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: April 2017

This post is written in advance, because as you’ll probably glance down to see, I move today! Lots of lugging boxes and a 5+ hour drive. I honestly enjoy packing and moving—it’s the unpacking that I hate. I like putting things away, but having to unpack furniture and arrange it… Not a fan. Anyway, April is done, unbelievably, and I’m looking forward to summer. I feel a lot of opportunity, even if I’m still being dragged down by negative thinking and whatnot.

A celebration: I am officially out of Windsor and done with university. I have my degree! (Well, almost. It will arrive in the mail, hopefully.)

A change: I moved back to my hometown today!

A conflict: My eating disorder was a nightmare this month.

A relief: I’m more at peace with myself being divided between art and writing.

A regret: I didn’t revise as much as I wanted to.

A random memory: I saw a husky puppy walking down the street one morning (with the owner, of course), and the puppy stopped by a signpost. The owner tugged at the leash, and the husky pranced up to him with a big stick in its mouth. Like, a huge stick. Which reminds me of another memory… A guy shouted outside and I looked out the window to see him carrying a branch that was literally twice his height. Big sticks make us happy, I suppose.

Onward to May! I’m hoping to visit my oldest brother, especially since his birthday is in the end of the month. I really want to see some mountains, so visiting him in Alberta would be fun—and I’d get to see my grandpa for the first time in probably a decade. There’s so much I can do with my time nowadays that I need to really hone my focus and work on my projects. Or, I can fall into the existential crisis that’s been lurking around since the beginning of the month. I’m hoping to try new things and test my dedication this upcoming month: jogging; finishing art projects; finishing writing projects; working on my relationships with friends, family, my boyfriend, and myself. It’ll be an adventure. Wish me luck!

April 2017 Monthly Bullet Journal Spread

Literally too lazy to fix the orientation of this photo.

Here’s my spread for the upcoming month.

It’s a simple to-do list. I’ve got room for more, in case I need more. I found myself neglecting a lot of spreads in my bullet journal, as well as spreading myself thin between too many projects every single day. So, I’ve gone for a simple month-long look at goals, projects, and tasks.

Beside the calendar is my small to-do list for different tasks and goals. I have my list for the blog posts, since I need to get them scheduled so I can use my time for packing and moving. I’ll likely add more as the month goes on!

Month In Review: March 2017

You know how some months fly by, and others drag by? March was just right. It didn’t pass quickly or slowly, but instead just… happened. There were some days and weeks that seemed to take forever to end, and others that ended faster than I thought possible. But everything balanced out, and here we are on the last day!

A celebration: Spring arrived and the weather is more enjoyable—which means my utility usage is slowly decreasing.

A change: No writing projects on the go this month.

A conflict: I had a manic episode for a week that ended up hurting me a lot.

A relief: My dad and I had some nice chats and he helped me keep my head on straight, and my anxiety levels were really, really low this month.

A regret: I didn’t create as much art as I wanted to.

A random memory: My friend and I finally saw Hidden Figures and it was an incredible film. We had a great discussion in her car afterward about civil rights, the changing views we’ve had as we’ve learned about our white privilege, and the different problematic perspectives of people we know.

April feels like it should be busy, since I’m moving; but I like packing and the move should go fine. I already have a “new” place to live—returning to my dad’s house—and my dad is supportive and helpful. (Insistently so.) I’m hoping my low anxiety continues through April. I’ll be happy to be back in my hometown by the start of May, since Windsor will get too hot and has too much pollution. Back home, I’ll be able to see the stars every night, and not be able to count them on my fingers and toes. Part of me wonders why I’m not sad to leave Windsor, but I know why I’m not sad to be leaving: I never intended to stay more than my allotted time here. I came for university. I finished university. It’s time to go.

March 2017 Bullet Journal Spreads

I’m really pleased with how my spreads for this month turned out! I only do one week at a time, in case I want to change things for the next week, so this post has photos from my monthly spread and my first week of March.

For 2017 and all of my monthly views, I’ve been including a different quote/saying. My word for this year is “persevere” and I’ve found some great quotes.

January’s quote: “The will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success.” – David Sarnoff

February’s quote: “Perseverance is the foundation of all actions.” – Lao Tzu (a personal favourite—I would have used this one again if I didn’t have more!)

And this month, the quote is “Persevere and preserve yourself for better circumstances” from Virgil, apparently.

Although I don’t like yellow, I really love the bee washi tape and yellow is really the only colour to go with it. I’ll have a post up this month for my favourite bullet journal supplies, by the way, so you can see the different washi tape and tools I use to make my spreads.

