64109638 - bullet journal style desk calendar horizontal template 2017 for month january with elements. doodle arrows,smile,dividers,star,cloud and other. week starts monday

New Year, New Approach?


Before I go any farther, let me simply state:  Deej objects to every sedentary thought which follows.  I am boring his furry little pants off.  “Can we go outside now, Mom?”

I’ve been wasting tons of time this week looking at Bullet Journal and “Fauxbonichi” Journal pictures on Facebook, a time-sink that I suspect may hurl me back toward that mother of all time-suckers: Pinterest.  I think there’s a certain type of person for whom a New Year necessitates a certain amount of renewed daydreaming on Pinterest.  Sadly, I may be that type of person.


Bullet journals: They *are* somehow therapeutic to look at.

I remember being so happy when I found Pinterest.  I love Pinterest, it’s a great place for spending hours and hours doing nothing, but getting a great hit of creativity endorphins anyhow.  I’m sighing over the lost hours and potential, but – in the long run – it may be safer, cheaper and tidier than purchasing stuff because you want to make “ALL THE PROJECTS”, but then only manage to hot glue your own fingers together before giving up and going back to staring at your phone for the rest of the day.

At least I’m still feeling happy within myself (I struggled with that for a couple days earlier in the week); I am still managing not to surrender my little package of suet to another human person’s custody. 🙂 I am irked, though.  I looked into bullet planners in the first place because my many lists are disorganized and scattered around the place – scratched on business envelopes and loose leaf, as well as every other odd bit of paper that could literally be anywhere in the house at any given time.  And then there’s the masterbook – my omnipresent bound journal for whatever year, or other arbitrary period of time (usually till it’s bursting at the seams).  Everything’s in there, in basically chronological order.  There’s no index, and – because it’s entirely comprised of my hen scratches and scribbles – little to no visual landmarks to orient me.  Usually I scratch down the date and put a rectangle around it.

As a matter of course, I frequently have absolutely no idea where I put this book down. True story.

The other day I put a picture of my list on Facebook, mainly as I was proud I’d got almost the whole damn thing done that day (plus some other things, which were scratched on another list titled “Boxing Day Shopping”… it’s around here somewhere).  A friend pointed out that my listing system wasn’t very organized.  The list I was so chuffed about was literally written on the back of a business envelope.  The only legend necessary for engaging in my system is that a check means DONE and an X means SCREW IT.


My list.

BTW, here’s a change in the weather.  A few years back, using an envelope to make a list was a mark of someone with character, an efficient and organized person who believed in reduce, reuse, recycle, and was unwilling to waste the paper on something as transient as what is now gloriously referred to as a “daily”.  Now it says I’m NOT an organized but rather a scattered person.  How times change, huh?

To be honest, I do kind of feel scattered.  But also efficient, once I get going.

Anyhow, my friend gently suggested I should try Bullet Journaling and added that I could join some Facebook Groups to get inspiration.  So I did.

Inspiration?  Well, yes.  Intimidation?  Definitely and for sure.  Plus: “Obsess much, people?”  I’ve never seen such a group of busy beavers.  Their constant posts and comments immediately blew up my phone.  And I’m a bit surprised most of them are not seven or eight hundred pounds.  They must basically sit there and never get up.

Don’t get me wrong, I love these journals.  I could gawk all day at all this geeky eye candy. And part of me for sure wants to log on to Etsy, buy like a thousand templates, and then go to Chapters or Wallacks (dangerous stores for me) and buy some Staedtler fineliners, watercolours and calligraphy stuff (something else I already enjoy and can waste time on!). I can totally see myself from there grabbing a sketch book or “grid-lined” book off one of my shelves (yes, already have several of these) and just going nuts.  Too bad I’m not 20 years old, single (OOPS – I AM!  That’s a funny thing to forget!) and childless however.  Two days from now my life re-starts in “no days off” busy-mode again, and it goes on like that until March break.  Thank God for Family Day.

So – yeah – basically I don’t have time to start this (if I’m being honest, I should be cleaning my family room right this second) and absolutely no chance I could find time to keep the habit up, once begun.  Right?

The reality is I’m not a doodle person.  I mean, I AM, but I’m NOT; I feel guilty if I sit and do stuff like that, and quickly get irritated and even resentful because I feel restless and was planning to vacuum or go for a walk today and so what am I doing sitting here (!).  I’m not a tidy or organized (in that, journalistic, way) person.  I’m just a list fanatic trying to keep it together who would (always and forever!) like to get more done.  My store-bought planner works decently well, it just doesn’t incorporate the listing and journaling I (sporadically) do.  On an average day, finding where I last put it down is a much bigger problem for me than any other (I’m learning leaving it right next to the coffeemaker on the kitchen counter each night helps me here.).


Because the “Fauxbonichi’s” are more about journalling and personalization, this method is appealing to me more as something I might actually love.


Another Fauxbonichi.


Last Fauxbonichi.  This is something I can maybe see myself doing.

