Sunday, August 30, 2020

Starting Over, Again....

 I've decided to try to blog again.  I'm not sure if it will last or not.  I got back onto instagram today and am preparing to get back into that habit of taking pictures to post there.  The past year has been terrible.  My aunt died on Black Friday last year.  My mom has spent a good chunk of the summer in the intensive care unit with a rare heart condition.  Corona virus makes having a high schooler who has no school a pain in the ass, but she did officially graduate in August, so we all breathed a sigh of relief then.  J isn't going to college this semester due to several factors.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  I really didn't want her to take time off, but I was also afraid of her being unleashed on a college campus without people that know her keeping her in line.  She gets belligerent and then violent and I was afraid I'd be getting a call from the police that she'd attacked someone.  

On the social media front, I found a youtuber and Instagrammer that I like, Daksina, who lives in the UK and does massive journals with lots of artistic elements that I think I can sort of adopt.  She uses a Stalogy B6 planner, which isn't commonly available locally, so I looked it up on amazon and it would take a few days to get here and costs over $20.  I decided to improvise with a A5-ish sized dot grid notebook I got from Michaels a few months ago when I bought one in every color they had with a good coupon.  I bought some Cricut paper packs with Hello Kitty and Mickey Mouse to tip in.  I ordered a pack of vellum paper from amazon that should arrive tomorrow.  I can use either scotch tape or double sided tape to insert these pages of artistic pieces and accents.  I designated a page to each day of the first week of September.  I want to put my to do lists and some memory keeping on each day.  I want to use stickers and other artistic elements and ephemera. I've decided to do a No-Spend in Sept & October, so it will be a challenge to do something new with my planner/journal and not spend money.  Hopefully I can use some of the shoestring hints Daksina talked about in her youtube video.  I have found my old cut stickers so hopefully some of those will come in handy.  

I also loaded up my Twisbi Eco with some Noodler's Nikita ink.  I plan to use that until the ink runs out, which should be about a month of journaling, I would think.  It's unusual to use red ink, but I wanted a nice bold solid color.  I was bored with the azure blue that it was filled with previously.  

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Stress

I was stressed, so I began journaling again last month. This month, when my goal is to journal a lot, I'm actually so stressed I don't know what to write.  I have lots going on.  My aunt is in the ICU, my finances have been better, my daughter is being difficult, the list goes on.  I know that somehow I will get through it all.  I have no choice.  But it seems really hard at the moment. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Hobonichi Weeks Mega


Yesterday I broke down and bought a Hobonichi Weeks Mega, after contemplating it for several weeks now.  It should arrive on Thursday and I can’t wait.  I am a planner junkie.  In my current financial situation, I considered the $29 planner a splurge, but in comparison to some of the other planners I’ve purchased, it’s budget friendly.  If anything, the pencil board I bought to go with it is the real rip-off.  Of course, to go with the Weeks, I had to buy sticker printables on Etsy.  I found a shop that had some pretty generic functional stickers like date covers and half and full box stickers, and bought a few kits too.  Then I started thinking about how much thicker the planner is going to get if I put date covers on every page in the same place.  Like my notebooks with washi tape on the edges, they do tend to bulk up.  I watched some YouTubers flip thru some notebooks and they do get pretty thick.  Eventually I will need a rubber band to hold it closed.  I didn’t buy a cover for it yet because the ones that Jetpens sells don’t fit the Sneaker edition of the Mega, but eventually I plan to get a cover.  I have to research the places that sell the size I need for the Mega Weeks, which is thicker already than the regular Weeks.  I bought the Mega so that I could keep my bullet journal collections in the back instead of using a separate bullet journal.  I can also brain dump and journal back there, since there are over 200 pages of note paper.  I’m not sure yet what pen I’m going to use on the Tomoe River paper.  It’s fountain pen friendly, but not good for gel pens because it takes a while for the ink to dry.  One woman I watched said that she used Frixion pens in her planner.  Since I’ve left notes written with Frixion in the car and had them disappear from the heat, I know better than to use those pens on anything I intend to keep long term.  I’ve stopped buying ball point pens because I like Gel pens so much better, so this is a difficult choice for me.  I do have my Bic and Papermate 4-in-1’s that I can use if I need to use ball point pens.  Part of me liked the suggestion that Sam had that she liked the grey fountain pen ink on that paper, so it’s not quite so bold.  I don’t have grey ink, so I would have to order some.  But then I would be committing to using a fountain pen.  And I’m not sure that works best on stickers - I think that tends to bleed.  

So, I took a break and went out for the day, since I was having an anxiety attack and I needed to Do Something!  I got breakfast, threw up my breakfast, went to Staples, went to Michaels, went to Target and bought some Acroball black fine point ballpoint pens, and then went to see my aunt at the hospital.  I came home and cleaned up my wax warmer in preparation of waxing my niece and nephew’s eyebrows tonight.  I threw some roast beef in the crockpot for our french dip dinner.  All in all, I feel like today was a wasted day, not that I didn’t accomplish anything, but that I didn’t relax at all.  My anxiety is high and I’m exhausted emotionally, if not physically.  I haven’t gotten close to my word count for the day since day 1.  Maybe using a different pen will make a difference there.  I have 2 hours before I have to be at my brother’s house for waxing, so I will probably get some writing done while listening to forensic files in the background.  

