From Passions To My Journal

Image from my bullet journal of the January mood tracker.
January 2022 mood tracker

Can you believe January is already behind us? I look at my journal and it has actually been a rather good month. I have done things that made me happy, but there was one thing I missed hugely: visiting my daughter. The kids had Covid, first the one, then the other, so they had to quarantine, and I missed my weekly visits dearly.

But here we are, in my birthday month. In just over two weeks, I reach the peak of my fifties, and then start the downhill slope to sixty. Oh my!

Let’s not look at the future, but look back on my previous week. You can read my other journal posts here.


Day 31 – 31 January: “Each of us literally chooses, by his way of attending to things, what sort of universe he shall appear to himself to inhabit.” – William James

Reading the quote several times, all I could think about is that it’s the same as what I always say: we are the creators of our own lives. Every thing we do every day from minute to minute is a choice.

Whether you get up in the morning is a choice.

Whether you eat that cake you know will gain you weight (= me), is a choice.

The way you treat other people is a choice. You can change your behavior if you want to. If you are too kind, you can learn to put yourself first. If you are often unkind to others, you can unlearn this behavior. For some things you want to change, you might need help from an outside party, but it all starts with being conscious of your actions, and wanting to change.

Day 32 – 1 February: What are you passionate about?

Of course, I am passionate about writing, otherwise I wouldn’t have been at it for so many years already. But that’s not the only thing I am passionate about.

When I look at activities, my newest passions are walking and my bullet journal. Today is the 98th consecutive day have been out for a walk. With the weather improving, I might soon go out cycling again, but one thing is sure: I want to register at least one activity on my Garmin every day.

And then, of course, there’s my all-time passion: that we should all treat each other with respect and kindness. Living in a better world starts with ourselves.

Day 33 – 2 February: What do you really need?

I can say sex, because I don’t get it, but I don’t miss it because I have intimacy. The latter isn’t sexual, but it’s enough to feed my soul.

In the past months, I have gotten better at asking for what I want. No, scratch that. I have gotten better at saying what I need. The main thing that changed is that I now have help in the household.

An ongoing project is decluttering the attic. I have mentioned to Master T I would much rather move to a smaller house, but he’s not ready for it. Going through every item in the attic — and we have a lot — and bringing things we don’t need anymore to the charity shop helps not only to clean up the attic and my head but also readies us for the move I want.

Day 34 – 3 February: How do you keep yourself “in the moment”?

It’s difficult, but what I try to do is to concentrate on one week at a time. I’m going to mention my bullet journal again, as this helps.

Every weekend, I draw the calendar for the next week, check what appointments I have and jot them down. That keeps me focused on the week ahead, and then I take it day by day, and focus on the things I want to accomplish on that day. A walk, a piece of writing, reading blogs… and when a thought pops in my mind of something I want to do, I jot it down on my to-do list. It clears the space in my head, and helps me not to forget those things.

These might not be the things others do to stay “in the moment” but they work for me.

Day 35 – 4 February: What makes you feel most free?

Being myself. Doing things I am passionate about. Spending time with my husband, whether having conversations, watching a television series together, or anything else.

Day 36 – 5 February: Week in review. “We must act out passion before we can feel it.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

I look back at what I wrote above about my newfound passions. Had I known walking would become a passion before I started with it?

No.

Had I known bullet journaling would come to mean so much to me when I ordered the book and brush pens?

No.

Those first walks weren’t easy. I walked with so much pain and sat down on every bench I came across. I could’ve quit after the first few days, claiming it hurt too much, but the feeling of accomplishment when I finally staggered back into the house was immense. And it still is. I have much less pain with walking now, and walk just more than 3km every day, not even thinking of sitting down.

I had to experience that first, for walking to become a passion.

The same goes for my bullet journal. I have a history of creating things, so I knew I liked that. I also have a love for books, and at the end of every year I looked for a new agenda, never finding one that completely fitted my needs. It was only once I created that first week in January that my heart warmed with this new passion.

So yes, I agree with Jean-Paul Sartre’s quote: “We must act out passion before we can feel it.”

Day 37 – 6 February: Preview the coming week. “The sweetest joy, the wildest woe is love. What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork.” – Pearl Bailey

This is my current week, full of sugary-sweet love and hearts. Yes, the world needs more love, but I sure love my paper diary!

The second week of February 2022 in my bullet journal

© Rebel’s Notes


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