Half-Way There

I’ve kept a personal journal for over thirty years. I’ve never shown it to anyone.

Recently, it occurred to me that there was a decent chance no one would ever see it. 

After dad passed away, my sister and I took responsibility for getting rid of his stuff. It was an emotionally draining task. Some items were sold. The rest went to Goodwill or the dumpster. I wonder if anyone will take the time to read nine volumes of chicken scratch found in my files?

My buddy Doug knew I liked writing but not sharing it with others. He challenged me to rethink that just before he passed away.  

Facing covid-imposed isolation, I decided to take Doug’s words to heart and began writing an “open letter” to family members and a few close friends. 

The letters evolved into a weekly routine. I set a goal to write a hundred of them and expanded distribution, thinking that would surely be enough to get through Covid.

It seems like it takes an entire life to learn how to live! Most of us are reluctant to share personal thoughts about that with others. Even after a year of writing these letters, I find it difficult to hit the send button. 

The company I worked for used to organize “team-building” offsites. The purpose was for employees to get to know one another personally in hopes that would improve working relationships. 

What an extraordinary thing. We were already working for the same company. Why would it be necessary to devote several days at an offsite to improve cooperation? 

The funny thing is, it worked. Once we “discovered” we all were human, team performance improved. I guess it takes a special event to break us out of the protective shell we erect around ourselves.

There are a lot of reasons not to share one’s inner self. Like, who’s going to care? The largest concern, of course, is the fear of looking foolish! 

There are more reasons to go ahead and do it anyway. 

Writing these letters helped re-establish connections with friends I don’t see anymore, in addition to providing an opportunity to share a positive message for reflection.

Hubris aside, it’s fun to think of the future entertainment value these letters might provide. I never had the opportunity to meet my grandfathers. I would pay to read their reflections.  

Perhaps you have young children or grandchildren? Why not share your thoughts in an occasional letter to them? You could put them in a file that will be found and opened at a future date. Once history is relevant to them, they will cherish what you have to say! 

This is my fiftieth letter, half-way to my goal! The others can be found here, https://tim-coats.com/posting-briefs/

Thanks for reading. 

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A Question To Consider: What might you share that, until now, you’ve kept inside? 

Follow me at http://Tim-coats.com

5 Replies to “Half-Way There”

  1. Tim
    I really cherished your Team Building Strategy off sites at Hayward. It did allow people to be “themselves” instead of just their “work” self. You and Doug modeled that behavior with your beautiful music!
    When my grandson was born 6 months ago, my daughter gave me a “Grandpa’s Journal” to share memories with Mason. It has been sitting on my desk. You have inspired me to begin writing in it.
    Thanks
    Scott

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    1. Awesome Scott! Reflecting back on those offsites, perhaps there is a learning for life. I like most people once I really get to know them. Problem is, sometimes we don’t get to know one another. Good luck on your journal, whatever you write to your grandson will be treasured! Thanks for reading!

      >

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  2. Tim—- Great note today— I have really liked the FIRST 50 and look forward to reading and thinking about the NEXT 50 !!! I think you do a wonderful job of discussing your thoughts about very LIFE IMPORTANT issues and ideas. I am so glad we had the pleasure of working together at Pillsbury and not only became great friends but also established a huge respect for each other!!! Keep on Keeping on my Friend !!! Warren…[ BTW I have kept everyone of the first 50 ]

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  3. Dear Tim, I have also kept a journal since my early teenage years and have rarely gone back to read it and do not think about what will happen to these written moments. I was able to keep a trace of strong emotions I felt at some key moments of my life. I feel good about only sharing them with myself. I have kept a journal for my son and my daughter since their birth and will give them these books soon ( they are 30 and 28 years old). And as far as sharing my written work of poems and a novel I am going to investigate self publishing on the internet..

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