Joan Frisz was in her first year of college in 1982 when a friend gave her a journal. This friend had noticed that Joan liked to write and did it well, and she thought it might be good for Joan to keep a record of her thoughts. The idea stuck. For 38 years, Joan has faithfully kept up the practice.
“My journal is a way for me to process life. It helps me focus. I write things that inspire me, quotes I want to remember, as well as some things I have written myself. It’s not always snappy things, though. I write about the weather or what the dog did that day. It can be anything,” Joan says.
Joan still has that first journal from her friend and has kept every other book she’s filled over the last decades. They stay in her room in a special cabinet and are for Joan’s eyes only. Will we see a memoir one day? “Absolutely not!” For Joan, the process and end result are strictly personal. “Writing is a really good way for me to express my feelings. It helps me rein in my emotions, gives me a chance to think about what I should do next or how I need to handle a situation. My journals see the good, bad, and the ugly,” she says.
Joan is the executive director of Just Creations in Louisville, where she holds an inventory of beautiful gifts created by artisans all over the world. In her store she sells journals and has often used those particular books for her daily practice. “One of my great joys is to be able to use journals created by artists I’ve met as I’ve traveled the world looking for items to sell at my store. My business is about making connections among people around the world; journaling makes connections for me in my daily life. The fact that I know the people who have made the books in which I write is an added connection that makes the whole thing extra special. It’s a whole story come full circle,” Joan says.
“Just thinking about my journals makes me smile.”
BY MEGAN S. WILLMAN