I’m Back! With some changes and new ideas…

I’ve been on an extended Hiatus here, and a short Hiatus on YouTube… Life. Life Happens. Things happen. Loss. Death. Illness (mental and/or physical). Sometimes we need a break. Time to heal. To grieve.

I am back. I’m still grieving, more than the loss of one person now. I’m still healing, more than the physical–the COVID variant really kicked my ass. However, arthritis is still haunting me but I have an appointment with the specialist in April so I’m hopeful. I’ve also committed to being more fit and healthy, which means drinking more water, eating more fruits and veggies, less carbohydrates, and no more snacking on Cookies & Cream pop-tarts with a glass of milk, or a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Don’t judge me πŸ˜‰

Over the past few months, I’ve been working on the grief through grief counseling. It’s helped. I have realized that some of my coping skills for ADHD and/or Anxiety, are counterproductive. I need to learn healthier ways to cope. This short hiatus from YouTube, and partially from Patreon, has made me realize that some of what I’ve been doing, in regards to planning and journaling, have not helped. Are not helping. And most likely will not help.

Let me explain. Growing up I was an avid note-taker. I had to be because I knew I wasn’t going to remember what was said, what I thought about it, or some of the ideas I had. So many times during lectures I not only took notes but would doodle something visual to help remind me later. I also used highlighters to color code ideas, important things, facts and statistics, etc.. I found as things in school became harder, more detailed, etc I started using one of those little pocket calendars, along with a to-do list. I kept date relevant things in the calendar, and actual task and goal items on the list.

Much like Ryder Carroll talks about in his book about the Bullet Journal system, I have used post-it notes, bookmarks, the back of envelopes, receipts… to write things down on, only to then misplace or even lose them. When I first heard about the “bullet journal” it was one of those creative bullet journals. But years before that I’d seen people using the Hobonichi as both a planner and a journal, which intrigued me (still does). I remember wanting all the Hobonichi things (still do).

And now, here I am creating videos about planning and journaling, Bullet Journaling and Hobonichi’ing. I’ve made videos about using an Omni Journal (one book to rule them all, a place for all things: planning, journaling, art, recipes, quotes, facts, research, gratitude, and any other thing that you could use a journal for). I’ve made videos about using budget supplies. About creative journaling. DIY projects. And a whole lot of other things, but the one thing I have not really talked about much on my YouTube channel, or here on the blogosphere, is how the changing things up, randomly switching between journals, or changing the size of the journal I’m using, or not finishing a journal (or a planner, even the prized Hobonichi, or Tomoe River Notebooks) has made me feel–GUILTY! an IMPOSTER! Wishy Washy! Unappreciative. Fake. WHY? I am a journaler at heart. Always have been. Planning is something I have to do in order to 1. remember things that are important (dates, appointments, events, bills, etc), 2. stay somewhat organized, 3. be more productive, and 4. keep up with things. Planning was never the hobby for me, it was just something I needed to do to help me and my ADHD brain work in a way that could function better. Better than what? Better than when I didn’t use some type of planning system.

The Planning Community is so vast. Ring bound planners. Disc Planners. Bound Planners. Bullet Journals. Traveler’s Notebooks. And the list goes on. With so many choices out there it’s mind boggling. Add someone like me to the mix, who is more of a journaler than a planner, and the choices become even more mind boggling–trying to choose a planner that will work for the way my brain works, both the right side and the left side, was difficult to say the least. I’ve often been torn between the Omni Journal, or keeping things separate.

IN some ways I’ve found a mix of that, all of the above, except for the rings and/or discs. It’s been a lot of trial and error. Over the past couple of months I didn’t really need a planner, except for bills, appointments, and events. It’s not like I could go anywhere on Quarantine. Nor was I able to do much. I did need to keep up with our finances, make grocery lists, and keep up with my remote online doctor appointments, and keep up with my prescriptions. So what did I use while all of this was going on? Whatever I had handy. Since I wasn’t in the studio but in the house, in our bedroom or the living room, I couldn’t exactly bring ALL the THINGS in the house. Nor would I have been able to carry the backpack and the tote and the caddy, etc I’d need for said things. So I kept it to the minimum. One week I used my Traveler’s Notebook (the standard black leather from TN Co.) with the Tomoe River paper monthly and weekly insert from Pebble Stationery Co, along with their Tomoe River paper 200 page dot grid insert. One week I used my A5 Crossfield that I had been using as a Bullet Journal. One week I used my Common Place journal. The one thing that I used the whole time was my Hobonichi Cousin. It was my saving grace, the thing that kept me from losing things (like my sanity), from forgetting things (like when bills were due or had I already taken this medicine), to a place to jot down ideas for when I was well enough to get back into the studio, as well a place to do a bit of memory keeping journaling. Some days I didn’t write anything I just looked at the calendar, other days I wrote and filled the page.

It wasn’t long before I realized I didn’t need all the things. I had become a bit overwhelmed by all the journals and planners I thought I needed to use. I’d already sort of “streamlined” some things. I began to think about something MissVickyBee has often talked about when planning and/or journaling is your hobby… there aren’t any rules. If you want to switch from A5 to B6 then switch. As long as you have that one place that has your planning system in it, something you can keep up with no matter what else you’re using, then you’re set. You could switch in and out of various sizes, types of journals and/or planners. And I’ve stuck by that practice for years now. I like changing things up. It’s not that I get bored, it’s more like the other planners, journals, sizes, etc feel bad that I’m not using them–like their my friends and I need to pay attention to all of them. And in a way, my journals are my friends. My planners teammates.

Which is fine, just fine, except that I’ve found myself wanting to finish the journals and/or planners. Number them or Date them, or both. I have dozens of partially finished journals/planners. I want to finish the journals/planners, and projects I start. Follow through. I’ve learned so much about my actual planning system over the past few years. So much about my journaling system. And now, I’m at this precipice, ready to jump off the cliff, or maybe it’s more like dig my heels in and hold steady… I want to use the Hobonichi Cousin the whole year and put it on the shelf. Same with the art journal. Same with the Bullet Journal. The Spiritual Journal. I want to be able to go to that shelf and look for the one that I used in 2022 when I had COVID (for the second time)…. the journal pages (as well as the planner pages) tell a story, our story. The story of our lives, often of what our daily lives entailed. In 2022, we’ve already had a snow storm, my father in law passed away the end of January, a close friend of ours passed away the end of February, Putin has waged war on the Ukraine. In January, in the US, fish fell from the sky in Texas, there were wildfires in Colorado. Twelve people died in a stampede at a popular Hindu shrine in Kashmir. Prince Andre couldn’t get rid of the lawsuit from Virginia Giuffre. Betty White passed away. In February, some parents were trying to band over 50 books from school libraries; a 477-mile lightening bolt spanned 3 states and set a record; Whoopie Goldberg suspended from the View; Threat of war in Ukraine; Kanye West in the news constantly over issues with ex Kim Kardashian and her new boyfriend…

I could go on. But I”m sure you get the point. I wish I didn’t get the point with some of the news stories, but I would like for my grandchildren to know what life was like… when I talk to my own children about what things were like during the 70’s or 80’s, even some of the 90’s my children have things to reference, like movies, music, cartoons, etc. But if those journals I’d kept back then hadn’t been destroyed when one of the places I lived flooded, they might have a more person point of reference from my diaries/journals. I know I wish I’d had a journal, planner, log book anything that belonged to my daddy (he died in 1975, when I was 7).

Since my perspective has changed some, after being limited to what I was able to use while I was sick with the Omicron COVID, I think it was that strain, I have changed some things. Here’s the link to the YT video πŸ˜€ Hope you enjoy!


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