Monday, January 1, 2018

Goodbye 2017!

Out with the old and in with the new.

Taking some time to look back and realize there has been growth, even though we feel like we are standing still, is a huge accomplishment.  After a year of new challenges and obstacles, finding the highlight is always important.  I will leave 2017 with this last post, even if it's a day late.

I have taken the time to reflect and hope to continue my journey with a new found sense of self and awareness.  Here are some of my favorites this year.  Thank you for sharing them with me.

Goodbye 2017!

A December to Remember...

After taking a break in November, I came back strong in December.  With lists to organize and presents to get, I felt I could start my journal again without making over elaborate layouts.  My simple monthly layout, which only takes 5 minutes to create, is a great way to organize tasks for the month.  Keeping it to one page is helpful and removing the middle schedule pages, helps keep things simple.  I decided a few simple shapes to help organize various lists would be helpful and bring some holiday cheer to my layout, without adding copious amounts of time with intricate designs

The trick to starting back with my weekly layout was to keep them simple as well.  I am happy to say that I was able to do that this month.  Keeping daily lists, instead of making lists for the week saved time.  I was able to start on the day and continue.  I used the same POPPIN pen for everything, I didn't switch between my Straedtler Pens of various thickness.  I used 1 washi tape and the same Stabilo Boss Pastel Highlighter for the whole month.  I didn't have to carry around stencils or look into new typeface.  Just my notes in my handwriting.  

The best part of December was ending it with some time off.  We were able to fly to my parents house in Iowa.  Truth be told, I haven't been home in 3-4 years, and it was a much needed trip.  We ate our way through all of my childhood favorites and I was able to share these memories with my husband and son.  I was also able to create a new Tracking List.  One thing my whole family enjoys during the holidays is watching Christmas Movies.  We sit together, eat popcorn, laugh, and cuddle.  This year I started a Christmas Movie List.  We got through most of them, and look forward to next year.  This Christmas Movie List was really simple.  Each day is a new day and doesn't need to be bogged down with design.  When I have time I may create more elaborate layouts, but at the end of the busy year... simple was better.

What Ever Happened to September, October, and November?

One thing that happens to me, quite often, is I get busy.  Like most people, life sometimes gets in the way of our best intentions.  When this happens something always has to drop, normally we drop the thing that we don't "have to do" the thing that isn't necessary to survival...

We have to go to work, we have to go to sleep (I'm not as young as I used to be, when I could work all night)... we have to take care of the house and the children, put food on the table, and pay the bills.  Which means we drop the "frivolous" things, the "niceties" of life...

I drop the following:
I stop going to Yoga.
I stop going to the gym.
I stop brushing my hair... and forget which day I last showered.
I don't even attempt to put on make up or dress in anything other than jeans and t-shirts.
I don't make balanced and nutritious lunches... rather taking any part of a leftover meal or microwave a mac n cheese found in my desk drawer.
I stop making lists, and writing things down in the calendar.

The other thing I do, is stop journaling... part of that making lists and writing things down in the calendar... I stop doing any of it.  I stop communicating.  I have a hard time organizing thoughts, as I am the types of anxious that is slightly obsessive compulsive and have to go back to  the house in the mornings, because I have forgotten something... my lunch, my phone, or a tool for work....  Lists truly help ease my mind and help me focus.

At night I write down everything I can think of for the next day, and pack my bag, pack all the lunches, then remember what I forgot a few times, write them down and then eventually sit down to relax... The alternative to this, is me waking up 3-4 times a night because I keep remembering what else I need to to in the morning, or whatever I may have forgotten to do in the day.  It can drive someone mad...

September started out simply, with a nice big vacation to Jackson, Wyoming to see my sister in law get married to her best friend.  We saw Yellowstone National Park and loved every minute.  Taking 10 days away was great, I was able to take time and layout the month in a way I felt I could manage.  I had inspiration from the mountains around me and how time seemed to slow down.

I was lucky to have the time while in Jackson to layout the month, in the valley of a mountain covered in snow, with a moose outside the sliding door.  I found that writing a weekly list didn't seem relevant, so I make a sketch of all of the things I was in charge of while on vacation.  I do think this layout worked out pretty well.  It made me feel good which is all that matters.  I was in charge of creating chalkboard signs for my sister in laws reception.  Along with keeping track of the places we visited.

However, upon the return to Connecticut I stopped my weekly layouts as all of my evening time was taken up by a side theater project.  Notes written on post its, and scrap pieces of paper.  I found myself covered in paint and staying up till 2 am. This side project lasted up through October.

I found the time to layout my month, however my work schedule kept changing.  Mix in a few dentist and doctor appointments, a new creative work, along with a slew of new 1st and 2nd grade workshops in the mornings, lead to a bit of distraction and confusion.  I ended up just throwing new printout schedules into my journal to keep track of the ever changing information.  That, and I ran out of white out.  I started to feel some pressure creating layouts that were visually appealing.  I had no time to keep track of lists, let alone create new layouts each week.

By the time November rolled around I had decided to take a break.  I took a step back from journaling to see if I was really enjoyed the tasks I was assigning myself and if they were helpful.  Was I being obsessive about my journal.  Trying to outdo myself on every page, constantly updating a d researching new ways to create a layout.  So I simply took a step back.  I created a page to encourage me to stop.  To allow myself a break.  No excuses, I was able to make 1 piece of art to commemorate the month, but I would not track, as usual.  I would fill in an old mood tracker at home at night.  But not travel with this book.