This month, I had the privilege of responding to a bullet journaling prompt by @reflectwithraksha on Instagram – “What can I say no to?”
It was a privilege because it was more than just a prompt; it became a prod to examine my life, my choices, my habits, and even my own character and beliefs.
The process of writing down each answer made me pause to think, and rethink, about what mattered more or what no longer held any value in my life.
It made me question why certain things even once mattered. It made me ask myself why I didn’t say no before. I didn’t always like my answers. I didn’t like having to acknowledge that I’d been saying “yes” because I didn’t dare say “no” .
I’ve realised that saying “no” is not necessarily an act of defiance. Sometimes, it’s about setting boundaries, and having the courage to protect those boundaries.
I am grateful this prompt made me examine myself. The path to self-awareness is never smooth but it is one journey that can end with less baggage than when it started.
The words “Happy New Year” are quite, quite poignant for 2021, aren’t they? 2021 has so much on its shoulders because the world, and humanity, has placed such expectations on it, like employment, joy, peace, safety and happiness.
2020 was a challenging year for me. And I’m not sure if I should regard 2021 with suspicion or hope; hence, my coverpages for my journal this year:
To make this year a meaningful one, I’m committing to some mindful changes. I’ll write about them soon.
Meanwhile, have a safe, peaceful and happy 2021, everyone.
Here are some pages from my December bullet journal.
I cannot overstate how helpful bullet journaling has been in the daily business of living.
Yes, I could attain the same kind of management benefits from store bought diaries and journals; but creating my own pages allows me to include the sort of content I want (tracking pages, calendar, gratitude pages, etc) without the need for others (addresses, world map, world time).
It also allows me to adjust how much space I might need for my calendar or scheduler on a monthly or even weekly basis. I’ve always ended up with loads of wasted pages during holiday periods and not enough when it’s work plan or meeting seasons!
Having said that, I used to fuss over how hideous my bullet journal spreads were. And stress over the theme, the colours … and this was before I even dared to share my spreads online.
Pinterest, Instagram, WordPress and YouTube host so many gorgeous spreads that the intimidation is real. But these sources have also taught me that it really doesn’t matter if my spreads look good or not.
Nobody has any business judging anyone else’s spreads because the point of bullet journaling is creating something for yourself.
Bullet journaling has been therapeutic and eye opening. Planning for and using the journal pages have helped to anchor the chaos of daily living, and instilled discipline and focus. Sharing my spreads online is a step up confidence building.
It was quite difficult to settle on my November bullet journal theme.
There was so much uncertainty, pain, even nastiness each time I tried to watch the news that it became difficult to sit through it. I questioned humanity, or the lack of it. I wondered for the umpteenth time why it was so problematic to accept wearing a mask – if those working at the ice cream shop have always worn masks because it was hygienic to do so, why couldn’t we when there was a pandemic?
Anyway, I digress. This post is about my trusty bullet journal and the theme I settled on.
It is my tribute to Louisa May Alcott, writer of the series that made me wish I had sisters, a Marmee and time for make believe dressups, writing, messy relationships and all the ingredients for a memorable growing up period. Alcott was born in November.
But, with today’s backdrop in mind, I wonder what the reactions might be to a title like LittleWomen.
Will it shock anyone if I say it’s been almost a year since I started blogging?
The plan was to shine a light on acts of kindness in the little corner of the world around me. But, along the way, I found myself sharing other thoughts, photographs, and even writing creatively, none of which I’d planned. Should have known better than to plan, right?
But this blogging endeavor also made me respond to other posts, comment on other written pieces, and I found kindred spirits in another little corner of the world. I thank you all for that.
So I’m sharing my January 2019 bullet journal cover page. And, yes, bujo’ing is another thing I never thought I’d do. Which seems ironic: I never planned on planning.
I chose tbe ladder because it represents where I am (at the bottom) and where I hope to be. I have loads of flaws and issues, but I’ve come to realise that acknowledging these flaws is the first step to making changes and improvements.
Have a happy, safe, healthy, peaceful and meaningful 2019, everyone.