The bottomline is I’m looking for a way to save time and be more organized.  This is a hobby, something for people who feel they have ample time it seems.  Can you SPEND time to SAVE time, like when you clean, declutter, or reorganize a drawer in real life?  If so, then this may be the help I need.  But I’d need to commit to the experiment to find out for sure.

I already have a stationary fetish and love to write, as well as to occasionally colour and draw (even had a job once at a cartoon studio), so this seems it should be no big jump.  Last night, in the hours I have already decreed should be for relaxation and not manual labour, I tested the waters, decorating my (necessary) French notes with clearance bin Ikea washi tape and my daughter’s markers and pens.


Les mois de l’année.  Doodled up and making me feel artistic, but productive? Not so much.  I did learn washi tape covers mistakes quite well when I first titled this page “Les mois d’année” with one of Lou Lou’s (quite permanent) black gel pens.  Loving the washi tape tho’, which I’ve had a while with previously no idea how I was planning to use it.   P.S.  I spent embarrassingly little time on this.  Guess I am not so patient.

The thing about this is I already KNEW les mois de l’année (one of the benefits of the Canadian education system).  But I noticed one of the things about bujo’s is they seem to be for COLLECTING and LISTING.  So that means I should devote a whole page, then know this info is saved there (like a beautiful infographic!).  A real bujo-er would have written each month spread out across their art book, in beautifully ornate calligraphy and using different coloured ink for each month. This was done in a scribbler and with my six year old’s craft supplies.  Because I’m just trying to review information here.

The other side of the pie here, for me, is that someone probably HAS done a beautiful infographic somewhere online, and I could just print it out and tape it in my book (see, it’s all the same to me).  Or – even better – I could make a Pinterest board called “Learning French” and just stick it there.


Aaand… I immediately find it on 123rf.  Somehow vindicated (and printing this off for my notes.  Mine is making me blush now.).  BTW, these caps are totally deceiving.  They are not used en franςais, unless the month is the first word in the sentence maybe.  But they make for better calligraphy I guess.  :/

I think this whole bullet journalling craze is a bit like the “Slow Food” movement.  It’s telling people to slow down and disconnect, at least till you’re ready to share your results on Facebook.

So, which way is better for me?  Clutter is a whole other issue I’m hoping to get a grip on in 2017.  Do I really need a new hobby and a boatload of new books and supplies?  Should I really be spending EVEN LESS time trying to clean up and de-junk?  Maybe a Pinterest board, with its virtuous virtual only existence, is just right for someone in my shoes.  I mean, if I am already questioning the point of the exercise…

Feeling stumped and depressed (just a wee tiny bit) by Inspiration Overload today,


P.S.  Crazy List Lady HAS, in fact, got a list of 2017 Resolutions.   Hopefully I’ll get to posting that in a few days. TTFN!


Dear Santa, Define Good

Life is pretty good.  I don’t collapse when they leave.  They come home again, safe and soon.  We are meeting our needs okay.  School is a focus now and we are improving.  I found a couple genuinely useful tricks that are helping us get more sleep during a season that’s just so dark it feels like you might as well stay up anyway.

Dear Santa, You can define “good” if you like, but – honestly – this is good enough for me.

I know I need to get writing in there properly again somehow and I’m not quite sure yet where I’m going with that.  Still trying to sort out my new relationship to this blog.  I’m now completely uncomfortable with the number of @yahoo.com, @op.pl, @mail.ru and @email.silkbeachtowels.com folks who have recently followed by email.  Could it really be that there are that many people with comfortingly western sounding names all together at the same provider in Poland and who are all sincerely wanting to follow me by email?  Since I doubt it, I’m now in the business of deleting folks.  Yep, I’m now taking active steps to have fewer followers.  You read that right.  So – if that’s you –  Bye.

I suspect a scam at work and really think that these are somehow malicious follows.  I don’t know how that works exactly, but – if Russian hackers are able to manipulate American public opinion sufficiently to control the outcome of an election – then maybe the day when I should become less blindly trusting of my unknown audience has finally arrived.  I fear now that all our online lives – our random thoughts, snippets which betray where our sympathies lie,  the jokes that reveal our sense of humour, our Facebook comments – I fear that all of that stuff is being compiled now to build profiles of us with malicious intent.  Think China and having your credit bureau score based on your political opinions and weekend drinking habits, or the Trump transition team going through Department of Energy emails for indications of employees’ beliefs regarding climate change science (yes, I said science.  Ooh.).  I’m terrified for all those people being purged.  It feels like having some measurable level of common sense has become grounds for being dragged into the town square and dealt with by an ugly mob nowadays.


Instead of thinking too hard about any of this stuff, take a moment and enjoy looking at this beautiful snowy tree, with its blossoms of light.  Breathe deeply.  The air is crisp and cool.

