Still Developing a Plan...

Just a quick update to let you know what’s going on with the blog.

I did write a post for last week. Well, part of a post anyway. But then I got bogged down in the overall plan for the blog and whether or not this multiple topics per post thing is working.

Based on page views and interactions- it’s not working for you guys. Given that I want to maximize engagement and develop a community….this isn’t working for me either.

I’m considering actually going back to the multiple blog system. Separate RSS feeds make it easier for readers, I think. You can engage with all the content, or just the one topic you like.

However, I don’t have time to post regularly on a bunch of blogs.

And this is where I am at now….which blogs to use, how many to use, and how often to post. I’m still pondering this…daily. Unfortunately, I happen to also be really busy at the moment, so the pondering is happening less often than I’d like.

Thank you for reading. I’ll post again soon.

Time, Anxiety and Airports

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Dear Reader,

How are you? I’ve been better, honestly. It’s been a particularly stressful week full of all sorts of stressors- work, home, pets, health...I’m tired. We’ve been super busy- lots of late nights coming home, and scrambling to take care of the basics. I’ve been trying to find time all week to write this post, and I’ve been utterly failing. I didn’t think this post was going to happen, but here I am prioritizing it for my Friday night!


Anxiety Relief

In addition to being really busy this week, my mind is being overtaken by an all-consuming worry. It’s a personal health issue and a potentially major concern, I’ll share more once I get a better idea of what is going on. I’ve been worried about it all week; however, I’ve been super busy and haven’t really had much time to acknowledge it.

Tonight is Friday, though, and I’m by myself while my husband is off working. Plenty of time to think...and worry...and obsessively worry. I’ve been combating my thoughts with a couple of things: planning my trip to Walt Disney World in January and listening to a playlist of my favorite Disney songs while doing my evening chores (and writing this post, right now it’s “Colors of the Wind” in case you were curious).

The Disney playlist serves two purposes. The upbeat songs lift my spirits and energizes me. I never think it is going to have much of an impact on my energy until I turn it on. The second purpose is that the emotional power ballads allowing me to feel my feelings. The emotions are bubbling on the surface, and when a sad song or an emotional power ballad comes on, the tears flow. Acknowledging feelings and feeling the feelings is actually a very important tool for getting rid of them and feeling better.

 Planning the first day in Animal Kingdom!

Planning the first day in Animal Kingdom!

Central Florida Trip Report (Part 2)

Day One

The evening before the morning of our trip, we discovered some skin lesions on Mama Meredith (one of our cats). We called the vet and arranged to drop her off on our way to the airport. My in-laws were babysitting the fur children, so they were going to pick up Meredith that evening after she was treated by the vet.

We left from the Charlottesville airport. Out of all the airports we visited on our journey there and back, Charlottesville was my favorite. It was my first time flying out of Charlottesville. I’ve done plenty of dropping off and picking up my husband there, but I hadn’t been inside myself. The airport is tiny, organized and super clean. It was so easy to navigate. There was a bit of a wait for the TSA line (less than 5 minutes) and my husband said that was the first line he’s ever encountered there.

  Breakfast at the CVille airport.

Breakfast at the CVille airport.

We arrived with plenty of time, so once inside the terminal, we grabbed breakfast sandwiches at a cafe and sat down for a bit. We got some snacks at the little store and I refilled my water bottle at the “hydration station”. We also walked outside on balcony to view the air strip and our plane. It was an excellent start.

 Looking at our plane.

Looking at our plane.

 CVille airstrip.

CVille airstrip.

I was nervous, though, the last time I had been in the air I swore I’d never fly again. I had a really bad cold, and I couldn’t pop my ears. I was in so much pain the entire time. I don’t like flying anymore...not because of the height, or any kind of fear of dying in a plane crash. I don’t like flying because of how cramped everything is, how rushed everything is, how close you are to so many people, how people have to wait for you to sit down...it’s an anxiety nightmare for me.

 This plane is too small.

This plane is too small.

Thanks to airplane logic, we had to head north to go south. Our layover was in the Philadelphia airport. I was excited that the layover was long enough for us to not feel rushed and to even stop for lunch. We walked a good distance to our connecting terminal and then found a table service restaurant called “Chickie & Pete’s”. It was not a good decision. The staff was disinterested in serving us, the service was super slow (like 25 minutes for a cheesesteak slow), the sandwiches came with no sides- not even a pickle, and there was no option to add chips or fries. They got my order wrong...well, half my order...I got two ½ a sandwich I ordered and ½ I didn’t. The food was expensive and not even remotely tasty. I would have been way more satisfied with my value if I had gone to the Popeye’s instead.

