What Counts as a Journal?

I know, I know, whatever you think is a journal will count as a journal. But Lee and I were talking about our journals. One of us said, “I’m down to just one journal.” Then they (I) realized that nope, there was something else the probably counted as a journal, and hmm, maybe something other than that was also one…I figure this blog is really a journal of my thoughts, just online and not printed, and mostly for me and a couple of friends. I also have my lovely bullet journal that I started in February. It’s still going strong, and covered in cheerful stickers and inspirational notes to myself.

In which I frantically try to cheer myself up.

So, that makes two journals that I update daily. But wait, what’s this other thing? I do believe it’s a horse journal (if it wasn’t one, it should have been). I get given a lot of journals with horses on them, so I figured I might as well use one of them, and started this one the day I got Drew.

As you can see, some days I write a lot, and some days, not so much.

I’m surprised to admit that I have written in this one nearly every day, and never missed more than one day. It’s been really useful for keeping up with the progress of Drew and Apache’s training and health, and I won’t lose important information like what they’ve been eating, when they got their vaccines (I am pro horse vax), and how they do mentally every day. Uncharacteristically for me, I started out using a pink pen. I’m still using it, so the notebook is pretty consistent (one day I left it). Pink is not a Suna color, but I’m trying to embrace my traditionally feminine side, I guess. I even painted my nails.

Ooh, aah.

Lee got to thinking, and he realized he mostly uses his one journal, which is not inexpensive but is consistent and looks good on a shelf. He writes a LOT in his journal, including gratitude, things to do, deep thoughts, and so much more.

A man’s journals should coordinate.

And Lee does something I find it really hard to do, which is re-read his old journals. I get all cringey when I go on and on about my latest favorite person or things I did that I now wish I hadn’t. But it was ME, so what gives? Lee is really enjoying reading a journal from around 2010 and is culling out interesting things he says for a collection. That actually sounds like a fun project.

Lee typed his, punched holes, and filed them, with headers, footers, and all sorts of organizational cues. Hey, I have page numbers!

The person in the family who has the most journals is Kathleen. She lives a journaling lifestyle. I’m in awe! It has to help a lot with organizing thoughts and goals.

I must say that all my various journals are helpful to me, and I’m glad I have a mundane journal of notes and dates, a blog journal of all kinds of other thoughts, and a horse journal. I just never thought I’d end up with so many journals.

Ha, especially since I hate to re-read my old stuff, this seems to be an odd place to end up journal-wise. But, I think I can re-read these, at this stage of my life, where I’ve figured out most my self-destructive tendencies, negative self talk, and insecurities.

Do you re-read journals? Can you even FIND your old stuff? Maybe I’ll share about some old stuff I recently found…

Technology Staging a Revolt

This is also available as a podcast!

This is not funny. If I wasn’t trying to stay firmly grounded in rationality, I’d swear that the technology around me is trying to engage in a work slowdown or simply trying to quit. I’ve been having the worst time getting relatively simple things done. The most egregiously annoying thing has been trying to use my fancy headphones, both at home and in the office.

headphones on a desk, with a mask and a peace pillow in Japanese.

These headphones are wonderful when they work. They cancel sound. They have a high-quality microphone. They are comfy. BUT, both of my sets just suddenly cut out randomly, with no notice. I have to either plug them into a different USB port or mess with my settings in Zoom. That is getting really old.

In fact, the first time I recorded this as a podcast, the headphones stopped working, and the microphone in my webcam recorded it. Sounded like I was at the bottom of a well. Special.

But that’s not all. While I can hear in Zoom calls and on the Spotify app, I get nothing when trying to listen to videos or sound files in Chrome. To review e-learning, I have to open Edge. Eww. And, sadly, I can’t get into my podcast app to listen to what I’ve recorded. Occasionally it works. IT has no clue why this goes on. Buh.

To alleviate the issue with my headphones, which also cut out ridiculously when Zooming on my phone hotspot from the ranch, I have taken to doing calls on the phone. Because I have an iPhone X, I can’t use wired headphones. No, I have to use those cute li’l earpods. They are cute and little, all right, but they only last about an hour. I tend to have 6 hours of meetings every day. So, I end up using just one of the pods at a time, which makes people complain about my sound quality.

We are not on speaking terms, says the printer.

Maybe I should just type all my comments in chat, like my boss does.

Besides all this, I am unable to print, at all, period. Sometimes, like when you have a COVID form to fill out, you need to print things. I could get none of the printers at work to print today. They used to work, I swear! I don’t have a printer at either Cameron office, because every one I get works a month or two then refuses to speak to the laptop. I’m beginning to blame the laptop, only this happened before I got the current one. Grr.

keyboards, nice one that doesn't work. Boring one that does work.
Only the ugly wired keyboard works.

And, can I use my nice new fancy keyboard? Nope. It worked for a few weeks and stopped, too. Maybe there is some kind of haunted USB port issue going on. Yes, that’s it. My laptop is haunted and my peripherals are afraid of it, so they don’t work. I’m SO glad I figured this all out!

It’s a good thing I started that bullet journal! It’s analog! So far it has not rejected my input, my stickers, or my various pens.

