Bullet Journaling – Refresher

If you haven’t heard of bullet journaling, it is a minimalists way to schedule your life. This is a system that combines several of your journals, schedulers, and calendars into one easy to keep track of book. Or so they say. Now before you get offended, hear me out. I tried this system back in November of last year, you can read that post here, and I failed.  My failure had nothing to do with the system and more to do with my perfectionism. I wanted beautiful spreads and amazing visuals on each page. Eventually, it became too much with the holidays and I never made it to December. To be honest, I don’t even know where that notebook is currently.

Now, lets discuss why this system failed for me. There are several reasons, some of them mental and some of them physical. These range from not having the right notebook, to not making the time, and not putting forth the effort. “Oh, I don’t need to write that down, surely I will remember it!” Famous last words. I never did remember it and I never did write it down.

Excuse #1: Not having the right tools.

Now, don’t think that you have to have the most famous bullet journal or the most expensive pens and products to do a bullet journal. You just have to be happy with what you do have. You can just use a composition notebook and a bic ballpoint. You don’t need the fancy supplies to get started, and honestly, I wouldn’t go out and buy them until you have created the habit.

However, in my mind, I didn’t have the right supplies. I didn’t want to use the inexpensive supplies I had on hand because I have to get excited about a new habit, or it won’t form. If I don’t have crisp, clean notebook and a pen just for it, I won’t be happy long enough to continue.  So, I bought the Leuchitturm 1917, which is like the official bullet journal. I did not buy pens for this, because I already have my Staedtler Triplus Fineliners that I love and work perfectly.

Excuse #2: I can’t make my spreads look like those on Pinterest

This is a very very common misconception. The spreads are beautiful, and one day, I will get there. But it is better for me to form the habit with the minimalist attitude. So, here is a picture of my year at a glance spread below. You will see that I just made it simple. I also added a thin piece of washi tape across the top, not even perfectly lined up *gasp*, so that i had a quick reference to jump back to. *personal information is blacked out*

I decided to only do 6 months because that would carry me to the end of the year. When the next 6 months arrive, if I am still doing bullet journaling, I will add it to it then another 6 month spread. Besides, who wants to get bogged down on trying to keep up with a full year at once. Guess what else? I only used black and white on this page. I want to get into the habit before I learn new ways to create the same spread. I highly recommend this way of thinking.

Excuse #3 – I don’t even know what I should track or that I want to track.

If you look online, especially Pinterest, you will find a huge list of trackers. But I say NAY! Don’t get bogged down with all the trackers available. Add trackers as you want to, and how you want to. Throughout the process you will find that you will come across things that are important to you specifically that you want to track. For me, I want to track my 100 mandala challenge! This challenge is important to me and something that I want to complete before the end of the year. Here is a look at how I am tracking this, in my 2-page tracker spread.

As you can tell, I drew  a simple mandala and also included the website where I got the challenge from. I then write a date on the number and color it in. This is my favorite spread so far. It appeals to my artistic side, as well as my need to track this challenge.

Excuse #4 – I’m too depressed/anxious about keeping up with something else.

Yes, depression and anxiety is something that we all have to deal with at one time or another. Some of us even struggle enough to be medicated. But that is what is so great about the bullet journal process, if you miss a day or a week, you can jump back in and there are no predetermined pages that you use up. You determine how and how much you use your bullet journal. I decided to try to list all the things that make me happy and put it at the beginning of my journal. This ensures that even on the days that are considered my lows, I have something to keep me from going under. Take a look at this below.

Excuse #5 – I’m too busy

Honestly, we are all too busy if we believe it, but the truth of the matter is, we can make time for anything! After planning out my first two weeks, I saw just how busy I wasn’t. I was too busy to add work, but not too busy to add fun. So I knew by looking at these two almost blank weeks, that I would see just how much time I really had to play with. Of course, I didn’t mark down all the ER visits and power outages and mom life with many many kids, but outside the home, I didn’t have much obligations. My next step is to track my hours, find out where everything goes. Check out these two weeks below. As you can tell, they are all really really simple.