 Out the window at our lunch table at the Philly airport.

Out the window at our lunch table at the Philly airport.


Time Management

My struggle with time this week- and not having enough of it- has inspired me to more diligently pursue learning how to manage my time better. Last night, I watched some YouTube videos on the topic, and I’ve settled for trying a new round of “time blocking” this week. One thing that I came across during my research is that time blocking can be like a food diary. Food diaries prompt change because they force you to be mindful of what you are eating. Time blocking forces you to be mindful of your time. I’m opting to do the time blocking in my bullet journal since I’d like to see two timelines- my planned/expected day and my actual day. I feel like I may get some useful information from the comparison.

 Today’s timeblocking attempt!

Today’s timeblocking attempt!

What is time blocking? It’s basically just making appointments for all the things you plan to do. You create a bar of all the blocks in a day (or use something like Google Calendar) and fill them in with your expected tasks. At first, it should be a bit challenging and overwhelming, but I think it is supposed to get easier as you get more practice.

Here are some of the videos I watched:

Also, this blog post: https://bulletjournal.com/blogs/bulletjournalist/daily-plan-bar on the Bullet Journal website.

What topics would you like next time?
Do you like the three topics per post?

Blue Llama County, Level Up Life, & a bit about my dad

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Dear Reader,

How are you? I’m okay- and that’s good. I’ve had a bit of a stressful and exhausting (physically and emotionally) couple of weeks. I will get into a bit more detail in just a moment. I had hoped to find time to write a post last week, but travel and my emotional brain state did not allow for that. Thank you for your patience, and we will now return to our previous schedule.

I hope you are doing well. But if you aren’t- this feeling will pass, things won’t always be this way, your feelings are valid and people do care. Believe me- they do.

Central Florida Trip Report (Part 1)

An introduction to the situation...

Last week’s lack of a blog post was because I was down in Florida! It wasn’t a vacation, though. I would never vacation in Florida in September- that’s way too hot!! I melt in the sun. I traveled down to Florida to handle my deceased father’s “estate”. I say “estate” like that because...well, it was only a small storage locker that was half-full of nothing of (monetary) value. Still, it needed to be handled and I was his closest living relative.

My father and I had, at best, a complicated relationship. We’ll definitely explore that more at some point in the future, but for now a short summary. He fell somewhere on the narcissistic personality spectrum, he lacked empathy, and was a pathological liar. I don’t just mean he fibbed occasionally- he manufactured completely different personality traits, preferences and histories depending on whom he was around. He claimed grandiose things such as he worked for the CIA and climbed Mountain Everest (both definitely not true). After my mom divorced him, he traveled around the country mooching off of other women. He needed help, and I still have a layer of guilt for not recognizing this sooner. His way of living led him to die alone and in poverty, entirely unexpectedly.

In my adulthood, I was aware of my father’s manipulative tendencies and I always kept him at arm’s length. However everyone else, eventually (after he got what he wanted), ended up abandoning him. My sister and I were the only two who kept in consistent contact with him. Since I’m seven years older than my sister, my dad kept me loosely informed of some of the realities of his life. So, I was aware of the existence of his storage locker and its address. I also was the one to receive the contents of the room that he rented- a couple of bags of items.

He died three years ago. Since then, I had been putting off the handling of his storage locker. It was emotionally challenging. Not only did I lose my father, I had an overwhelming sense of guilt associated with the situation. I hadn’t understood the reality he was living in (mainly because he lied about it) and I struggle with not having done anything to help him. In addition, the last few years I’ve been dealing with anxiety and depression, and I just couldn’t get up the courage and motivation to handle it. It was also far away, and I didn’t have the money to do all the necessary travel and paperwork.

I finally decided it was time this summer and I arranged a trip down to central Florida for the end of September. I was down there from Wednesday to Sunday of last week (4 nights). I have plenty of fun things to share about the places we went and the food we ate. But...I think it may take several posts! Umm…I also have a very embarrassing story of an anxiety meltdown at the airport, which I will share here in case it will make one other person feel less alone.

Level Up Life (Part 1)

Several weeks ago, I discovered this app called “Level Up Life”. It’s been around for awhile and it doesn’t seem like it’s getting much attention from its developer these days. Still, it’s got a great idea, so I’m going to use it anyway, and I’m going to take you along on the journey with me.

Level Up Life gives you a series of goals or missions to complete that will help you make your life better (in theory). Goals are divided into several different categories, and they are assigned an experience point value as well as some associated character attributes. The idea is to earn experience to increase your level to unlock new missions and make your life better. While the app definitely has room for improvement, I like the idea.

