Life On A B-I7

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Journal Entry (Tuesday January 31, 2023)

I am frequently amazed at the things that don’t bother me… It seems just a few short years ago this was not the case. I won’t list the things that used to bother me here, they are not important except as the inspiration for this reflection. The reason fewer things seem to bother me could be connected to the process of aging (which I prefer to think of instead as the process of maturing) but that is only part of the story. I think there is another reason, a more important reason. The more important reason I’m referring to is the change brought about by the practice of writing.

I’ve been writing almost daily now for over three years. I think the primary benefit has been in becoming more self-aware. I believe the practice of writing can change us. If you don’t write, you may not agree with that, I get it, but let me try to explain. When I started writing my first journal back in the fall of 2019, I realized it was fun and satisfying. That was a travel journal. It took about two months to complete. Once it was complete I just kept on writing. It wasn’t long before I was reaching down and starting to write about myself, that’s when the change began to occur, when self-awareness started to grow. But what does it mean to become more self-aware?

If you make yourself the topic of your own writing long enough, you begin to gain a conscious understanding of your character, your values, your beliefs, and your emotions. Keep writing, and at some point you start to become comfortable with these things. That’s when the magic occurs. As you begin to understand these things and become comfortable with them you begin to make better choices. So to return to my original point about fewer things bothering me, being self-aware has allowed me to make better choices. As the Stoic Marcus Aurelius said “choose not to be harmed - and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed - and you haven’t been.” Self-awareness is is an excellent path to making better choices possible. If writing isn’t your thing, I’m sure there are other paths to that goal…

…perhaps long-distance cycling?