Can you believe the first half of 2022 is behind us? Time seems to pass so incredibly quickly, and nothing you do can keep time from moving on. All the more reason we should live every day to the max.
Writing that ‘live every day to the max’, I questioned myself about what it means to me. There was a time when I wanted to do things every day. Go out of the house, visit people, go shopping.
Over the years, my way of doing has changed. In the past year, even more, has changed. I am always busy, and never bored, but I am more mindful of what I do; how I use my energy.
I have always said mindfulness is not for me. Doing breathing exercises or meditation? I always felt foolish doing those.
But, I realized the moment I took up bullet journaling, I was practicing mindfulness, and I still am. It has actually changed my way of thinking, my way of doing. I need to write more about this, to explore it more, but for now, I want to share the past two months of my bullet journal, just like I shared previous creations.
Choosing themes for May and June
One of the earlier pages in my bullet journal shows several ideas for monthly themes. Next to May I wrote ‘stickmen’ and next to June ‘sunflowers’.
Come May, my intended theme didn’t speak to me at that moment. I thought of the popular Dutch saying “in mei leggen alle vogels een ei” — translated: “in May every bird lays an egg”. That inspired me to choose birds as the theme for May. Following that with sunflowers in June felt like a natural thing!
In April I still went to my daughter every Wednesday, and we sat together doodling in our journals. By the beginning of May that stopped, because they are amid a renovation, which will only be done in July. I know we will get back to it, but in May I had to find a new rhythm, and I did.
May was also the month I was off from work for a three-week vacation, and I did a lot of decluttering and reorganizing in the house.
It was during those three weeks that my work desk moved upstairs to what used to be our youngest daughter’s room. Her bed and small desk are still in the room, and a week into my off-time from work, I claimed her desk as my ‘doodle-desk’. It became a place where I could just empty my mind and concentrate on creating. I think this has been an important step, separating work from pleasure by literally having two desks for it.
Anyhow, every week I sat at my doodle desk and created the next week in my journal, or jotted down notes to add to my monthly flashback page, which I always write out at the end of the month.
When my husband got sick in 2021, my mental health took a hit and by July 2021 I cut back on my hours, working only 50%. Seeing a coach has helped me to feel more balanced than I ever have been, and when my May vacation time came around, I knew that once I returned to work, I wanted to work all my hours again.
I felt much lighter than I had in months, maybe years, and my sunflower theme reflected that.
June was also the month when I took a huge step (for me) to go to the zoo all by myself. I love going to the zoo, but I have always gone there with someone. I loved those hours I was there, standing watching animals for as long as I want, snapping pictures (I will share) or sitting in a quiet spot, watching people and reading. When I left the zoo, I went to their offices and arranged for a subscription for a year. I can now go whenever I want, and as many times as I want, and I love the idea. This week I’m going there again!
This month was all about discovering and claiming moments for myself, to understand that it’s not wrong or sad to do things for and by myself.
Flashbacks and mood trackers
My month always starts with a front-page, and directly after that I draw a mood tracker, which matches the theme. Every day, I color the mood tracker, showing whether it was a low, medium, or high day. This makes me mindful of my mood, as I reflect on my day before I give it a color.
Just as my month starts with a mood tracker, it ends with a flashback (see top image). I look back at the completed mood tracker, and my notes made during the month and it gives me the perfect picture of my entire month. Did I say mindfulness is not for me? I guess it comes in many forms!
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