Writing in my journal tops my list of retirement activities. I’ve kept a journal for more than four decades and counting. Over the years, my reasons for writing and the frequency of entries have often varied. If there’s any pattern, it’s that I write when I must.

A pen an ink journal is the only option. Anything else is too easily edited as I write or later. Editing as I go wastes time. Lots. I can spend hours wordsmithing a first sentence. Beyond scratching out a word or two, ink prevents self- editing.

I prefer bound journals with lined pages. Binding keeps me from ripping anything out. Lines save time too. Without them, I’d drive myself crazy trying to keep the lines straight. My once beautiful penmanship is barely legible now. That’s okay. My journals aren’t for posterity.

Journaling keeps me sane. Keeping stuff inside is dangerous. There’s no holding back when I’m writing in my journal. Everything comes out.

I quit worrying about anyone reading my most private thoughts years ago. Readers undeterred by the shear quantity of volumes must suffer through pages and pages of my handwriting and endless descriptions and updates of little interest to anyone but me.

Until recently, journaling every day or even a few days in a row was rare. Once or twice a week is more common. After Andy died, I wrote every day for months. Writing filled the void and helped me adjust to life without him. I returned to writing every day last March when COVID-19 hit.

I journal early in the morning. Entries revolve around recollections from the day before, thoughts on current events, and plans for the day. Depending on my mood and what’s on my mind, entries range from a page or two to five or six pages.

Daily journaling has become the norm. Whether I’ll keep that up remains to be seen. I’ve got nine other activities to get to. Stay tuned.