My profile at the start:

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I’ve selected two goals for this week:

Read one chapter of a book- I’d like to read more. You can log this activity on the app up to once a day, so I’m hoping to check off this goal several times this week.

Go to bed super early- I’m not sure what I’d define as “super early” yet. But I’m trying to improve my sleep habits (and I’ve had a few weeks of very little sleep), so I’m going to try to do this once this week.

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Blue Llama County (Tabby Rose, Part 1)

Sunday

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Hello. My name is Tabby Rose. My parents and I moved into a new neighborhood yesterday. It’s a new section of the county, and it seems...well...lacking in people. I hope I meet some neighbors soon. I’m already feeling quite lonely here! I am a bit nervous when I think of going to a new school. I’m not sure if I will fit in or make any friends. I’m not very good at being alone.

My new school sent me some homework in advance, so today I spent the morning completing that. I’m a little nervous about the workload too, if they are sending me homework before I even start! In the afternoon, I went to the local library with my mother to access the computers. My mother was going to work on her jokes- she’s a comedian, and I wanted to practice programming. I’m learning to code. It’s pretty entertaining, and I know it’ll be useful for my future career plans.

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I met some people at the library and I introduced myself. Everyone seemed friendly, but I didn’t really connect with anyone.

When we came home, it was time for dinner. I set the table while my mother cooked Franks n’ Beans. For dessert, we had brownies she made earlier in the day while I was doing my homework. She’s taken an interest in baking recently. I’m glad she’s found something new to be passionate about.

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Well, she’s pretty passionate about my father, but I don’t like to encourage their already abundant PDAs! Although, I must confess that while I do make faces when they smooch in front of me, I actually think it’s adorable. I love how much they love each other. I just don’t let them know that, of course.

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We don’t have many interesting things in the house just yet. Wait, let me rephrase that...interesting things *to do*. My mom has an….eclectic...taste in decor, so there are interesting things in the house, just not much to do. So, the three of us watched some television (comedy shows, of course!) before bed.

Which topics are you interested in hearing more about in future posts?
What did you think about the length of this post?

Post formatting, being a slob, and a bit of WDW news

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Dear Reader,

Hello again! How are you? I’m doing okay. I have a lot of ongoing stressors that I’m struggling with, so my mood has been up and down. At the moment, though, I’m okay and I hope you are too.

Formatting

Yesterday, I came up with what topic I was going to write about today. I brainstormed ideas, selected a topic, and I thought I was all set. I’m trying to adhere to my new schedule for writing blog posts. Unfortunately, this morning I wasn’t inspired to write that post. I contemplated this more as I worked, and finally I decided what I did want to write. I mentioned this idea in my last post...the idea of writing posts with multiple topics. Of course, if I choose this path I’m doubling down even further on not listening to the advice I’ve found online! I’m supposed to choose one narrow niche, and write posts on that topic which are all connected. Umm…oh well. Apparently, I’m just super unfocused because writing a post on a single topic each time sounds boring. So, I’m going to rebel against that idea and write to my readers as I would a penpal. Since I’m not in this for the fame or profit, I think this is okay. I’ll be satisfied with a handful of readers that I get to know.

Confession: I am a slob.

One of my (many) current stressors is that my house is a mess and other stressors are preventing me from having the time I need to handle it. We have guests coming to stay at our house next week, so the scramble is on! Of course, keeping my house organized has always been a struggle for me. I just have more important things to do, you know? I’ve been a mess since I was a kid. Kid with the messiest desk in the class in elementary school- definitely me. In fact, I went through some pretty embarrassing (read: permanently scarring) times as a child due to my inability to keep stuff straight. I got this gift for clutter (and collecting) from my father. My mother is quite the opposite. So in my perpetual attempts to be a good little girl, I’ve tried very hard to keep a nice clean house in my adulthood. It’s only been reasonable because I constantly fight with it. I’m determined, stubborn, and I’m a pretty motivated person- I’m not usually lazy. Well, I’m tired of fighting with it. I want a house that’s always clean without feeling like an epic battle so I can relax night!

Enter a new blog/podcast/book I found: A Slob Comes Clean. While some of my personality traits have kept my slobbiness away from it’s potential maximum, I SO relate to Dana’s experiences. I discovered her website a couple weeks ago, and this past weekend I bought the ebook (I wanted a printed copy but it was not at my local bookstore). I’m a few chapters in and I love it. I recommend it, highly, if you are also a slob. Also, she’s made me feel less ashamed about the mess and I am readily embracing my character trait of “slob”. Her techniques, thus far in my reading, will be easily adapted into my normal (busy) life. Her techniques involve both a self-awareness mindset, as well as practical, small everyday habits. I’m optimistic now about making my clean house dream a reality and I’m sort of even looking forward to the process.