I also couldn’t pass up an opportunity to put in some hexagon icons for my monthly tasks and goals.

These spreads were photographed before I filled them in, so they definitely don’t look as neat anymore. I plan to post the filled in spreads over on my Instagram, and there are more pictures of spreads there—including the one for this week!

My monthly layouts focus on the habit tracker and a quick calendar view of the month. Adding in goals and tasks to the monthly view helps me when I make my weekly views. I can look at my goals for the month and see what I can do during the week to achieve them.

I also have a habit tracker on my weekly layouts for the more important habits I want to develop. Having them shown to me in the week means I’m more accountable, since I’m often too lazy to flip to my monthly view and see what habits I should do.

For the first week of March, I wanted to include a more relaxed meal plan. It doesn’t have the meals planned out for specific days, but I’ve since put in the different meals I can have or cook. In previous meal plans, I found myself switching breakfasts or snacks from one day to another. Now I can look at the meals I’ve written out and pick one!

This week, I also experimented with merging my “next week” and “notes” boxes into one generic space, under the weekly header. I found it much more helpful to consolidate everything together. When the boxes were separate, they took up more space than I could fill in. It made sense to squish ‘em together.

A sleep tracker has become a staple in my weekly layouts. I introduced it back in the fall of 2016, and it’s been fantastic in figuring out the amount of time in my day and how much energy I have.

I plan on keeping the grey and yellow theme throughout the month, though I might change up the grey and go for yellow as the accent colour!

Month In Review: January 2017

An open book with a calendar and a text overlay reading Month In Review: January 2017

The first month of 2017 is done already? I’ll be honest: this month was a blur. I don’t have much to write on January… It’s been a strange, hazy thirty-one days. I’ll make my Months In Review quick this year, with a few lines to sum up highlights and woes of each month—and maybe a few sentences to add some flavour.

A celebration: I reached my word goal of 70,000 for The Pilgrimage!

A change: I moved to new accounts for a fresher start to a new tome of my life.

A conflict: My PTSD and dissociation were incredibly prevalent this month, which might be why I was in a haze most of the month.

A relief: My application to graduate from university was accepted!

A regret: I didn’t make as much art this month as I planned or hoped to do.

A random memory: At the convenience store, I happened to look up as a girl left and her earbuds fell out of her pocket. It took me about 2 seconds to put down my things, tell my boyfriend I’d be right back, and pick up the earbuds to go return them to her. She was just walking out of the parking lot and looked incredibly relieved when I handed them back to her.

Onward to February!

Month In Review: December 2016

December flew by. This month, I finished all of my classes for university and have officially completed my transcript! I won’t have my diploma until June 2017, but…

I’m done university!!!

I’m so thrilled to be done. It’ll be a tough road once I get into 2017. There are some administrative things that I need to do regarding my loan, which I’m not looking forward to. But I’m excited to set out on my journey into the workforce doing freelance projects.

Really, I spent most of the month in a blur. My dissociation has been very strong this month, along with my depression (both the mental illness depression and the return to my natural hormone cycle, since I stopped birth control last month). I did my studying and my exams, which all went well, and… can’t remember what else I did.

This week, I’ve been binge-watching a Chinese drama called Ice Fantasy (which you’d know if you follow me on Twitter #selfpromo), and let me tell ya… It has been incredible. I’ve been inspired by it so much. The show adapts a Chinese book, is produced in China, and stars an east-Asian cast (the main cast is all Chinese except for one Korean woman who has been phenomenal). It’s been refreshing to get away from all the European fantasy. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy.

I’m not going to talk much about Christmas. The holiday season is very, very difficult for me and my family. My main gift this year was a new keyboard. In October, the hand-me-down keyboard gave out, and I was borrowing one from my boyfriend’s family. But now… I have a new, very shiny mechanical keyboard. I picked the Corsair Strafe with brown switches so I could light up the keys differently depending on what I do. (Writing at night, the shortcuts I use the most in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign… That kind of thing!) It’s so nice to have my own keyboard for the first time in my life. I’ve shared family computers, and I’ve been given hand-me-down keyboards when I got my desktop. So I love having a keyboard that only I will wear down.

I’m visiting family until some time in January, so my blog posts will be a bit less until then. I’ll probably get a New Year’s goals post out, like I did last year. I’m doing goals differently this year.