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Blogging on a Schedule


I’ve never been one to blog on a schedule.  When I first began blogging in the late 90’s, I wrote nearly every day.  It was my chance to tell the story of my day.  Then my world blew up in 2003 when my blog was found by my employer and some sentiments I expressed were viewed as overly negative and I lost my job.  After that, I’ve been blogging rather inconsistently.  I’ve been journalling inconsistently as well.  So this month, in honor of #Gettoknowyourself50k2019, I’m setting a schedule of blogging at least 3 times a week, on top of my journalling daily.  I’m not sure what the topic of my posts will be, or if it will be in relation to the challenge or other things, but I want to at least be consistent with the schedule.  I have plans written down to blog on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday of each week.  Tuesday & Saturday should be easy because I don’t work on those days.  Thursday will be a bit more of a challenge. I’ve decided that I’m going to write in my Oxford Campus Refill Pad when I don’t feel like typing.  Sometimes I just need to write by hand.  And although the paper is amazing and designed to be written on both sides, I’m keeping the paper bound in the notepad and only writing on one side so that I can keep all the pages together.  After I write, I go back with a pencil and count the words so that I can keep track of how much I’ve written all together, between the blog, the typed entries and the handwritten entries.  Yesterday was Day 1 of the challenge and I managed to write 1426 words.  Obviously not the 1667 that is a daily average for the challenge, but still a good chunk.  And I think writing more will be easier when I’m into the flow of things.  At the beginning the blank page or document is intimidating.  What do I write?  What should I say?  Should I share this or keep it private? Lots of doubts about whether I’m doing the right thing here or not. 

I have to get going now.  My job is requiring us to work overtime every weekend in November because they haven’t been able to hire or keep enough employees to run the business.  I wish I could just say at home and find myself, but that’s not on my agenda for this morning at least.  After work we’re planning to go see Jojo Rabbit. I hope it’s a good movie, because I’m especially sensitive about how I’m spending my time on my days off now that I don’t get a 2 day weekend to relax anymore. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

#Gettoknowyourself50k2019 Begins!

So, it’s November 1st, the first day of Nanowrimo.  As I’ve mentioned, I will not be participating in it this year, in favor of writing 50K words about my life.  I plan to journal every day for 1667 words instead of working on fictional novel, which will stress me out in an already stressful time of my life.  I’ve coined it #Gettoknowyourself50K2019.  Writing 50 thousand words in any vein is a challenge.  But I thought that I would get more out of writing about my day and experiences instead of writing a mediocre book.   My last Nano experiences weren’t particularly enjoyable.  I love the preptober aspect - finding all the stuff that will make sustaining yourself through the challenge possible.  Last year I spent weeks trying to find the right paper and pencils and inks and fountain pens to write a novel.  Then halfway thru the novel I got bored, ran out of plot, and gave up out of frustration.  I found a YouTuber that does a great job showing how she outlines her novels, and if I was going to do it again, I would follow her example.  Her name is Sarra Cannon and she’s an Indie author I follow on youtube.  She does a great job of outlining her novels from everyone’s perspective, but she also uses fun stationery that sucks me in more than anything.  I wish I would have come across her preptober video sooner, so that I could have spent time dreaming up a novel.  Maybe next year, or maybe if I ever find the time to write a book.  It’s long been a dream of mine to publish a book, but since I haven’t ever successfully written one, I don’t know how reasonable it is to have that expectation on my bucket list. 


Today I’m still struggling between which format I want to use to write my 50k words.  Do I want to write them on some good quality paper with a fountain pen?  gel pen? Blackwing pencil?  Cursive or printing?  A4, A5, Letter sized paper?  European or asian format?  There are so many variables for someone with a stationery addiction like I have.  The problem with writing on paper is that I would have to go back eventually and count the words, whereas if I type, I have a word count on the screen at all times.   Maybe it depends on whether I’m at home or out somewhere and want to write.  I was using my Traveler’s notebook with Fieldnotes inserts to journal during the month of October.  That size was nice because the pages are small, however it was also cumbersome.  My 2nd favorite option is an A4 Campus Refill Pad from England.  The problem with that is that you can’t write on the back of the page unless you tear it out or prop the page on something thick enough to hold the back side up.  And A4 paper is oversized.  I have a mickey mouse A4 notebook around here somewhere but the paper quality isn’t as nice, and that’s really the selling point of the campus refill pads.  I fell in love with those after seeing Zoe Kezia use them on her youtube channel when she shows how she makes revision notes and practices her handwriting. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Uncurated Life Podcast: What Is Toxic Positivity? | #73

