I’m back on my Jane Austen kick. And I partially blame “Downton Abbey.”
Okay, the pair aren’t obviously connected on the surface — but it’s hard to deny that “Downton”‘s British charm evokes the class differences, family dynamics and romantic entanglements of Austen’s work set 100 years earlier. Spence got me season one of the popular TV show for my birthday last week, and we’ve already plowed our way through half the discs. It’s like salty, delicious Pringles; since I popped, I can’t stop. (Y’all were totally right — it’s awesome.)
My sister got me the journal above — Jane-A-Day, a journal that asks diarists to reflect upon 365 different Austen quotes each day for a five-year stretch. The idea is to see how your thoughts and reflections change in that half-decade, which is pretty cool. I’ve stumbled across similar projects and, since I gave up journaling a few years back, this seems like a good alternative to the long, rambling and exhaustive posts I used to write before bed.
I don’t know why I stopped. I guess because I began dividing so much of my writing time between my column and this blog. After discussing life’s events in two other mediums, my enthusiasm — and desire — to recap some things for a third time in my personal journal just sort of evaporated. It started to feel like work. Plus, my journals saw me through some emotionally difficult times in my life — bad break-ups; growing pains. Once I was finally happy and in a good place, it wasn’t the catharsis it used to be. I guess I’d moved on.
Sometimes I miss it, though. My life can feel very interior. Despite the fact that I “put myself out there” in a variety of ways, mostly through a computer, I tend to keep many of my worries to myself. It doesn’t seem useful or productive to bother others with my nonsense. And in the old days, my journal — that dear, nonjudgmental friend — would have been my confidante. I’ve changed so much over the years.
Maybe my Jane-A-Day can be a good in-between.