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?

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!