I know this stuff is happening, and I know that I can’t really thumb my nose at it all because – like most people – I really do have something to lose.  I have people I love, whom I can’t risk having an alt-right militia rounding up if Mr. Trump ever decides the best way to control Canada from now on is to simply run it himself .  Lately the only thing that comforts me on this (invasion) score is that guy is going to have so much trouble with dissent in his own country that he may not frankly find time to run next door to borrow a cup of Canada (or some of our water or clean air…!).   What more likely ought to be keeping me up at night lately is the fear of what Donald Trump could mean for global economies, for the environment, and for stability of the world order.  It’s also worrying that this insane trend he’s part of emboldens “alt-right” political thinkers in this country (shout out to Kellie Leich here!  Please leave!), who want to import this American style rhetoric and its attendant intolerance to our nation.

My kids are scared.  Lou Lou asked me why Donald Trump was fighting with his “wife”, Hillary (she decided they must be married after she heard somewhere that Hillary was at Donald’s wedding).  Are they getting a divorce, like you and Dad, she asks me.  Booba is ready to defend both our friends of Muslim faith, as well as each and every child of colour at their school. Both my kids have become hypersensitive to any hint of bullying behaviour at recess.

Seeing my own children, in the relative safety that is Canada, this anxious about their surroundings and this full of uncertainty about their future has been heartbreaking.  It took me a couple weeks to get used to it, during which time I adjusted to our new political reality by burying myself in satirical humour online, as well as indulging in other sparkly diversions like shopping for home decor items and binge-watching Netflix’s “The Crown”.


Like I was saying, you can either think about the election or – instead – think about the warm glow that is this lighted snowman next to these colourfully lit boxwood shrubs.  😀

After the election I didn’t sleep for several days.  It felt like someone had died.  I’d fall asleep, then quickly wake up and check my phone to see if Trump as president-elect has somehow “unhappened” while I was out.  Maybe it was all a dream, like that season of Dallas that one time.

Tonight I was supposed to write a one-page bio of myself for my new therapist, whom I’m seeing in hopes of improving my abilities as a parent.  I was reticent and uncooperative, writing mainly that one page summaries were for obituaries, not bios, and offering up that my quote of the moment is “Opinions are a dime a dozen, validation is for parking, and loyalty is not so much a word as a lifestyle choice.” (badly and broadly paraphrasing this And I Quote).  Inspite of this, however, I like this psychologist man, and may even tell him where he can find this blog if he wants to actually read some writing I put at least a little bit of thought into.  I’m trying to take the sessions seriously, and I’m reading the book he’s recommended (it’s called Mom’s House, Dad’s House).


Should you choose Mom’s house, this wreath awaits you at the door.

In addition to this, I’m back up to teaching five students now.  One of the moms organizes my paperwork in lieu of payment (we barter, an exchange of talents), so my home and life are starting to declutter themselves without me having to resort to any more hissy fits amongst piles of crumpled receipts.  I’m seeing a French tutor once a week (very slowly making some progress on this, but liking it more than I would have even a year ago, which is something).  I’ve subscribed to a couple of good periodicals, which I mostly enjoy reading online.  The dog is still here and I’m still walking him, despite the fact that I am battling a wheeze and a rattling cough right now.

In terms of the dog, I’ve discovered that it’s better to be respected than loved.  We’ve begun running our family like it’s a wolf pack lately; I am the alpha in our pack hierarchy.  We are all better off for realizing this.  We get things done with much less arguing now, although I do find the need to howl the odd time.

The kids seem better adjusted than before.  Lou Lou no longer complains about going to her father’s.  We’ve managed to establish some homework structure (always feel calmer and happier when we are doing or have just done our homework and reading – great feeling when the big rocks are already in), and Booba has accepted it, mostly with grace.  They continue to swim and I hope to add some new activity in the New Year.  Booba sings and is in the choir (and sticking with it) this year.  Occasionally he will go to the piano and play a bit (nothing formal, but playing of his own accord, which is golden).  We recently discovered chewy 1.5 mg Melatonin pills and have since started going to bed at 9:30 on school nights.  Having the house quiet – with no “in-bed-but-acting-super-hyper” nonsense going on – is a wonderful thing.  It’s beyond words.  Melatonin is a wonder drug.  Who knew?  Maybe we’re all genetically missing something in that department, I don’t know.  It seems to help us.  In addition to taking a supplement, we sometimes listen to Sleep With Me podcast to clear our minds and lull us off to dreamland once we’re in bed.  Lou Lou in particular seems to enjoy this new habit.


A new rug, cabinet, and light fixture were some post-election therapy for my dining room.

We went to see Santa, even though Boo is no longer a believer.  We got a real tree this year, plus – for the first time – put some lights up outside which make our home a fairyland at dusk.  For good measure, some pics of said fairyland are scattered through this post.

Well – on that note – it’s my own bedtime.  My eyelids are getting heavy.  Tomorrow is another busy day.  Therapist and French tomorrow, as well as another business meeting in between.  Life keeps me busy now, affecting my writing negatively, but an improvement in mood and efficiency overall.

All for now,