(Update while editing!): I read about “clutter threshold” last night. YES. I’m not skilled at handling the amount of stuff I have. It is as simple as that. It all makes sense now. I need less stuff.

(Yet another update before posting): From very thoughtful and kind family members I was offered a collection of Mickey stuffed animals that someone else was parting with. I said “no”! Despite my immediate gut reaction of “ooo, Mickey!” I brought to mind Dana’s discussion about clutter threshold and did what was best for me.

Anxiety is Making a Comeback

Over the past year or so, I’ve made a lot of progress learning how to keep my anxiety in check. My new normal mood is much more relaxed than it was a couple years ago. However, the past week has been quite challenging and I’ve been feeling overwhelmed often. This morning I had a surge of anxiety. I tried to quiet my brain, but there were too many thoughts. Trying to think about things while working was proving too stressful. Instead, I pulled out my bullet journal and went to the next blank page.

I wrote out everything that I was worried about. Then prioritized the worries in my mind. Next I looked to see what worries were location specific. There is no use worrying about getting my house clean for guests when I’m at work, right? Might as well focus on the work stuff at work and set the house stuff aside. I also told myself several times that the best I can do will be good enough. I don’t have to do all the things perfectly, as long as I try, it’ll be fine. This process helped immensely and I was able to get back on track after in a much better mood and with a clear mind.

(Another editing update): I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night with bouts of anxiety like I used to. My hours of sleep have dropped from 7.5 to about 5 hours. Ugh. I was trying to increase my sleep. Hrmpf. We’ll chat more about sleep soon- maybe next week? I’ve been working a LOT on sleep this year.

 Despite how busy I’ve been, I’ve been relieving my stress with a bit of gaming every night before bed. I’m super into Two Point Hospital at the moment! I play it every night. It’s so fun. The lightheardness makes it the perfect game to lift my mood.

Despite how busy I’ve been, I’ve been relieving my stress with a bit of gaming every night before bed. I’m super into Two Point Hospital at the moment! I play it every night. It’s so fun. The lightheardness makes it the perfect game to lift my mood.

Walt Disney World News

And now for something completely different. Here’s a bit of news out of my favorite place on earth and my preferred vacation destination of choice:

  • Epcot’s nighttime show IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is going to be coming to an end! The show has been around for 20 years, so rumors of it’s replacement have been in the wind for awhile. Those rumors have now been confirmed- IllumiNations will be leaving in Summer 2019. I’ll need to make a point of getting a good spot to watch it during my upcoming trip in January.

  • Ziploc has launched a partnership with Disney and it’s resulted in a must-have souvenir for me. My apologies to my two friends and husband who are joining me on my next trip but I will be putting this souvenir as a PRIORITY. They are handing out the most adorable Ziploc bags at Splash Mountain (for your phone, etc… since Splash has no lockers). Go checkout this cuteness here: Disney Food Blog. I need a few of these.

 A photo of myself and Brer Rabbit, the star of Splash Mountain!

A photo of myself and Brer Rabbit, the star of Splash Mountain!

Moving Forward

So...what did we think of this meandering ramble about a variety of different things? I’m going to continue trying it out because I had fun writing it, and there’s so many things I want to chat with you all about.

Speaking of that, what are some of the topics that sound most interesting to you?

Which topics would you like to hear more about?

Write here…






Why do I blog? Week 3 of my blog redesign project

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Hi! How are you? (Seriously, leave a comment below & let’s chat!) Thank you for stopping by my blog, I really appreciate it.

Here we are in Week #3 of renovating my blog. If you missed Week 1, you can check it out here: http://www.crazycatnerd.com/site-news/2018/8/28/what-sort-of-blog-week-one-of-my-blog-redesign-project. In that post, I explained that I’m redesigning my blog and finally “getting serious” about blogging. I tried defining what sort of blog I wanted. I discovered that my preferred style is somewhere between personal and lifestyle. There was no redesign post for week 2, instead I discussed misconceptions you might encounter when starting a bullet journal. I’m going to be going back and forth between the redesign and other things I want to share. Here in week 3, I’m going to look at the purpose of my blog.

