A well kept journal is an amazing thing, especially if it is by yourself or someone you are close to. The pages are often interesting, inspirational or even funny.

I can’t believe I was able to get through that trouble with my sanity intact! Was I really that apathetic about marriage when I was single?

So what is it that makes journals so compelling?

I want to answer that question in part with a riddle that you are probably familiar with.

This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.

And, to add my own (slightly more positive) continuation,

Turns life’s written word;
Into power absurd;
Changes pages mundane;
Into gold touched with flame.

The answer to this riddle, of course, is time. (The riddle is from the Hobbit if you weren’t already aware)

Photo Credit - Toni Verdú Carbó

Photo Credit – Toni Verdú Carbó

If you ever have a minute, try this exercise. Read your most recent entries and rate them on the interest level. If they are within the past month or two, they are likely fairly boring. If you try that same thing on entries from a few years ago, they could talk about the same thing but will be much more meaningful.

The difference is time which is the number one most important ingredient to a successful journal. So, if you don’t think your journaling has been worthwhile, just wait a bit and you will understand just one more reason why writing about your life can change your life.

What is your oldest entry?