Month In Review: June 2018

My motivation for June wasn’t the best. It felt like I lost a few weeks to my mental health. In my review for May, I mentioned some goals I had for June—and I didn’t achieve any of them. So here’s a bit on what I did instead. (Spoiler: not a lot.)

A celebration: I applied for a college certificate program. I start in September! It’s an 8-month art and design course.

A change: More renovation work at the house means lots of changes to my surroundings. The upcoming school program is also a change I need to prepare for.

A conflict: I’m still struggling with the right dosage for my medication. I’m also trying to balance my health management with my creative projects, which has been hard to maintain.

A relief: The time I’ve spent at the gym has helped with my health (mental and physical health).

A regret: My creative projects—art, writing, the blog—have not gotten the attention I wish I could have given them.

A random memory: There’s a young bunny that likes our yard and I see it outside at 8am and 8pm every time I’m looking out the window those times. It makes me happy and reminds me of my pet bunny. I’m glad the wildlife likes the property.

I have only a few goals for July: my book, my art, and my health. I’ll try and keep the blog updated! But it won’t be as active as my Patreon, where I’ll be posting more about my writing and drawings. Also: back into therapy!

Month In Review: June 2017

June… Ahh, June. It’s hard for me to disconnect this month with the end of school, even though elementary/public and secondary school are way back in my history. We got a lot of rain this month. I enjoyed it, even if it was out of the ordinary and interfered with the amount of jogging I could fit in. This last week, the temperatures have spiked and we’re up past my comfort zone like we probably will be for the rest of summer. (I hate temperatures above 20*C.) On to July!

A celebration: My degree came in the mail, so I officially have the documentation that I paid an institution a lot of money and met some credentials.

A change: I started medication for my mental health, and I plan to blog a bit on that.

A conflict: Social media this month hasn’t benefited me the way I’d like it to, so I’ve thought about taking a hiatus from it in July.

A relief: My father secured financing for renovations on the house. He hopes to start them in the next month, so that means I’ll have work to do with him and see changes in the house!!

A regret: I forgot to blog for half of this month, oops!

A random memory: There was a spider in my bathroom that I decided not to kill on the spot. When I went back to the bathroom later, the spider had moved to the sink—a very difficult spot to manoeuver if you’re killing or not killing the spider. Since I had already seen the spider on the wall and decided I didn’t need to kill it (it wasn’t bothering anybody!), I didn’t want to try drowning it in the sink, either. I spent fifteen, maybe twenty, minutes trying to get the spider on a piece of paper and under a container so I could move it. I successfully put it outside near a small anthill, so hopefully it had a good lunch.

I do have blog posts planned for July, and I do want to get them up in a timely manner and not forget about them.

June 2017 Monthly Bullet Journal Spreads

Unlike April and May, my June layouts are full-force spreads that I’ve created! I’m only a few days into using them, but I’ve been enjoying them so far.

I also thought I’d include what my desk looks like when I’m brainstorming/pre-planning a monthly layout.

A desk with a mess of notebooks, pens, markers, sticky notes, and sketchbooks.

The monthly layouts always take a lot of energy out of me. I’ve spent hours figuring out how I want my spreads to look. There’s so much more that goes into them than just using the same ones as the previous month. Sometimes, I can’t do that—like April, when I moved and needed to focus my priorities on other things—and other times, it doesn’t fit what I want to achieve.

My monthly layouts set the tone for how I want to approach the next four or five weeks. I think, “Where do I want to focus my time? My energy? What commitments have I made? Where are my deadlines? How will my goals and projects be affected by my activities this month?” and so on, and so forth.

I’m also always trying new things. My bullet journal is a place for me to play. Every spread is a puzzle that I have to make and then solve, looking for the problems and answers mostly within myself (and the confines of my dot grid space, of course).

I’ve tried calendar layouts like this before, and have found I either neglect them, or I overuse them and get frustrated when my plans don’t line up nicely.

A notebook page in landscape orientation showing a 30-day box calendar for June, with a small table on the left side to input work, goals, and rewards. A quote in the top corner reads, "Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance."

I’m being more lax this month with habit tracking. I’m not sure why, but it felt right, you know? There’s a lot of flux in my environment right now—both my living situation and my family are undergoing positive changes—and I wanted to “go with the flow” more this month, compared to May’s focus on spontaneity. Going with the flow just comes off a bit more mindful, y’know?