And, on the other hand, it’s nice to have little annoyances like this to think about, because it means I’m not consumed with concerns about sick people, diseases spreading, political crud, and such.

So, what’s bugging you, eh?


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Celebrating All Wins

Along with Lee and two other business partners, I used to be a part of a real estate organization called FortuneBuilders. While it was an investment, the classes and networking ended up being well worth it. The leaders were a very positive bunch of human beings, and they brought in good motivational speakers and topics (I am a HARSH judge of motivational speakers, so when I say they were good, I’m not kidding).

Sometimes we had fun at those conferences

Anyhow, one of the things the FortuneBuilder folks stressed was that it takes a lot of small successes among even more setbacks and challenges to get ahead in whatever you’re trying to do. They encouraged us to “Celebrate All Wins” no matter how big or small (if you got a response to one of your annoying postcards offering to buy someone’s home, for example). They even gave out shirts emblazoned with CAW to people who shared their wins at conferences (ah, I remember live conferences).

They are also nice and comfy shirts. By the way, my closet is STILL organized and in good shape.

This morning, I was telling Lee about something that was challenging at work that I did a good job handling, and he said we need to make a bigger deal out of these things, like back in the good old CAW days. The idea works for home health agencies, software companies, horsemanship endeavors, fitness goals, and even interpersonal relationships. In other words, it works in all areas of our own lives!

Here’s Russell interacting with one of those motivational speakers

I’m going to take Lee up on it and celebrate my wins for the past day or two!

  • I started my bullet journal
  • I participated in that Bioblitz
  • I figured out a helpful process for working on our documentation at work
  • I reassigned two team members and they each like their new assignment better
  • The friend for whom I knitted the striped shawl received it and loved it
  • I got all but one chicken to sleep in the coop last night, rather than the garage (more on that in another post)
  • I made progress on my stepping off a cliff project. One step closer to flying.

I feel better already, just for writing all those things down! No wonder I have felt perky and chipper all day, even on day 5 of 8 AM meetings!

Just bullet journaling away for two whole days.

A Challenge

Here’s today’s challenge: Share your wins! Celebrate them! I want to know!

Late to the BuJo Party

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Let’s see if I can get anything written today. I’ve been having technology issues, annoying bill-paying issues, and trouble doing what I set out to do today. Cows are mooing their asses off outside, too. So, I’m hoping a pleasant blogging break will help get me back on track to do some proofreading.

We seem to be lost. Update: not lost, separated so they can get some treatments. Still, unhappy.

Meanwhile, as I briefly mentioned last week, I have been looking more into how bullet journaling works, since my work book group friends all said they sort of do it, but would like to know more. You know me, I went out and bought the book, after reading up on two popular forms of bullet journaling online, the original bullet journal (by Ryder Carroll) and the Full Focus Planner (by Michael Hyatt), which is what Lee uses.

I might have ordered this because it looks cool and has cork on the outside.

Even though I have a nice-looking journal I use right now, in what turns out to be a semi-bullet journal format, I ordered another journal, because I forgot to check whether the book I’m using opens flat. It doesn’t, and that is more than a little irritating, even though it’s a pretty little book. I can use it for something else.

I know this journaling style is all the rage these days, but, as usual, I avoided looking into it, since I have my own system. But, one of my goals is to learn more, in general, so I’ll learn more. So far, I’ve learned how important BuJo journal proponents believe it is to write things down by hand. I’ve always agreed with their premise that writing helps cement things, which I why I was such a big note-taker in college.

Bullet journals use dots, not lines. I think this is for freedom? I’m not that far in the book. I like dots, though.

The handwriting fans maintain that typing is not as good for focusing as the act of writing on paper, mainly because typing goes so fast that you don’t necessarily really think about it. Hmm, no wonder my blog doesn’t make sense; my hands just go typing way ahead of my brain. I honestly find typing to be equally helpful, but I also think my brain works a little differently than some people’s.

Nonetheless, I know my handwriting has become a LOT worse since I stopped doing it so often, so maybe writing more intentionally in a bullet journal will help with that. You see, a LOT of people make their journals into pieces of art, which all sorts of colors, drawings, stenciled headings, and stickers upon stickers. That has to slow down the “rapid logging” process, don’t you think? Maybe they just do it as they prepare their monthly sections. Maybe I should read more of the book.

I think one reason I hesitated to look into this stuff is that before, I felt the way Lee journaled was very rigid, and that may or may not be right. It is very goal oriented, so you don’t get to do things that don’t contribute to a goal. There goes my fondness for random activities and plain old fun (so, one of my goals is to have fun…HA).

My practice. I even put in a sticker and used a template yesterday (blurred to obscure work notes).

I was happy to see that there’s a LOT of freedom in bullet journals. You can put in art, write stories, keep lists, track your food, or whatever you find important. The best freedom, though, is to get rid of things that don’t work for you. That’s very Agile, I think, as is the iterative monthly planning. Oh goodness, Agile project management is everywhere in my life these days!

Let’s see what happens once I get my journal actually going. I’m still using the old one and practicing BuJo style bullets and style. I need to finish the book and learn about all the components before I mess up the new one. I mean, use it however I want to.

Do you journal? Is blogging journaling? Memoir writing? Narcissism? Who knows.

sara annon

seeking the middle path

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