Cindy makes some good points and I really enjoyed listening to this episode of her podcast:  The Uncurated Life Podcast: What Is Toxic Positivity? | #73  Too many people are all about positive phrases.  They blame people for their poor luck or negative life experiences.  They minimize what people are struggling with.  One person on my Facebook feed jumps to mind when I was listening to the podcast and reading the article it mentions by Dr Allison.  She's telling people they don't need to be in a negative relationship, even though she's apparently in a good one.  She's telling people that they can be supermodel thin if they just do the work like she does.  Not everyone has a cushy job that they're overpaid for.  Not everyone can afford childcare so that they can spend hours every day at the gym, or money to buy all the special smoothie ingredients for a special diet. And those facts do not make people any "less."  They just have a different path to take, and I'm sure they're trying to make the most of it. I will admit that I could be trying harder.  I could do more, but it sure isn't easy.  And some days I'm just trying to make it to the end of the day.  Living in day-tight compartments like Dale Carnegie suggests.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

#Gettoknowyourself50k2019

So, I've decided that my challenge for November 2019 will be to journal 50k words during the month and blog about it.  I've planned out a blogging schedule to update the world with my progress 3 times a week.  It'll be 14 blog posts over the course of the month, which is a vast increase compared to my last 2 years of blogging here & there when the inspiration struck.  I still haven't decided whether to journal by hand or on my computer.  The main difference will be how I count words - either manually or letting a computer do the work.  I have plenty of paper and writing utensils that are waiting to be put to use, so there is a draw to doing it longhand on some overpriced stationery.  I have fountain pens and gel pens that are dying to be used.  And it's not like I plan to ever go back and read the nonsense I write.  It's not like a book I plan to type up and publish.  The point of #Gettoknowyourself50k2019 is to spill my guts and maybe learn some things about myself while I'm at it. 

Today was a little exciting because I found an opportunity that seems to be a good thing for me.  It will require me to make a phone call tomorrow to inquire about it, which I'm a nervous wreck about tonight.  But I'm hoping for some good news soon, so that I can put part of my stress away for a while.

The other exciting things that happened today was that I went back to brown hair and I got my new phone.  The iPhone 11 is taking a bit of getting used to since it has no home button.  I'm used to having the do the finger print to open or log into things.  On the new phone it just uses my face, which seems to work even in the dark.  Kind of scary how that works.  My blue hair is now back to a brown shade that is still lighter than my natural color.  After being bleached to death, my hair is like straw and will need to be seriously cut short, either in a month by Henry, or sooner if I can't take it that long.  I could have kept it blue for a while longer, but I was tired of it.  It had been blue since my birthday back in February, and I was sick of it. 

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Fresh Start

So, the last year has happened and I haven't posted anything.  In fact, I removed all my old posts while I was going through some tough times that had my life under a microscope.  But I'm back and looking forward to a new challenge for the month of November 2019.  Last year I did Nanowrimo and tried to write a novel for the millionth time.  I got burned out half way thru the 50k goal, ran out of story to tell, and realized that my life is not meant to be lived as a romance author, no matter how many books I've devoured in the past 25+ years.  But I love the community that exists for the event that takes place every November.  Many of the stationery and planner lovers out there are also writers, at least for the month of November.  And I want to be a part of that, even though I know that I'm not a writer in my soul.  So I came up with my own challenge - I'm going to blog and journal 50k next month.  Why both?  Because I need to pour my inner musings out and some of the trains of thought are not fit for public consumption.  I've been burned by posting things that were better left unsaid before, and I'm not going to put myself in that position again.  Besides, not everything that goes through my head is worthy of being read by strangers.  There's a fair amount of, "I wonder if I should..." that I do over things like which pen looks best in my notebook, or how many eggs I should hard boil for the week, ya know?  I also have a boyfriend and daughter who live with me and don't necessarily want their lives chronicled for the public to see.  Although they will more than likely be featured from time to time.  So, that's the plan - blog in public, journal in private, write 50k, and hopefully feel less depressed and lonely by getting back to something I've long enjoyed. 

I'm  not sure yet what the blogging will consist of.  I have a week or so to figure that out.  But my journaling will be stream of consciousness.  The most turbulent times in my life have been survived by writing out every thought that crossed my mind.  I remember being in college and writing for literally hours between classes in a spiral notebook, going back and forth between scenarios that could play out in my life in regards to my love interest at the time, my eventual ex-husband.  Every thought that went thru my head went down on paper.  I'm not sure that it's the healthiest way to get through something rough, but it seemed to ground me, so I took it.  As an anxiety sufferer, grounding is supposedly key.  It can help with panic attacks to observe your surroundings and get out of your own head.  For me, writing everything I'm thinking seems to drain the worry.  As if it just needs to be said to be forgotten.  I don't generally re-read what I've written - that's not the point of it.  The point is to get it out of my head.  Get my head clear so that I can focus on the really important stuff that I want to do.  Sometimes that is just sitting with a clear headspace, staring at the wall, but other times it's focusing on tasks and responsibilities that otherwise get left behind.   Right now I'm wondering what notebook I should use.  Pen or pencil. MacBook or iMac. If the iMac, I need to get a mousepad.  I can't afford to buy anything until my next paycheck.  I hope I worked enough hours in the past 2 weeks to get a decent check.  I guess I better journal it all out and see what unfolds.