11 January 2021

A New Year - A New Post!

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I've been journalling for a while now. I've done it off and on since I was a teen.  In recent years, I mostly journaled my travels and came back from England the first time in 2012 with the idea that I needed to find a way to make journaling a part of my everyday life.  Working night shift with a  long commute on either side prevented me from doing that.  But since I "retired" in 2017, it has become a much more frequents pastime.  

I started off 2020 with a bullet journal.  I'd been watching lots of YouTube channels which produced lovely ones and I thought it might help me keep track of the many things I have going.  I made it through February 17 and then the detailed tracking of stuff stopped.  I'd made it too complicated and what I really wanted to do was write about my day.  

I visited my sister in March, and as I usually do, I started a trip journal, continuing on in the journal I'd been using since my trip to France, England, and the Netherlands in 2018.  I closed off each day with a few minutes to write about the things that had mattered in my day.  As the Pandemic lockdowns started, I began to keep it on a consistent basis and I find that it helps me sleep better at night.  I've "dumped" everything out onto the page and so my mind is at peace and rarely churns it all back up as I'm trying to fall asleep.

But I missed tracking a few things, and I wanted a place to keep my focus goals for the year and for each month in place.  And so, after watching dozens more YouTube videos on Bullet Journaling, I created my own hybrid.

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I gathered my supplies and got to work.  In truth, it took several days of thinking and making lists before I was actually ready to put it together.  And now that it's in use, I wish I'd allowed myself an extra page or two in the front section!  All my supplies fit in a small pencil case.  I only need the case at the beginning of the year and at the beginning of each month. 

I slid a large Moleskine ruled journal into the slipcover I crazy quilted a few years ago.  I keep my everyday journaling pen inside the journal.  

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Here is what is in the case.  
    Quick Clicker Mechanical Pencil
    Bic Atlantis Pen in black - my everyday journaling pen.  I really love these pens! 
    Sakura Micron Pens in black, sizes 01, 05, 08, PN (PN stands for Plastic Nib)
    Pitt Artist Pens with brush tip in #232-Cool Grey, and #272-Warm Grey
    Roll of double sided adhesive tape
    Elmer's Craft Bond Photo Stiks
    Art Gum eraser
    Tombow Mono Correction Tape
    Quilled Creations 6" roller with circle templates
    Tombow Fudeneskow pens in black, one soft tip and one firm tip
    Sakura Pen-Touch White fine point1.6 mm paint pen (Used to label the spine of my journal)
    Sakura Gelly Roll pen in white 0.4 medium line
    Zebra Mildliner in green.  
    Tombow ABt pens in #192, #158, #228, and #772
    Medium gator clip
I also wrote out a small card showing all the pens color and numbers so it's easier to find what I want. 

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Inside the cover, I put information on how to contact me in the event I lose my journal somewhere.  Then I put a calendar list of major holidays and family birthdays, anniversaries and such.  I have covered a few areas of information I don't want really public.  

For the Cover Page, I cut up one of my practice watercolor pieces.  On it's own, it wasn't much, but once I cut it to this shape, it looked fabulous!  I used the Tombow Fudenski pens to write the year as well as my focus verse for the year.  

If I were to choose a word for the year, it would be Trust.  I have a stubborn habit of not trusting in God and instead relying on my own inadequate resources.  This year, I have much that I need to accomplish and I know that it will only occur if I place my trust where it needs to be! 

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On the next page, I listed my primary or focus goals for the year.  I divided them up into categories and chose the ones out of much longer lists that were most important to me.  There are some big financial goals including paying off two debts this year and reducing a larger one by a significant proportion.  I also have a list of expenses that I need to eliminate.  Several of these involve a multitude of tasks in order to accomplish. 

For instance, getting rid of the storage locker involves getting rid of a lot of stuff, such as my beautiful Eastlake Bedroom set that dates back to the 1870s.  I love it, but I don't have space for it in my little home.  I need to figure out what to do with my Mom's years of detailed genealogy research and accompanying "family mementos".  There are boxes upon boxes of this stuff.  I have boxes of canning jars and canning equipment.  Suitcases - 7 at last count!  How many suitcases can one person use?  LOL!  There are boxes of seasonal decor (11 tubs covering all holidays), the enormous car top carrier that I use on long road trips and is also used by some of my kids, and then there are the bits and pieces of furniture and lamps that don't fit in my current space, the artificial Christmas tree, and on and on.  It's only 10'x10' but it sure does hold a lot!  My little home does not have a garage,  so I need to figure out where to store the stuff I'm keeping.  So, as you can see, there are lots of tasks to do in order to eliminate this expense!  

