Reflection on 2015

That's me.  Just Doing it.I sat down to do a little reflection on the year, and tried  to jot down ten highlights, ten disappointments, and a few other details about the past year. It hasn’t been the best of years, so I was surprised when my list of highlights was just about done, and I was still on number four in my list of disappointments. As I reflected on this, as well as what I had written, I came up with a few things.

Perspective is an amazing thing, and unfortunately we’re often too busy with our daily lives to get any, but one thing I realized is that I need to reflect more on a regular basis. I’ve kind of fallen out of the habit of journaling, but have picked it back up again. I’ve long maintained diaries, starting when I was in elementary school, and this habit of writing to myself at the end of each day is one that I realize I have missed. Besides, writers need to write, right?

I also look back on the crises of the year and realize that time passes and the urgency of the crisis passes. In the thick of it, I am always in panic, unable to see how we can possibly get through it, but after a few months, it’s almost forgotten. I have to try to remind myself of that when the next crisis arises. This too shall pass.

Finally, even if my days are filled with tasks I would deem far from the biggest contributions to society, I can choose to still be relevant, I can choose to continue learning and creating. It’s ok to work a dead-end job, but it’s not ok to succumb to being dead-end. It takes work to create opportunities for myself to engage my intellect and creativity, but it is imperative. Otherwise, I’ll look up in twenty years and wonder where my life went.

Anyway. I hope you have an excellent and safe New Years Eve, and look to 2016 with wonder and anticipation at what might be coming next. Enjoy!

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Feeling in Control

One of the bits of advice that hangs on is “Fake it ’til you make it.” This bit has rung true for me. I have been able to pretend long enough to get the hang of something more times than I can count. Part of getting out of this low, scary place I’ve been has been “faking” that I am in control. In other words, planning.

I’ve done several posts on planning, and how it’s just part of my DNA. And even though I don’t have much to plan at work (besides how I’m going to spend six hours a day with no customers, which is actually enjoyable), I have found some peace.

You may remember that that I was trying to determine if I was going to order a Plum Paper Planner or another Erin Condren earlier this fall. I ended up ordering the Plum Paper Planner, and it is very stylish, and lovely, and just what I wanted at the time.

MTNAbout two weeks later, I found Midori Travelers Notebooks on Pinterest and fell in love. Had to have it, ordered one as an incentive for NaNoWriMo. It was so lovely to hold, and such a neat little niche of paper geeks that came along with it (I think I joined three different facebook groups). It was a fantastic motivator for NaNo (I won by the way!). I used it everyday, and loved how grown up and worldly it looked, as opposed to the sorority girlishness of the Erin Condren world, and I started to feel guilty toward my Plum Paper Planner.

Shortly after that, I came across the Bullet Journal again. I had dismissed it earlier because it sounded complicated. But the more I looked into it, the more creative I found it, and ironically, the more personalized. Way more personalized than Erin Condren or Plum Paper Planner could ever hope to be. Of course it was more work, but if the act of doing more work helps one find focus, remember more, and get more done, isn’t that a nifty trick?

habittrackerOn the last day of November, I started my BuJo (short for Bullet Journal), and have used it daily ever since. I was even able to take it to the meeting with the school administrators, with a page dedicated to the topics I’d like to discuss, and space on the facing page to take notes during the meeting. It is much more than a planner, containing “collections”, quotes, and goals. The community I have found (again on facebook and even instagram) has helped me plan, design my own setup, track habits I’d like to form, and figure out 100 life goals I’d like to achieve in the next ten years.

If it sounds hippy dippy, it’s really not. You can put into what you want, and take from it what you want. Goal setting was not something I had done in a long time, and what is better to do at your lowest point than set some goals and plan some ways to climb out of it?

If you are at all interested, you should check out this from the guy who came up with the system – Ryder, and this from one of the ladies who has made it fun – Kara Benz at BohoBerry (it’s actually the second in her series, but I find it more informative than the first). If not, that’s ok too. I just wanted to share what has helped me turn a corner.

And if you’re wondering about my Plum Paper Planner, I’m going to use it for blog planning and bill paying. That’s the plan, anyway đŸ˜‰