No, I’m not dead, and neither is my blog. I’ve just taken a forced break here due to a ludicrous work overload.
On May 6, I wrote the following blog post. I never published it, because I couldn’t find the time to actually take pictures of my BuJo. Outrageous…
I first read about keeping a Bullet Journal on her blog. Her enthusiasm and the approach of her own Bullet Journal roused my interest. I started looking up everything I could find about Bullet Journals and became more and more intrigued. I soon discovered the facebook page of Bullet Journal Junkies and man, there are some beauties among the BuJo’s there! I really need structure and an overview of my tasks so I was all pumped up to start.
I had recently bought a Midori Traveler’s Notebook at Buiten de Lijntjes shop. A sort of present for myself to motivate me. I figured, if I buy myself such a pricy notebook, I’ll HAVE to keep a diary. But the way I started did not work for me. Enter bulletjournalling!
I made my own insert for my Traveler’s notebook because I wanted pages with a dot grid on it and they aren’t available in the Midori line as of yet. I used this tutorial on how to make one. After that it took me a while to find a ‘design’ for my spreads that would work for me and which I liked. It’s nothing much and especially not such a work of art as you can find on the FB page, but that’s okey. I was never much of a drawing artist and pretty handwriting isn’t my talent either. On top of that, it has to be manageable for me. I have to find the time to maintain it and the more complicated the design, the more time it will take.
I started about a month ago and so far I haven’t gotten as much out of it as I had hoped, but I will, in time. I’m not entirely satisfied with my daily spread, but that’s easily adjusted. What I noticed most is that I did not divide my time in a balanced way this past month. I spent way too little time with my family, for one. But even that was not so bad, because I made myself make time. It was a very busy month at work and it’s not about to get any better. The least amount of time was spent on me-time though. That sounds extremely selfish but it’s not. For me, me-time is about reading a book, taking a bath, being creative… And I do not think it’s selfish to want time for that. It’s what keeps me going, what keeps me sane. Because I don’t want to be one of many people for whom it all became too much. You read and hear a lot about such things lately. I can hear people think: ‘Isn’t 30 too young to get a burn out?’ But is it?’
It’s expected, mostly by myself I think, to be a perfect mother, who plays games with her family, goes on little trips, cooks fresh and healthy meals and bakes yummy cakes. At the same time, you’re supposed to be the perfect wife and keep your home clean and your laundry under control. A fulltime job on top of that is not too much for superwoman and sewing hip clothing, making jewelry and maintaining a great blog should come in there somewhere. Too many balls in the air. Once in a while, one, or more, crash to the ground and shatter. And that’s allright. Because superwoman, she does not exist! Apart from the one in the DC Comics universe of course.
But there should be balance. And I’ve noticed, painfully, that there wasn’t for me this past month. The ‘creativitime’ I so desperately crave, was missing. Call me selfish if you want to. I need to find a way for time management that works for me. It was too clear now. On paper. Before, I had scattered to do – list that screamed the same things, but seeing it together and organized like this, makes it all the more obvious. The only thing that is not clear, is how to fix it.
My brain is even programmed to be busy with work stuff. A minute ago, for instance, I opened my browser to go to WordPress and instead, automatically opened my digital school platform. Logged in and everything. Brainless surfing. And apparently my brain links that to my work environment. I find that horribly confronting.
Keeping a BuJo is a start. When I look at my monthly log of April, I can see that the most finished tasks appear in the ‘School – section. The tasks of ‘Life’ and ‘Creative’ fall behind. But thanks to my BuJo I can see that clearly and I can do something about it. Keeping a weekly menu is another thing. I hope will simplify my weekly life and the weekly groceries. Not having to think about putting an original and healhty meal on the table after a long day at work will make a difference. Now I have sundays to think about that! This week I did not manage to put all the meals I planned on the table, because of ridiculously long work days, but at least it’s a work in progress.
How I’m going to balance work and me-time is a problem. If somebody can give me any pointers, please feel free to do so. It is possible. I know it. I’ve seen the examples pass me by online. On instagram, facebook, blogs… I see people sewing a new piece of clothing every two days, and knitting themselves a sweater in between. And don’t forget the pattern test they did the week before. Before they went on a sewing weekend with friend. Right after they took that fun trip with the kids. How they do it, is beyond me. Women or men who succesfully juggle these things, can you show me how? Because I think I’m failing. I constantly fear my family and students suffer from it. They all deserve better!
But I’m convinced the creative soul in me suffers the most. I’m trying to keep it’s head above water, struggling, so it does not die a quiet death. Because I refuse to be one of the many people in the headlines of newspapers, reading ‘More and more teachers are giving up’. No, not me!
A glance at my BuJo spreads:
Obviously, things did not get better after this. The utter emptiness of my blog is proof of that. For which I offer my sincere apologies. But the last two months at work were… unbelievably hectic. The school audit/inspection (or whatever you call it in English) played a part in that, naturally. Thankfully that all ended in a positive way or I would’ve ended up institutionalized! But I never want to experience two months like that, ever again. Everyone was way passed using backup energy. The balancing of work, family and me-time I talked about before, has only become more unbalanced. So badly even, I didn’t have time to keep my BuJo.
My daily pages still take up too much time, despite the fact that they’re so simple. having te constantly draw in the habit trackers takes time. I’m considering switching to a monthly habit tracker, that gets drawn in once a month. How I’m going to stuff that in the tiny MTN inserts, is a mystery still. I’m also going to start a separate insert for my future planning (future log and monthly pages) and another insert for my dailies. I’m currently searching for affordable pre-made dot grid inserts for my MTN because printing and cutting them to the right size is just too much of a hassle for me. Any tips or tricks are more than welcome!
The ‘Bullet Journal in Traveler’s Notebook‘ facebook page does help!
When my new spreads are ready I’ll share with you guys! And erm… time management tips are still welcome! Hopefully 2 months off from work during the summer will help, although I still have a 1,5 year old running around!