So as you can tell, I didn’t want to do anything too crazy and I wanted to keep my trackers simple. At the beginning of each week, I also track my social medias. This shows me if I am doing a good job or if I need to work harder. Because I am just starting out, I feel like my numbers are embarrassing, BUT everyone has to start from the bottom.

I hope you enjoyed this walk through my bullet journal. Remember, you don’t have to wait until January 1st, to start. You can start in the middle of the month like I did. The objective is to start somewhere. Do you bullet journal? How successful are you with keeping it up. I would love to know your bullet journal experiences in the comments below!

A Celebration of Love

Since it is the month of February, I thought I would work on two pieces that celebrate love. The one above is colored and the one below is black and white. The first piece was done with Staedtler pigment liners and Staedtler Maximum Gel Pens. I loved adding some color to it because it just flows so well!

The piece below was done with Sigma Micron pens only. It was just a decorative idea that I have had fluttering around in my head and it was nice to finally get it down on paper.

 

Collaboration – Jeanne Burbage

I wanted to share this collaboration I did with Jeanne Burbage. She is an incredibly talented artist from Canada. She offered up this Valentine’s Day doodle for her fans on a Facebook group I belong to, Lines & Designs, to color. This is my coloring of her doodle, and although I rarely color my own doodles it was very fun coloring on hers. I used Staedtler Color Pencils found in the clearance section at Wal-mart of all places.

Please visit her website here and buy her coloring book. There is a wonderful flip through of her coloring book on YouTube, please check it out! She hopes to have a new book out in March. She also has a Facebook page here. Always remember to show your support for artists.

9 Days

As I look at my last post, 9 days ago, I think about everything that has gone on in my life since then. I quit drawing, I quit writing, I quit blogging and I even quit working. My family was in crisis mode. When my family is in crisis mode, we band together and block all other things out. I am so blessed to be a part of the family that surrounds a member if they are going through something traumatic.

In my last post, “Dealing with Loss”, I wrote about losing my sister-n-law. But it was so much more than losing her physically. My brother lost his wife, my 2-year-old nephew lost his mother, and we lost a family member. During a time of loss, often times we lash out where there isn’t a problem. We get bruised easier by things that would normally roll off our back. We break down wherever we can find a place of solitude, for me, it was in the shower.

I also lost my grandmother, who I had been unable to visit for several years due to going through my own life crisis of divorce and becoming a single parent. Readjusting my entire life and trying to find out who I am, who I want to be and who I need to be. Just because I wasn’t able to see her though, didn’t mean that she wasn’t in my thoughts. I have very fond memories of her making me and my sister matching dresses, even if they did have frills. I remember every single Christmas, we would receive a wrapped shoebox full of all the goodies that she baked. And even though we all knew it was goodies, every year we were excited to see what came.

Just like with my sister-n-law, my grandmother always thought of others. They both were the types to go out of their way to make sure that every need they saw was met in one way or another. This world should be sad at the loss of not one, but two giving souls. They will both truly be missed.

So, how do I move on from here? I could stay saddened and burdened by the loss, or I can carry on the works of those two very special ladies. I’ve always had an empathetic point of view. I have always fought for the underdog and supplied where I saw a need. So those things, won’t change for me. But what I did find out was, I don’t have a lot of pictures of myself. Of course, I’m the type that would shy away from them, cursing the flash photography and family gatherings. But what I haven’t been thinking of, is the day I am gone from this earth. What memories will I leave behind?

So, it is my goal to touch more lives. To draw and not be so scared of what others might think about it. To sing, and not be ashamed of my happiness. To play with my kids and bring happiness into their lives. To compliment more, whether it is friends, family, co-workers or strangers. To help when I see someone struggling without having to be asked. To be understanding that we never know what is going on in other’s lives.

So, I know that if 9 days can change my life this drastically, it can change my view of how quickly life events can change others. My advice to you is laugh more, sing more, play more and be more positive. Be the change you wish to see in the world. If we all tried to be a little more positive, we could easily change the world into a more beautiful existence.