I've also included a tracker for the 3 debts I have, and a couple of other trackers just to keep me focused and help me see where I'm at with projects. 

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I love to read and I enjoy being able to look back at the end of the year and see what I've read.  I have a loose goal of reading one book a week.  I'm trying hard this year to decrease my time on social media, as I am finding it keeps me from being productive in the way that I would like.  To this end, I've deleted facebook from my phone and only look at it on the computer - usually when I'm done with my "work" for the day or if I need a quick break.  That allows me more time for reading as well, as I no longer have my nose in my phone all day!  I read 26 books last year.  One every two weeks roughly.  Hoping to see this improve!  

Then I have my Master List.  These are all the things I have listed at some point or another that need done.  I know they will NOT all happen this year, which is why I chose just a few to focus on.  But I wanted one spot with all the tasks broken down into their many parts, so I could go to it for reference if I needed.  And I can check off those smaller tasks as they are accomplished, and also use these lists for my monthly goals.  

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As you can see, there are endless things on this list.  From painting the house to scanning all the family slides and genealogy, to the many crazy quilting and other handwork projects I have in the works.  I have so many ideas and start so many things... it's time to finish some of them! 

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I have so many ideas, that I even have a master list of those! 

I decided to add in a wish list of big purchases I would like to make at some point.  And then there is the lifetime bucket list.  This is fluid, but these three main things have been on my list since the 1990s.  Something to work towards! 

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At last we come to the monthly set up for January.  Once again, I used some scraps of practice watercolors to cut up for the top and wrote the month out with the Tombo Fudenesko pens.  I also made a small calendar of the month and listed the important dates of the month!  My birthday is one of them!  

I chose a verse as a complement to the yearly focus verse - another one on Trust to encourage me.  Then I listed out the months focus tasks.  Things I need to do this month to get me closer to checking off some of the yearly tasks.  Downsizing is ongoing!  More on that next week!  

A tracker for the month helps me keep track of some of the habits I'm trying to build.  I'd love to be able to quick snacking during the day.  I have an inordinate love of crunchy salty things.  It's a lifelong battle!  I'm trying to get better about walking or doing my PT exercises daily.  I'm working on a "no buy" month - where I can't buy new things for the house, no new decor, no new clothes, unless it's to replace something worn out that I can't do without.  Like a new pair of jeans to replace my 10 year old pair that finally gave way this week.  I'm also trying to eliminate my food waste and keep my grocery bill to $50 a week.  It's just me and I eat very small meals.  If I'm not buying things I shouldn't (like salty crunchy snacks and diet soda), I should be able to keep to this budget very easily! 

I'm also tracking Covid-19 numbers for my own interest.  World, USA, Colorado as well as the three Colorado counties where I spend most of my time.  If I had more room, I would track Arizona as well, where my sister lives.  Maybe it's just the nurse in me, but I really like knowing these numbers. 

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I added a little tab of the practice watercolor sketches for the month.  It makes it easy to get to the tracker for the month.  After the monthly set up is my journal.  I write it out like this:

11January2021 Monday     Mostly Sunny 40 Degrees F
Daily Gratitude - 1 or 2 items I am thankful for that day
Journal entry.  I write about my day, what happened that was important to me, how I felt about something, etc.  Some days it's just about the normal routine of my day, so I can see that I DID accomplish something.  Other days, it might be a written prayer.  Sometimes it turns into a multi-page diatribe on whatever is bothering me at the moment.  Regardless, it helps me clear my mind and I can fall asleep in peace!  

As it gets close to the end of the month, I'll start preparing the next month's set up.  Let me know if you'd like to seen them as I create them each month!  

As you might have noticed, one of my goals this month is to post weekly.  I'm already a little behind, but I have a couple more in the works already, so hopefully there will a total of 4 posts this month!  I've missed blogging!