Before I get into the purpose, I just wanted to highlight a few changes that I’ve made over the last week:

  • I’ve created a “Blog” page (found in the navigation bar). I’m keeping the remaining pages intact for now, but I do plan on pulling everything into a single blog. However, you will still be able to navigate to the various categories (it’ll just be a single feed).

  • When you first visit the site you now land on the “blog page”. Since it’s the main focus of the site, it should be the first thing you see.

  • There’s an email subscription button in the sidebar. While I currently do not have a newsletter, I intend to have one eventually. For now, I’m just collecting the emails of interested parties.

  • I’m continuing to only post on the “Site News” feed and only on Fridays. I might eventually do two posts a week, but I’m trying to work on consistency and quality first.

Why am I blogging?

    I’ve been reading this post: https://www.codeinwp.com/blog/setting-blog-goals/ that highlights the importance of not only figuring out your purpose, but setting up actionable goals. Determining the purpose behind the blogging has been mentioned in several other articles as well. It makes sense as a good first step. After a bit of writing, I determined the three main purposes of my blogging hobby:



  1. To Connect- Written communication, whether it be online or in a snailmail letter, is my preferred form of communication. As I write this post, my anxiety is non-existent. I don’t fret about social interactions that are written, especially when I have plenty of time to do the writing. Therefore, it is easier for me to connect with others this way. Blogging about my hobbies and interests helps me find others who share those interests. I can meet new and interesting people in an environment that I find comfortable.

  2. To Help Others- I enjoy helping others find useful information. I’m constantly seeking to share the information I’ve learned. I love teaching people how to do new things and sharing recommendations of things I love, so others can love them too. I want to help other people lead joyful and stress-free lives.

  3. To Have Fun- Most importantly to me, I find blogging FUN. Fun is my life’s purpose. Everything I do is so I can have more fun!



Now that I’ve determined my purpose for blogging I need to create small, achievable goals to help me move in that direction.


To that end, I have a question for you. Do you prefer blog posts that address multiple topics or a single topic? An example of a single topic would be this post, as well as my last two posts. We are either talking about blogging or bullet journalling or mental health or the Sims, etc… If today’s post had been on multiple topics I might have talked a bit about the blog redesign project, mentioned the current game I’m playing, lament a bit about the incoming hurricane, and maybe thrown in a cat photo for good measure.  

Single Topic vs. Multiple Topics
Do you prefer a post that covers just one topic? Or do you like posts that have a few different things going on at once?

I’ve also been brainstorming ideas for posts, and how those posts could fit into categories. From what I’m reading, I should select as few categories as possible that cover the range of things I want to discuss. I’ve been creating a mindmap:

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These are just some of the ideas I have- the mind map is still growing! I’m curious which of the following posts you would like to see next week. I will likely do one of these next week, and I’d like to know what current readers are most interested in hearing about.

Which post would you like to see next Friday?

That’s all for now! Have a fun weekend!

Bullet Journal Misconceptions

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Almost two years ago, I discovered bullet journaling. I quickly fell in love with it and I use my journal every single day. It is one of my most treasured possessions. I carry it with me everywhere, and I use it for all kinds of things. In addition to being useful for organizing my life, it has also helped me with my personal wellness goals, and it’s just plain fun.

Too often I see or hear comments that are similar to “I want to start bullet journaling, but…[insert reason]” and that reason stems from one of the many misconceptions about bullet journaling. It’s frustrating to see people not even try out this tool that I have found incredibly helpful because they don’t think they have enough time or enough skill.

A lot of the misconceptions come from the abundant gorgeous postings from talented journalers on a variety of social media platforms. A wide variety of spreads such as habit trackers, cleaning schedules, tv episode trackers and health goals...to name a small fraction of the options...make bullet journals seem like mysterious, overwhelmingly complicated and time consuming things that only incredibly organized, as well as highly artistic people, do. But the beauty of bullet journaling is that you don’t need to do all those things, you can pick and choose what you like and customize specifically for you. And most importantly you don’t need to choose which spreads you do right now. You can add and subtract new spreads and trackers at anytime. In fact, your journal should be constantly changing and evolving to suit your needs in that moment.

In this post, I will share with you some of the misconceptions about bullet journaling that I’ve run across. I’m also very interested in doing a step-by-step series that starts with the most basic, no frills bullet journal and gradually gets more involved. A series that readers could follow along with slowly over time. If you think you might be interested, leave a comment below!

  1. It is too time-consuming: Do you use to-do lists? Even if you keep your lists in your brain, you probably need to pause and think occasionally. Well, if you do, you are mostly on your way to a basic bullet journal already. Here’s an exercise: make a to-do list. Add bullet points in front of each task. Put a star next to those you think are important or urgent. Ta-da, you have the basics of a bullet journal! You could easily have a fully functioning bullet journal in less than 10 minutes a day.

