Every weekday morning I get up early to spend some always appreciated "me time" with myself and a little time with God. I kick myself out of bed and into my gym clothes. Come downstairs where my coffee is waiting, pour a cup and pull out my bag of projects. I read a bit of my Bible, a short devotion, spend a little time praying and then get down to writing. My writing practice sessions come from a book I'd found in the library in Kansas City when I lived there. It has prompts for every day writing practice. The idea is that you find the date, write the prompt at the top of a page and then just start writing for however long you planned to write. For me, I try to get in a page every day. The prompts are sometimes simple ("Write about the moon") and sometimes are things I just don't get ("Write of something done in a small moment" huh?). But I give it my best 4am effort. Sometimes it's great. Sometimes it's awful. Whatever the case, it's always finished.
I like to use them to write down memories I don't want to forget. The little things my kids do. The early days of my marriage that were so completely different than life now. The things I think in the middle of the night when I can't sleep. Thinking through opinions I have that I wouldn't discuss in mixed company. The sad memories. The painful memories. The ones that have shaped me into who I am. The mistakes I've made. The successes I've enjoyed. The near misses and missed opportunities.
I write them down so I won't forget. So I can look back to fifteen or twenty years ago--peeking through a hole in the wall at something I can only remember through the lens of my younger self and see it now from a different angle. So many things make sense to me now that didn't then. The reasons for the pain and sorrow. What it must have meant to someone else who'd made a sacrifice for me.
The adult insight into my child's mind sometimes provides clarity and understanding. Sometimes it just makes me angry and renews a sense of hatred for that moment in my history. But I am glad for the memories. I am glad that I can point to the things that have built me, one piece at a time. Despite some of the more difficult pieces, I rather like who I've become.