Saturday 22 June 2024

Planner Prompt Week 25: Pause before Work

 Firstly, no, you didn't miss weeks 11-24. I did. 

But this week's prompt was incredibly apt.

"Before starting work each day, pause and take three conscious deep breaths in and out."

    -Saint Belford 2024 week 5.

It's one of the last weeks of school and the kids have had something going on every. single. day., or I have, and my husband went on his annual fishing trip.

I appreciate DH every day, and his annual trips away make me appreciate him even more. He does all the grocery shopping, mows the lawn, and keeps the children alive after school. I had a week full of getting up at 4:30 to hit the gym, making my lunches, getting the kids out the door (they can help with breakfast, and while they are capable of making their own lunches, at this point they grab a granola bar from the pantry and we all pretend like that's amazing), PAC meetings and year-end potlucks, grocery shopping between work and said meetings and mowing a horrendously overgrown lawn after said potluck, work, more gym, more stuff, and eventually washing the don't-put-me-in-the-dishwasher dishes stop getting washed, and then you have to stop in the school in the a.m. to do stuff before work, and I don't even know if this sentence is grammatically correct, nor do I care it's been that busy, so believe me when I say that I actually used the word "frazzled" when someone at work asked me how I was that day.

Then I went to note something in the pre-weekly spread of my planner, and there it was. The best advice for this week if I ever saw it.

Saturday 18 May 2024

I Need to Start Writing Down My Random Thoughts

 Because I've had quite a few good ones, and now they're gone. 

And, not just singular random thoughts, but thoughts that lead to other thoughts and then it's just a big random train, and I'm grinning and possibly giggling, and my kids, who are in the car with me, are like, "what are you smiling about?" and I'm like, how do I possibly explain this without coming off as a crazy person?

When we're driving somewhere, my husband often asks me what I'm thinking about. 

I'm daydreaming, obviously, but do I tell him that I'm daydreaming about how I'm a character in Supernatural, but the character is actually my character that will be in a book one day, and she's just been inserted into an episode (an episode that doesn't exist by the way), or maybe Sam and Dean have been inserted into a chapter of her book? And oh look, the trees along the highway are all pretty and gold!

Yeah, Sam and Dean have messed up royally and now my character has to save their asses. Actually, someone else messed up a spell, but they still need help saving the day.

What I say, of course, is that I'm thinking about how much I enjoy hanging out with the kids.

Tuesday 5 March 2024

Planner Prompt 2024 Week 10: Savings Tracker

 This week it is suggested that if we are not currently using our Savings Curator (Saint Belford's Curation planner has a hefty section devoted to saving money, including an expense / earnings tracker, with sections on problem solving how to get more money coming in), then we could use the monthly expense tracker to track online purchases.

I love this planner so very much. This right here is one of the best things about it. Not the Savings Curator, specifically, but the fact that the creators know that you aren't going to jump in and use all the features to their full extent right from January first. No, because that would be a great way to set yourself up for failure.

Instead, suggestions weeks in on how to use part of a section help build those little habits a bit at a time. My cat is being so cute right now.

I personally am using the savings curator to track a debt payment, so really I'm only using the first page of it (it has a progress bar).

I could use the monthly bit for tracking budgets for recurring expenses, but I already have a lovely little budget in Excel that tells me what all my regular bills are, and is my paycheque enough to cover them etc.

What I could use the monthly part for, though, is planning out the random "bigger" monthly expenses.

For example, I have a couple hundred dollars each month for things like clothes, shoes, etc. So I could map out who gets new clothes or sporting goods when in the year. It's not budget friendly when I need to replace my bras and get new hikers at the same time that my kids sign up for hockey at the same time that my husband needs five new shirts and so on. We need to take turns.

Saturday 2 March 2024

Planner Prompt 2024 Week 9: Time Buffers

This week's planner prompt, which I've just now read, is to give yourself a time buffer to minimize stress: give yourself an extra 10 minutes to get to all your appointments.

This week has been exceedingly blah. Maybe because it was the last week I could go to the gym, or maybe it was because I'm fighting off whatever Spawn2 has right now. I thankfully didn't have many appointments this week. But I did make it on time to the one I did have despite the horrendous road conditions.

As a child I remember my mom drilling in to me that you always left the house a half hour before any appointment, which as a kid always feels super early. We were never late for anything. 
What I didn't connect at the time is that we lived a good 15-20 minutes out of town, so the half hour was necessary. And parking downtown wasn't as big a deal back then. I think.

We had family friends who were consistently an hour late for everything. One time Mom planned having them over for dinner, told them it was for 5pm, and planned it for 6pm so that the food wasn't ruined. Family friend was so mad. 

In my twenties I had a friend who was late for everything. I experienced so much anxiety when I was with her and we had somewhere to be.