  2. Setting one up will take too much time: This one is similar to the above, but people are concerned about setting one up. Well, you could get the essence done in 10 minutes or so, 20 minutes to add in some of the extra bits. I’m not exaggerating here. Bullet journaling is simply a system of collecting to-do lists and a calendar in one place. The technique that’s used in the daily spread (page) is called “rapid logging”. Why? Because it’s meant to be quick!

  3. It requires artistic talent: A tradition bullet journal contains nothing pretty or fancy, not even any color. You most certainly can add anything you’d like to jazz it up, but it isn’t necessary. Also, a bullet journal is for you...not others. If you want to doodle, go for it. No one else needs to see it. Also, if you are like me and you like doodling but have no artistic talent- bullet journals are a great way to practice and learn. Doodling can also be therapeutic. However, at its core, a bullet journal can be done in your regular handwriting, with a regular pen and zero artistic flourishes.

  4. It’s too complicated: Nope, it’s pretty simple which is why the creator can explain the whole thing in a four minute video. It’s a really simple and easy-to-learn technique. Don’t get me wrong, I love those extra pages you find examples of everywhere. In fact, my bullet journal is loaded with habit trackers, doodle-a-day calendars and to-read lists. However, you don’t START there. You start with Ryder’s video. Start with the basics, and then grow your system slowly. You review your bullet journal periodically to make sure you are actually using all those extra pages, lists, trackers and graphs. If you don’t use it, don’t make it again. You can spend as much as little time with your journal as you’d like.

  5. I need an expensive notebook: While, it’s true you might eventually want an expensive notebook. Initially, you shouldn’t have one. Why? You may decide not to continue. You may want to restart at some point. You may want to do some research and experiment with different notebooks. In fact, I started with a notebook that was partially used that I found at home. After a few days, I upgraded to a normal notebook I got at the nearby pharmacy. Eventually, I upgraded to a very nice, but pricey, notebook, only after I knew what I wanted.

  6. I need fancy pens, washi tape, highlighters, stickers, etc…: Nope again. Seriously, you just need a regular pen (or pencil) and a notebook. You don’t even need a ruler. You will figure out what you might want to try for decoration at your own pace. If you want to make pen collecting your new hobby (I did!) great, but you can also just keep using whatever you have on hand.It will be just as efficient.

  7. I don’t like journaling: Maybe, but maybe not in this sense. Do you mean like writing in a diary? Journaling about your feelings and what you did? Yeah, neither do I. This has nothing to do with that. You certainly *can* add that sort of stuff in, and I have been trying to because journaling in that sense is supposed to be good for personal growth. However, you have to create a place for it in the bullet journal. A basic one isn’t going to have that...it’s to-do list + calendar + “notes to self”.

  8. I’m not organized enough: Bullet journaling is super helpful in getting people organized, managing personal projects and personal growth. You don’t need to already be organized to start a basic one. Keep it simple. Focus on just your daily to-do list. Overtime, you will likely become more organized.

  9. That won’t help me: Are you sure? The best part of the bullet journal is how incredibly flexible it is. It can fit with anyone’s personal style, hobbies, business, personality, goals and values. You can take a minimalist, efficient approach; or a complicated, gorgeous approach. You can have one for your work, or one for a specific hobby. I have one for work, one for personal life, and one for the Pathfinder game I run. Some months or days, I have themes with colored pens, washi tape and stickers. Other times, everything is in black pen and it’s a straight-forward no-nonsense list. Most of the time it varies in between. Current habit tracker not working? Turn to a clean page and start a new one. Can’t bother keeping up with that index? Skip it! Trying to get healthy? Make a spread for that. Trying to save money? Track your spending! It can help you accomplish your goals, whatever that might be.

 

A bullet journal is a reflection of its owner. It can be anything you want. It can take as much or as little time as you want. That’s the beauty of the system. You don’t have to work within the constraints of a premade planner. You can have one day per page; or 7 days per page. It’s not something you need to setup, but something you do on the fly as your day is progressing.

Watch Ryder’s video. Start with the basics. Add a bit more, if you think it’ll help.

As I said, I’m very interested in doing a series of posts where I go back to basics and I start with a very simple bullet journal, and we continue to improve upon it over the course of the series. I could take requests for things to track and record. We can make a fictional character up and give her a story. It’d be fun. If you think you’d want to play along with that comment below so I know there’s some interest!