May we all find peace in some form, whether it is hope for the future or acceptance of the present, as we reach the end of 2016. ♥

Month In Review: November 2016

Thin wooden boards with contrasting light and dark brown colouring.

This past month, I took a break from the blog and social media, continued from October. I’d like to say that it made my life better, but it didn’t make much of a difference. A lot of other factors affected my health and well-being through November, so social media didn’t… have the same place it did before? I took the break in October because I was getting very attached to it and wasting a lot of time on it. But for November, it fell to the wayside very naturally and all my activity on it since then has felt okay.

I still miss my rabbit so much, but this isn’t my first grief and it’s by far the healthiest mourning I’ve done.

My month is a bit of a haze. I’m not sure what exactly I’ve been up to. I’ve mostly worked on school and tried not to let my body fall into ruin. I know I spent a lot of time entertaining myself with the Internet and video games. It was hard to get through the middle of my semester—I often lose motivation nearing the end of any type of task, and university has been no different. But! Only a week of classes, some exams, and then I’m done! I still need to wait to find out how to apply to graduate. I recently submitted a few forms to the Financial office at the university, since I’m not registering for classes in the Winter semester, and am waiting to see how they update my file. Unfortunately, the online applications to graduate aren’t open yet. This has made me incredibly frustrated, since I want to get the process going now and be on the way to officially finishing.

In fact, I’m so excited to be done school that I made a list of all the activities I like to do. Some of them, such as the writing and reading, are less “leisure” or “free time” activities once I’ll be done with school. Those activities are the ones that need priority. I’m so accustomed to setting aside all my hobbies during school that the free time will inevitably make me feel terrible for doing any of them. I need to remember, though: I have goals and it is productive to do anything that works toward those goals. Reading will no longer be leisurely. Writing will no longer be pushed to my “free time.” I’m so, so excited to be free of the educational institution. I’ve spent all of my life in schools and it’s time to get.

In December, I’m excited for…

  • Finishing my last semester of university (classes end on December 7 and my last exam is on December 21)!
  • Seeing my family again.
  • Taking the train in business class for the first time, which means I get a meal and, so my boyfriend says, wine.
  • Starting a new bullet journal! The 100-page, 6 x 9 inch book from Productive Luddite will run out by the time I finish classes, so I’ll start the new one in January for the new year! (Expect a blog post on that, heck yes).
  • Returning to blogging.

Bullet Journal Monthly Spreads: October 2016

It’s October already! I’m very excited. If you read my post reviewing September, you’d know I’m looking forward to this month. I didn’t get to a very good start, but those days are done and new days are coming.

When I showed off my spreads from September, I used it as a bit of a review for what I wanted to change come October and the monthly spreads. I spent the first two days of October in a depressed pit, so creating these spreads took way longer than I anticipated. But I’m so excited for them!

The first spread is a cover page for October. I love having a refreshing new page to welcome the month. September’s was very different to this pixelated one, and I absolutely adore the confines of the boxes. It reminds me of the good old days of some webdesign trends in the *ahem* younger generations.

The word "October" styled in boxy or pixelated font outlined in warm colours.

I found September’s calendar didn’t work well for me, so I adopted a table with dates on the left side, and various categories and deadlines/schedules/activities for those days. This gives me more room, but also lets me see everything at a glance and make it easy for me to know what’s coming up in a few weeks. It also feels more chronological than the 7-column structure of a calendar, y’know? I kind of regret the numerical calendar on the bottom of the right page—it’s much more spaced out than I’d like. But, c’est la vie. I can always cover it up if I really, truly hate it.

Chart with days of the month and activities in various categories.

My habit and health tracker got the least changes. I eliminated a few things I neglected to track during September, and refurbished them onto a daily spread to test out this first week of October. I also decided to bring in colour. I’m using FriXion markers in a set colour palette (the blues and greens) in a pattern. Last month, I used different symbols for when the habit was present or when it wasn’t. At the end, it looked very cluttered. I reasoned, If I don’t do the habit or healthy thing, then I shouldn’t get to mark anything down. Let it be nothing.

Chart with the days of the month and various habits and coloured boxes next to the habits.

I’m also very much in love with the weekly spread I did. It’s a variation on the last week (which I have yet to show, heh) with some differences in how I structure the daily logs. I promise I’ll show some pictures soon!

The monthly spreads in the bullet journal always take up the most of my time. They are more long-standing than the weekly or daily logs, so I find I consider the look and content much more. But I’m very happy with this month’s! We’ll see how well I keep up with some habits and where I fall off the wagon.