Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Apparently I have a little problem - in a couple areas. Firstly, it's fairly evident that I should be looking into a 12 step program for journal junkies. Secondly, I should perhaps also look into my inability to understand the words 'simple, simplicity, simplify'.

It's a documented fact that I am unwittingly captured by journals - by their size, colour, feel and not actual need.  It is also a fact that I am a perpetual, habitual list maker and organizer/documentor of most movements of my life.

I spied a sweet little planner in the colours that I am presently drawn to, with "Live Simply" on it. That is my mission, my mantra. I opened it to have an peek and it said "Take me to the Sea." It's a sign! I am meant to have it. 

I was filling out birthdays and events and I thought 'Didn't I just do that?' Yes ... I did, I have a 2015 planner that I use every day.

Do I need two? Is that going to make my life more simple?

Hmmmm ... I think not.

Now I have to figure out what I can use it for so I am not having to duplicate things.  Perhaps a spot to document my progress in the Journal Rehab Program.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Oh No, I Did It Again

Oh lordie, I did it again. I can't help it. It's an illness. I need to google what the name of the syndrome is, besides 'Journal Junkie'. 

I try so hard to resist, to back away, to distract myself. I'm weak. It's my Achilles heel.

The problem is ... well, actually there are a couple problems. Just how many journals does one human need, and what more can I find to write in them? 

I want to order the Journal Makers to STOP! Stop creating such beautiful journals that feel so nice. I used to buy them for size and colour. I suppose I have pretty well every colour so that doesn't suck me in much anymore. But now, didn't they go and invent ones that feel so lovely that even with your eyes closed you don't want to let it go. They get into your hand and won't release. They are magnetic, just like red ones have always been to me.

I tried so hard to walk away. I shouldn't have made eye contact to begin with. It was a tree. And darn, don't I love trees. It reeled me in. Fatal error - I picked it up.

It had no price so I was just going to stick it back and run.

But it wouldn't get out of my hand. It walked me over to the dude at the counter. It let itself release long enough for him to scan it.

Thirty dollars. Thirty AMERICAN dollars at almost thirty percent exchange. A LOT of money for an empty book. Way out of my price range.

I took it back and put it with its friends.

Next fatal error.

I didn't run. I hovered.

I looked over my shoulder and the darn thing zapped itself into my hand again.

It made me take it back to the dude and say 'oh well, it's only money.'

So, here it is. Yet another empty journal that is waiting for me to figure out something to fill its pages.

What is wrong with me?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

30 Days

Matt Cutts' Ted Talk entitled 'Try Something New for 30 Days' inspired me. Not necessarily to try something 'new' at this point, but to tackle something 'old' that has been on my plate forever and ever. He said 'The time is going to pass anyway, you might as well have something to show for it.' True.

I used to always have something to show for the long, dark nights of winter ... always a project that I could point to and say 'This was winter.'  I got out of that habit for some silly reason, which likely has something to do with the internet and Netflix.

I seem to be kind of spinning all the time - going nowhere. It's making time go faster, I think. It's making me dizzy, I know.

This year, I'm keen to tackle a series of 30 day challenges - at least six of them is the plan.I will see if that makes me any more productive. And less dizzy.

 We had the topic for our January WINGS meeting, so I have a whole team of supportive and encouraging, not to mention inspiring women behind me.

I am beginning now. Today. This is my official mission:

A) I will not turn the computer on until noon ...
B) I will write something every single day ...
C) I will clear one space daily ... 
D) I will throw out or give away something ...

I'll let you know how I do.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Planning to Unplan

I am a perpetual planner. I am a Mind Mapper. I am a 'To Do Lister'. I live by one. I live with one - in my daily journal, on the frig, on index cards, on my computer and staple gunned to my brain. It's how I map my day and my life.

I divide it into about a dozen categories then sub-divide it. I break it down in to annually, monthly, weekly, daily. Sometimes hourly. I add more things than I ever stroke off. That's the way it seems that I am wired. I think it comes from being self-employed for over a quarter of a century. I have to direct myself and keep on track, focused and productive. If I don't orchestrate every inch of that, no one else will. It's kind of overwhelming and tiring sometimes. Well, truth be told, as I age more it's like 'LOTS-of-times'.

Last year, I did something radical. It was one of the best and smartest things I ever did. I gave myself a gift in honour of ending my previous year and starting a new age. I gave myself the gift of August.

For the entire month I allowed myself to 'Just Be'. I would not spend the usual hours planning what I should do or should be doing. I would not even think about what I would be/could be/should be doing when fall and Reality arrived on September 1st. I released myself from any guilt.

It was nice.

Holding thoughts of August in the depths of  January.

Whenever my brain would start to slip into planning mode, I said sharply 'Uh-uh ... no thinking until September!' It was indeed strange but it was wonderful.

I spent more time staying home than I have in all the years we have been here. I didn't slip into town on my usual 'being busy' projects. I didn't 'Do'. I didn't 'Go'.

I sat on the front porch and read and wrote. I sat on my cabin porch and painted. I actually watched movies at night. That is weird for me.

It was refreshing, rejuvenating and peaceful.

I liked it so much that this year I have to PLAN on it. That sounds crazy - plan on unplanning. But if I know if I'm going to allow myself that gift again, I should not mess around so much in the other months.

Which means busy myself NOW.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Write On

My 'word of the year' always comes to out of the blue. It's not like I am sitting around thinking, 'it's time to choose a new word -what should I pick?' and then I go over a list of pretty words. I don't even know WHY I have a word - it's something I started a number of years ago and to be honest, by mid year I have to dig a little to remember what it was.

So it surprises me each year when a word plunks itself into my brain and declares that it is 'MY word'. And that's exactly what it does - it plunks. It does not flutter and float and settle in gracefully, it plunks and declares.

This year it slammed full force a few days before the year ended.

"WRITE" it said. And yes, in capital letters.

I heard "WRITE" and then wondering ... what???? ... the plunk finished with "WRITE - it is your word for the year." 

Where I keep my Soul Collage card so I can remember what my mission is.

Sometimes when the word comes, I want to negotiate a bit and see if I can't lead it some particular direction that I happen to want to go. Not this year, there was no doubt. It was in capital letters after all. It was yelling at me.

And holy cow ... a verb.

I don't usually get a verb, it's most often a word like 'clarity' in 2013 and 'simplicity' last year.

WRITE. That's an action word.

On New Year's Eve day I went to a Soul Collage workshop where we were choosing pictures that our 'soul' was directing us to. I wanted to cheat. Actually, I tried to cheat. I know exactly what I wanted my card to represent, what I wanted as a focus this year ... to 'let go'. Apparently the exercise wasn't about MY chosen intention.

My first Soul Collage card 

There were hundreds of photos that we got to choose from. The idea isn't to over-think it, but choose the ones that you are drawn to. As it happened, mine were about writing, about passing on stories. 

I went back to the pile to do a second one, searching specifically for 'letting go'. Again, the images that jumped out at me and would not let me go had words. I wouldn't think it's necessary to have two cards that have the same message, but I did it anyway since it was so insistent.

What it did was confirm to me that my word for this year definitely must be WRITE. Apparently that's more essential than cleaning out my closets, and I can't say I'm real disappointed about that.

I'm keeping a card propped up right where I can see it ... write where I can see it - so I don't forget.

It's a plan.
The second one that came about. More word birds.