Then I had kids. Sometimes lateness just happens when you have kids. And it still gives me huge anxiety to this day.

I've gotten better at planning exit strategies. If we need to be downtown at 4pm, it's 10-20 minutes to get there depending on time of day and weather, then 10-30 minutes to find parking, then 1-10 minutes to walk to where you need to go, so we need to leave either an hour ahead of time, or at 3:45 and drive like a mad woman.

And then if you're on time for the appointment and it's for the doctor or chiropractor, you could be waiting for another 10-120 minutes, so bring a book. And I feel like my chiropractor sees patients in the order that they arrive regardless of appointment time, so if I'm on my lunch and plan accordingly and arrive right on time but the guy whose appointment is after mine arrived first he goes first and so then my lunch hour is over and I'm still waiting. 

It is so much more relaxing to get somewhere on time, with a few minutes to breath. Or read. Or nap. Sometimes I even close my eyes for five minutes when I get to work.

Next year both my kids go to the same school, and I can drop them off early enough that I would start work at 8am like a normal person (vs. 9am due to current drop-offs), meaning my work day would end at 5pm vs 6pm. 
Walking it backwards, though, means leaving the house a good ten minutes earlier than we do, and I think that that puts us in a heavier traffic pattern, so more like fifteen minutes earlier, so then I have to weigh the anxiety of trying to get out the door so early vs. maybe starting at 8:15.

How early, or late, are you?

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Planner Prompt 2024 Week 8: Reflect on How You Want to Live Each Day

 This is the week that we journal our intentions for the year ahead.

I'm caught up to the weekly prompts. I've blogged more than once in a month. Or year. As intended. Now I just have to maintain that.

How do I want to live each day?

If I'm going to be honest, like my cousin. Let's call her Pippi.

Now, I don't mean that I want to be Pippi, or live exactly like Pippi, but she is an inspiration for sure.
She gets a lot done. Like, a LOT. I know that she's genius level at everything that she does, and she always has been, and there have been times in my youth where I've felt less than when I'm with her, but it's never been because of anything she's said or done. She's never judged me.

I've judged me. I've compared me. I'm the only one who's found myself lacking.

What is it that I judge about myself?

There are so many things that I want to do, but don't. And I can fall into pits of self-loathing about it. 
I think, am I just lazy? Mentally unable to do? Am I really that exhausted, or am I just grasping onto excuses?

I want to write. Get into better shape. Eat better. Crochet. Go hiking more. Go camping more. Garden. Be efficient. Keep a cleaner house. Prepare for my work weeks better. Meal plan more. Be more crafty. Paint my house. Organize my house.
Etc., etc.

That's a lot. And it's so overwhelming that I just don't do it.

So how does Pippi do it all?

She just does it.

I had the opportunity to stay with her last year for a week. 

And she is busy, but not frantic or stressed about it.

She's actually very relaxed. All her movements, in everything she does, is relaxed and calm. But she just does it. And gets it done.

And the secret? 

She doesn't watch a lot of TV, and she's not on social media a lot.

The big take-away: 

Stop procrastinating.

If I want to live my life every day, I need to stay off social media (not usually an issue at all, but sometimes I get stuck in Reelsville and can't get out). Mostly, I need to watch less TV. That is my biggest time killer.

I don't feel the need to knock projects out every day, but I do think that I can pick one small thing, whether it's a task on it's own, or a small part of a bigger project.

I want to enjoy more life, live more life, and relax about it.

Monday 19 February 2024

Planner Prompt 2024 Week 7: What Does My Body Need This Week?


"Ask yourself: what does my mind and body need this week? Use your Daily Self-Care Planner (the heart symbol on your weekly spread) to schedule activities and rituals that address those needs."

I went to CrossFit a couple times, and worked out or read on my lunch hour. 

I mostly want more sleep, though.

Planner Prompt 2024 Week 6: Build a Habit

 Commit to building one small habit that will support your goals and intentions this year.

This week (which was Feb 5-11) Saint Belford prompted us to use the Habit Curator and daily habit tracker to assist in this goal.

It was supposed to be a small habit, which for me would have been walking the dog every day, or doing yoga every day. 
My dog actually helps with the walking habit. She works me hard when I get home from work. Stares at me imploringly. Gets excited when I so much as look at the stairs to the front door. Gives me her toys. Playing with her in the back yard, or getting the kiddos to walk her is not nearly good enough.

I would love to make blogging every day, or a few times a week, even, a habit, but we can all see how that one's going.

What I do feel like I'm nailing down is the #800g Challenge, which is not necessarily a small habit, and takes up a lot of the Personal Planner / Tracker section. 

Baby steps. One habit at a time.

And that is the point.