 


 

What sort of blog? Week One of my Blog Redesign Project

whatsortofblog.png

As I’ve threatened numerous times, I’ve decided to redesign this website and get serious about blogging. Yes, I know. You’ve heard it all before. Promises, promises. And, honestly, who knows what will happen this time? I have too many hobbies and I get distracted by shiny new projects and spreadsheets. On the other hand, thanks to my bullet journal and my recent focus on my own well-being, I’m becoming increasingly more committed to my goals and organized in my task lists. I’ve been bullet journaling for about a year and a half, and I’ve finally figured out what works best for me. My spreads are changing less and less.  It’s pretty exciting. While I’m still overwhelmed by the things I have to do, I’m setting more reasonable expectations and feeling more productive. So, I’m hopeful my focus on blogging will go better this time.

The current personal and family events going on in my life have led to a lot of big-picture thinking and life prioritizing. Some fairly major stuffed happened- including one totally unexpected loss of a young(ish) family member. There’s been pondering and contemplation. This time in my life happened to coincide with the transition to a new bullet journal. Consequently, I did some Wheel of Life and value-sorting exercises to help me generate some personal goals. Two of my more important values fit well with blogging. They are ‘helping others’ and ‘teaching/mentoring’. Actually, blogging fits nicely with several values and goals. Now, I’m hoping to use my blog as a tool to accomplish some of my goals, live in alignment with my values, and continue my personal growth journey.

The first step in my blog redesign was to read a few articles about starting a new blog. I figured I might as well go back to the beginning and see what I might have missed. Based on my reading, I came up with a focused question and some basic goals for this week:

Week One

Question: What sort of blog do I want?

Goals:

  1. Create a (reasonable!) schedule that I can stick with

  2. Read one article on blogging

  3. Write, edit and publish one post

  4. Comment on someone else’s blog

  5. Post on Twitter at least five times

The Question

During my research over the past couple weeks when I’ve been entertaining this idea, I read a lot about finding your “niche”. Some articles said you needed to choose a very specific topic in order to have a successful blog. Of course, they are defining success by popularity, the quantity of readers and profitability, which is fair. However, I don’t really care about those things. In fact, I wouldn’t want to be that popular- it seems overwhelming. Also, I can’t just talk about one thing. I LOVE TOO MANY THINGS. I have way too many obsessions, passions, hobbies, collections and loves to talk about just one thing. That sounds boring...for me, anyway, if you happen to really love one thing, go for it!

If you don’t want a niche blog, your options then come down to personal or lifestyle blogs. Personal blogs are about the stories and experiences of the author. Lifestyle blogs are more about the interests of the author. In Lifestyle blogs, the reader can anticipate getting some recommendations, advice, ideas, instructions or information from each post. There appears to be a lot of overlap with these two though as both are focused around the author’s life. I think I would put myself somewhere in between with a leaning towards lifestyle. I tend to give lots of recommendations- podcasts, books, bullet journal spreads, apps- and information- how to plan a Disney trip, WDW news, foods your cat can eat safely. Of course, I overshare as well. I think that might be more of a personality trait than a blogging style, though.

For now, I’m going to embrace the term “lifestyle blog” and see what happens. Honestly, though, I never considered myself worthy of such a thing. Who on earth would want to get lifestyle information from me? The term just seems “role-modely” to me. I don’t seem to have my shit together enough to be qualified for one. But maybe taking this approach will help build my confidence?

The Schedule I Created:

Sunday- Off

Monday- Plan the post

Tuesday- Write the post

Wednesday- Consider creating and adding images

Thursday- Final edits

Friday- Publish (1 post per week)

Saturday- Share

I’m writing this and it’s Tuesday. So...so far, so good. I also scribbled some notes down yesterday about what I intended to write about.

First Major Change:

The first thing that will impact you, my lovely readers, is that I’m going to be posting only on the “Site News” feed for now. If you want updates on what is going on, make sure you check that page.

Do you have a personal or lifestyle blog? If so, please post the link below so I can check it out!

July 2018- Blog Updating: What should I focus on next?

I've been actively posting again over the last few weeks thanks to my renewed interest in the Sims.

This has got my hankering to do more updating in other areas of the blog with the goal of bringing my whole site up to date, and making some improvements on all the various pages.

Where should I start? What area would you like to see more posts and improvements in first?

What do you want updated? *
Select One

June 2018- Lots of Sims Posts!

While I haven't been too active on the site lately, one particular blog has become very active over the past few weeks! 

I've been playing a ton of Sims recently, and of course, blogging about it. I've been playing a rotational game (so multiple households in the same save) and it has been doing an excellent job at holding my attention. 

