When we first brought our baby home, I did this thing where I'd track the times he nursed, for how long, and how many diapers he wet. I think what got me started was, in the hospital the nurses would always ask me: when did he nurse last? or: how many diapers have you changed today? I could never answer. I'd just given birth, I was on drugs, I was exhausted and trying to (A) get my newborn to nurse and (B) not self-destruct with worry over him not. I'd look at them blankly and feel terrible that I was not tracking this information. What I should have thought was Damn, people, you sure are expecting a lot of me. Instead, I took it on myself as a "task" and I kept that task going for about six weeks.
Eventually, logging the minutae of daily life with a newborn was more work than actually nursing or changing diapers. I'd be somewhere nursing and my damn logbook would be upstairs. Or I'd be upstairs and it'd be downstairs. One day I said "F-it" and quit logging. Even so I felt scared to give it up, like I was losing something. What if someone ASKED me "how many diapers?" I wouldn't be able to say!!
I've done the same thing with journaling. I have a love-hate relationship with journaling. It's a rare journal entry of mine that doesn't start out with some guilty statement about how long it's been since I last journaled and how I need to do better.
I've tried to keep up with journaling at various times of my life. I always end up feeling so guilty about what I haven't journaled, that I don't journal now. Like, right now I don't journal at all.
But sometimes I wish I did journal. Journals are so great for passing on history. For instance, I'd kill for my mother's journals. I don't even know if there are any.
I have so little insight into her, who she was, what she was like--I have only my little child-memories, and just a handful of those (vibrant though they are). She died when I was nine.
"If I had her journals, I could know her," I tell myself. And I fear that I too will die and leave my child an unknown mother.
This is my biggest fear. In my case, with all the cancer in my family, I don't think it's unfounded. I may actually face dying young and leaving my boy to grow up wondering what I was like.
I think about this every day and if it happens to me...I don't know. I imagine I will have to run away for a while to even begin to accept it. It will be too big. I don't know what I'll do.
I don't know where I'm going with this. It's just something that's on my mind a lot. It's always idling there in the background. Even if I'm having the happiest of days, I'm still somewhere, on some level, thinking about this. And when I'm alone and I really think about it, I cry.