A notebook in landscape orientation showing a small calendar, divided into sections on each day on half the page, with a list of goals and associated to-do lists on the other half.

I’m very happy with my mood tracker for this month. I went all Pride 2017 with it, evoking the rainbow. I’ve also changed up how I track my moods: instead of picking a mood for the entire day, I have 3 spaces for each day: morning, afternoon, and evening. That way, I can see how I progress through the day, rather than try to remember a feeling for the entire day. We change so much on micro and macro levels, throughout the day and from day-to-day. This month of tracking my moods through the day will be helpful when I see my doctor at some point over the summer to check my blood sugar levels, too.

I’d post my weekly spreads right now, but they’re still very simple to-do lists! I’m enjoying them and I make them as I go along through the days. They’ve got the time codex bar like I was using in September; very simple and not colour-coded.

If you wanna see more of my bullet journal posts, I’m probably going to get back to posting them on my Instagram. Sharing photos there is much faster than blogging about them, after all! (Also lots of food pictures and the occasionally selfie spam, of course.)

Month In Review: May 2017

Since I moved at the beginning of May, I had a lot to adjust to this month. I’m not sure how well I did, though, since it’s now the end of the month and I’m only just feeling settled. It’s hard to get into a routine when it’s so different to the routines you’ve had for years in school.

A celebration: My living expenses are next to nothing, since I’m living with my dad again.

A change: Well, I was still unpacking into the first week, so I guess my move—but mostly the season got warmer.

A conflict: Living with my family has proved to be a little difficult for me.

A relief: I found more resources for helping treat my mental health.

A regret: I didn’t put time toward my manuscript this month.

A random memory: A cashier at a convenience store, whose first language was definitely not English, said to me, “Have a happy day.” It made my morning, and I did have a happy day.

Onward to June. I’m hoping that this month I can really, actually, finally get revisions going on THE PILGRIMAGE. That’s really my main goal. My priorities are so shaken after moving and diving straight into work. I also have another project that I’m working on (that has been on the backburner for ~3 years) that has suddenly picked up momentum again.

Month In Review: June 2016

Thin wooden boards with contrasting light and dark brown colouring.

Another month, another milestone, I suppose. I did a lot of reading this month, as well as a great amount of writing. I’ve been making progress. The #WriteChain has helped a bunch with keeping me going on my writing. Halfway into June, though, I cut back on the amount I was writing after I finished the first 1/3 of my WIP. I switched to doing some intensive research on religions and mythologies to help me with building a key aspect of the fantasy world. There are so many similarities between all these diverse religions! It’s incredible! The differences between them have also been inspiring. I’m progressing well with this rewrite of the book. I’m confident that I’ll be able to dive into revisions on this draft by the end of August.

One thing I aimed to do through June was my “30 Day Salad Challenge.” I didn’t do 30 days of salads, but I got really, really damn close. For a few days, I didn’t have the groceries to make salads, so that was alright. I think I replaced at least 5 meals every week with a salad. That’s an achievement considering I used to never eat salads unless I was ordering one at a restaurant. I made lots of homemade dressing with Greek yogurt and olive oil (plus other ingredients). I never realised Caesar dressing was simple to make, if you can skimp out on “authenticity” (/coughs at a raw egg yolk in the original recipe) and go for flavours.

Here are some of my favourite posts from June
A single adjective for June was sluggish.

Though the month seemed to go by quickly for me, each day was excruciating to get through. The heat makes me want to curl up on a train headed into a snowbank. The summer always makes me feel less productive, more cranky, and less excited. It’s a boring season filled with humidity and too many teenagers roaming around. I’ve also been plagued by headaches/migraines/cluster headaches (whatever the hell they are) once the average daily temperature reached a minimum 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). I am not built for heat.

In July, I look forward to
  • seeing my oldest brother in the beginning of the month.
  • seeing my boyfriend for his birthday on July 5th.
  • going to the Royal Ontario Museum with my boyfriend.
  • starting design and formatting work for a local self-publishing author!
  • more writing—I have a very confident path for the book now that the scenes are in order and the beginning is completed.

Stay frosty, everyone. I know I’m trying to.

month in review june