The first post of the rotation story can be found here: Round 1: Summer, Liberty & Travis

You can find additional posts below:

February 2018

I started a new section! It focuses on my personal journey (self-care, depression, anxiety):

 

There has been quite a few posts on the Sims too:

August Update

In case you missed it, here is what happened on the wesbite in July:

I added a post about my August Set-up to the Bullet Journal Blog.

I failed to make any new posts about Cats, sadly. I should fix that soon. If there is anything you'd like to hear about, please leave a comment.

I did an article about Choosing an Agent for my WDW planning section. There will be no shortage of Disney posts in the future since we are less than 180 from our next trip!!!

I had four posts about Edith (If my Sim had a Bullet Journal) and one about the Misfortune Legacy.

There are two new sections to checkout as well under "Everything Else I Love".

The Chattering and Blathering blog where I can ramble about random things and my life.

And the Screenshot Let's Play blog for all my non-Sims Let's Plays.

The above two do not have RSS links posted yet, but I will do that shortly.

"If My Sim had a Bullet Journal Challenge" was mentioned in the official Bujo Newsletter!

My new Sims challenge that I'm currently beta testing with Edith got a mini shout-out in the form of a link in the most recent (July) official Bullet Journal newsletter!!!!

So exciting!!!

It wasn't a link to my blog, but to the Sims forum post I made. However, we did get quite a few new readers from it! (Welcome!)

If you haven't read Edith yet, you can start at the beginning here: If My Sim Had a Bullet Journal.

Tama Reawakening, Header, Disney Updates & the App

A few short updates:

- I finally changed the header so it's no longer fall. Yay! 

- I've downloaded the Square space blogging app. I can now do simple posts from my phone (like this one!) 

- I'm doing a new series that's following a Tamagotchi. http://www.crazycatnerd.com/everythingelse/2017/3/6/tama-reawakening

- I'm also working on my Trip Report from Disney: http://www.crazycatnerd.com/disney/2017/2/6/just-keep-swimming-2017-our-day-1-adventure

 

Recent Posts

Life has settled back down somewhat and I've been trying to blog more often. Here are some recent posts you may have missed:

  • There's a story about a kitty named Mike that took up residency on our porch. If you haven't read any of it, you should start with Part 1. The most recent update is Part 5.
  • There's also a quick Disney update: Week 12.
  • Vincent's most recent update was in October, with Vincent Forgets to Pay the Bills
  • In the Everything Else category, I recently posted a list of amazing podcasts you should be listening to if you like Mystery and Horror. While the post was intended for Halloween, the podcasts are fabulous to listen to all year. Also, not all of them are scary...I ordered them in what I feel is there increasing level of scariness. So, people who frighten easily may still want to give the first couple a go. 

You can anticipate more updates on Mike, Disney and Vincent in the weeks to come. Oh, and Duffy & Shellie May have lots to share too. Please feel free to leave me comments with suggestions, recommendations, questions, or just saying "hi". 

Here's Some Deer

Thank you for your patience with my lack of posts. I appreciate how you continue to check the blog despite the slow production of new content. I've had some health issues recently get in the way of my productivity (coupled with a very busy schedule). I hope to do more post soon, as the days to my Disney trip are almost in the double digits, and I miss Vincent.

For now, here's a scene from my everyday life...I see these guys this close multiple times a day...this morning four were in my front yard while I was leaving for work. I snapped a picture a couple days ago of a set near our house while Jimmy was driving by.

New Posts

Here's where you can find some new content on the site:

Two new Countdown posts are on the Disney blog:

You can read about the Feline Fiber response diet, and how I still miss Harree on the Cats blog:

You can read the first episode of my new Sims Completion Challenge on the Sims blog:

You can read about what I'm nerding out about this month, and Pokemon Go in Everything Else:

I'm currently working on another Edward post. I also hope to show off some of my Disney Tsum collection soon.

Tales from RimWorld & RSS Feed Update

Just a couple of quick updates on the site. I've been posting the story from my first play through of the game "RimWorld"...The game has been described as a combination of Dwarf Fortress, Prison Architect and Firefly. It uses an AI storyteller device to create events, so every story is different (therefore, no spoilers!). I've been sharing the story of my first colony, and I have NO idea (or control over) where this is going. Here's part one: http://www.crazycatnerd.com/everythingelse/2016/8/8/tales-from-a-rimworld-part-1

Additionally, the wrong slug was listed on the first RSS Feed link to "Everything Else". It has been corrected, so you may need to update your RSS feed by clicking the link on the right sidebar.