard container. Try it. It will make you want to dance.
  2. Smores. Preferably cooked over our outdoor fireplace, with the boys and I eating the marshmallows before they hit the graham crackers.
  3. The sound of my Bird when he says "Bye bye, Mommy" as he ambles out of the car to school in the morning.
  4. I'm Not Really a Waitress on my toes.
  5. Chai, the homemade kind with honey instead of sugar.
  6. Deal's voice when he mispronounces his "l's" and turns them into "w's."
  7. Mac Daddy when he sends me a text message just to tell me he loves me.
  8. Fall cooking; nothing like the smell of root vegetables roasting!
  9. Indulging in People magazine and not having to pretend to be erudite and deep at the coffee shop.
  10. Discovering blueberries in my freezer.

10 Things That Make Me Gag
  1. Ill mannered people.
  2. Spam, in my inbox and the icebox.
  3. Camel toe and Tammy Faye mascara clad women at the gym.
  4. Discovering snot or other bodily juice on my shoulder...at the end of the day when I'm changing out of my clothes.
  5. Hearing "Stop that or I'm going to spank you" in the grocery aisle.
  6. Men who leer and can't make eye contact.
  7. Gum stuck under the restaurant table.
  8. My kid rolling said gum around in his hand.
  9. Fathers who call parenting their own children "babysitting."
  10. The smell of my car when it rains: a most unfortunate lingering effect of leaving my sunroof open during a torrential downpour.

So tell me, what makes your Smile/Gag list?

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Magpie said...

Smile #1 confused me until I realized you weren't talking about Burger King Whoppers.

colby said...

Smile: watching my sweet "angelic" son when he is sleeping!
Gag: smokers or chewers, need I say more!?
I could list others, but those stick in my mind right now.

Jennifer said...

I'll focus on the smiles, and last week it was getting to see you so unexpectedly. What a wonderful treat. Thought I'd cry when it was time to leave (yeah, I have a sensitive side).

Anonymous said...

Your list kicks! I love them both!
Hot tea on a sore throat makes me smile. Waking up with post nasal drip makes me gag.

landismom said...


Men who describe parenting their own children as "babysitting" or "childcare" drive me batshit crazy.

I had to train my current boss out of doing this (to be fair, he described anyone's parenting as "childcare" regardless of gender).

Jen L. said...

I'm with you--if it's your own child, it's NOT babysitting! It's parenting! AAAAAAAAH!

Smile: My baby Dean using my index finger to point to pictures in a book.

Gag: Cracked mud. Seriously. It works my gag reflex.

Convertible Girl said...

Oooh, 5 and 10 on the shudder list definitely make mine. It's called "parenting"!!