I am not a big journal writer, which is a little ironic because I enjoy writing. I think for me, there are too many thoughts and feelings coming into my head, so when I sit down, my pen can’t keep up. I have incorporated journaling and letter writing more lately as a way to process my big feelings. Enneagram 2 here.
My First Love Journal
When I graduated high school, a friend’s mother gave me a small red journal. It sat on my shelf for a long time until one day when I decided to write a note in it to my then-boyfriend, now husband. That summer, we both worked a lot, were angsty teenagers, and had frequent miscommunications. Our “love journal” allowed us to write notes back and forth to one another and create a space just for us. This was before Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram folks.
The following fall, we went off to different colleges. Separated and busy, starting these new lives, but still dating. Long-distance relationships are hard. They take effort. We wrote e-mails, handwritten letters, and the red journal passed between us in our in-person visits every few months. I now have a few shoebox-size bins filled with our love notes from our dating years. They are so special to me.
I have notes we wrote in hard times, letters of celebration, and letters from when he went to boot camp. One is simply an index card with the word “spaghetti” written on it. A code word we used to sign to each other to mean, I love you. We have a red journal filled with love and hardships throughout the years, notes that started with two seventeen-year-olds, and now that we’ve been together over half of our lives, we have collections of many memories.
Write Little Love Notes
If you are looking for ways to brighten your day or connect to your spouse, especially when you feel distant or at odds, I would like to encourage you to write little love notes to each other. We’ve used dry erase markers on the bathroom mirror, sticky notes around the house, handwritten notes left in our cars, backpacks, and other places the other person will find them throughout the day. I know where my husband usually parks his car for work, so if I’m nearby, I’ll leave a sweet note for him to find when he’s getting into the car to come home. Our gif game is strong, you guys.
When my husband went for a military training course for 5 months, I sent him with a stack of written letters. Each one had an “open when…” statement on the front. Things like “open when you miss the kids,” “open on our anniversary,” “open when you feel like you want to quit.” If your spouse isn’t home for long stretches, or you have a child away at school, don’t forget the power of snail mail or a letter tucked in their suitcase for them to find.
A New Journal
Last Christmas, I got a new green “love journal.” It was time for a new journal. I also picked up three journals, one for each of my boys, that I had the intention of writing funny memories and things in for them…but again, I’m bad at journaling. So, in this season, where they are going to be home more, I am going to use them as journals to write notes back and forth with me. Writing practice and connection all in one! So far, they have loved it.
Writing love notes to the people you care about doesn’t have to be hard.
You can use ANY tool you have at your disposal. I guarantee it will brighten your day and theirs. I challenge you to write a love note to someone you care for and then share a portion with us. Drop a photo on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram at @OmahaMomsBlog.