About a week ago, I glanced at the Whiteboard that we had set up in the summer of 2018 and revisited again in the fall of 2019. As I scanned through each of the stickies, – from discussion topic to parking lot to short term goals – a realization began to bubble up within me. I know we’re not out of this yet. We are in the midst of the eye of the storm, but it feels fair weather is coming our way.
These ideas that we had once sent out in 2018 and which were swirling around in the universe – without any assigned timeline or specific plan, without any judgment or apology, without any editing or justification – somehow we managed to make progress on each and every one of them. Whether working at a subconscious level and eventually making its way to the conscious level, each idea had been given some level of focus by us.
Some had pretty intense working sessions (e.g., buy a boat, balanced life, living budget). Others seemed to take shape as a side-effect of other activities or decisions (e.g., deciding to quit my job means reducing commute time and increasing time together).
Another example is our desire to live in another country. We were both excited by the Sirius 40DS after seeing her for the first time at the Boot show . We later discovered that the Sirius boatyard provides opportunities to apprentice. All of a sudden, we now have a very real and practical destination to play out this idea in the near future. Whether by luck or by fate – we can declare some progress on one of our goals.
Today, I wiped the Whiteboard completely clean.
In part, a clean whiteboard can now be used as a blank space to develop more specific plans for the near future. It seems fitting that – as we are presumably in the eye of a storm, so to speak – we have an opportunity to regroup and come up with more detail around tactics, timing and execution of our plans.
Forever the saver and archivist (a trait I inherited from my mom), I did transfer the information to a Bullet Journal . Until a couple days ago, I hadn’t known anything about the BuJo phenomenon. It started back in 2018 with the tagline,
Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future.
Last year, I discovered the Pick Up Limes youtube channel via pinterest when a video on DIY long layers cut was posted. I love Sadia’s videos and once again, I found something useful in how she set up her own bullet journal.
Given that I’ll be leaving my corporate life behind in a couple weeks, I thought it made a lot of sense to start thinking about how I want to organize my time. Pick Up Limes was my first glimpse into this type of journaling, and I must say that what I saw piqued my interest.
Over lunch with Andrew, I gave him a brief rundown of what it was I discovered, and he was supportive.
We decided that while I would do most of the heavy lifting on this, it would be a tool for both of us. Later that afternoon, I took an unused Moleskine which had been collecting dust on a bookcase in our home office, and I began to build pages that I thought would most work for us. My next tool is a Pilot Frixion 0.7 blue pen, particularly because it is erasable ink (where have you been all my life?!) along with a collection of Pilot G2 Metallics as well as some 99cent store markers we had lying around and a stainless steel ruler.
Later that day…
In a few short hours, I had put together the following:
- Monthly Check-in (capture where we are emotionally, physically and spiritually)
- Brain Dump (capture ideas of Serenade Wind, Sailing and Personal topics)
- Habit trackers
- Gratitude page
- High/Low page
- Week-at-a-Glance (for the rest of February)
- Goals (3-month, 6-month, 1-year, 5-year, 10-year)
- Year in Pixels (capture each day’s emotions and moods)
- Cleaning Log (daily through annual chores)
- Future Log (3 alternatives depending on where we buy a boat)
- Whiteboard (transferred from physical version)
Each time I pick up this journal, I appreciate something new about it: portability, centralization, organized thoughts and tasks, ability to visualize information quickly, customizability, etc.
I suppose there are pitfalls in creating a tool such as this, in other words, creating tasks to give the illusion of productivity and then becoming a slave to the journal. In a former life, I would have fallen prey to an instinct such as this. Today, I look at this as a tool built by me for me. No one will be judging me on what is in here, least of all me. I have nothing to prove, and everything to gain by approaching the tool exactly for what it is.
It’s also a fun place to doodle.
Eye of the Storm
Waiting a storm out tests one’s patience. Sometimes you can distract yourself. Other times you can take control and be proactive to map out your life. I have taken a pluralistic approach (some may call it a shotgun approach) and did everything to progress through this phase trapped in the eye of the storm. I know that fair weather is ahead and an adventure awaits us.