Sh*t (Sometimes) Happens

I would like to say that 2017 is the year I get sh*t done, even though I started this blog back in 2016 with the same intention. Sh*t happens. It’s what you do next that matters most. This is one of my focus areas for 2017 – what do I do when sh*t happens?

I tend to over worry about everything. Anxiety is nothing new to me. Sometimes sh*t happens, and sometimes the sh*t is only happening in our heads. This weekend I replayed a conversation I had at work last week that left me feeling worried. I started second guessing my overall purpose in my job. It didn’t take long for my brain to jump to all kinds of conclusions. Tonight, while relaxing with my “Be Inspired: Design Coloring Book – Patterns by Eijffinger”, I tumbled into the thought that I’m just no good at graphic design.

This is a prime example of sh*t happening…in my head.

Because one negative thoughts breeds more negative thoughts I came up with this gem of insecurity: If I’m no good at graphic design, I have no purpose for the work I do.

That negativity was followed up with how much I dreaded going to work in the morning because nothing I do in my job gives me any sense of purpose.

Again, sh*t happens sometimes only in my head.

Purposelessness is a feeling I got used to having in my 20s and 30s. I clung to it because it was the devil I knew. A change, a risk in doing something new was, well, new and scary! What if I failed?  What if I found out I was terrible at the new thing? In all that time I never considered that discovery requires risk, that there are things I am definitely going to suck at, but I will always feel purposeless without trying to find what I love doing!

Somewhere along the way I realized that none of my negative feelings were true. Sometimes I want to tumble down that rabbit hole of self-doubt but then something always happens to remind me that those thoughts are false.

Tonight my mother’s voice popped into my head. Can anyone else “hear” their mother’s voice when they read her texts? Well, I can. She sent me this text: “I returned to line dancing on Monday. I wore my elephant t-shirt you created. Several people commented on it.” *One of her classmates, Barbara, a “working $$$$ artist”said she liked my shirt very much.


This snapped me back to reality. 1. My elephant drawing t-shirt is super cute thus proving that I have some talent. 2. I can’t let my insecurities get to me. I can’t travel down the road of insecurity without a lot of unnecessary pain. 3. My job is what I make of it. It’s up to me to give my job purpose or not. I believe, honestly, that my job helps a lot of people do good things for our community.

Sh*t happens. Sh*t happens in my head. When it happens in my head I have to focus on how I react to it. I can only do my thing. I can come home and pile on more sh*t. Or I can keep drawing, keep doodling, keep playing around with paint and clay. There is nothing to do but deal with it.

In life you need one thing to survive: The ability to realize shit happens. You step in it. Accept it, get over it, and move on. 


*The fact that a working and paid artist likes my shirt is a high compliment. Mom and I both think that if you are a working and paid artist you are living the life! At least the life we want to live.


Hi, 2017! Let’s Get Sh*t Done!

img_6028Here we are again at the beginning of a new year. So much has happened! New job responsibilities, new life responsibilities. For me, 2017 is going to be a year of self-care, lots of reflection, and channeling as much as possible into various creative outlets.

Because so much has changed, and I’ve been asked about it again, I thought a good update on my Bullet Journal would be a good start to the year. Let me share what I learned over the last couple of months.

  1. Pre-made planners just do not work for me. In fact, nothing short of the Leuchtturm 1917 notebook or the Rhodia Medium Webnotebook works for what I need. Truth be told, the Rhodia is the better paper-wise between those two notebooks! I use a lot of different inks when I use my BuJo. Rhodia is the only one that holds up and has no bleed through. I was really disappointed in my new Leuchtturm – so much bleed through!
  2. When I last posted about my adventures in BuJo I wrote that I was using the Levenger Circa Notebook junior sized (for various reasons). The Circa Notebook junior size is way too narrow for all the sh*t I do, track, take care of. And those dang discs! Kept getting in my way. I couldn’t do really nice spreads without ramming my hand against the disks. I like that both the Rhodia and Leuchtturm have different bindings making it easier for me to have continuous writing across spreads.
  3. So I switched from my gorgeous Circa notebook to the Happy Planner. I hated it right from the get-go.Not only does it also have discs it has a pre-made layout making it very hard to track everything I need to track. Also, if you don’t pay close enough attention, like I did, you’ll get the wrong weekly layout and there is nothing you can do about it. Blech! (If anyone wants a Happy Planner just let me know. We’ll work out a deal. None of 2017 calendar has been used and I have some extra bells and whistles I got to “help” me out.)
  4. The idea of keeping all those meeting notes in one notebook became annoying and daunting. I kept having to flip back and forth between this meeting section and that meeting section. Now I have my BuJo for my calendar and a separate notebook for taking notes. Wait for it: After my meeting I transfer my tasks straight into my BuJo. My note taking notebook is roughly the same size as my BuJo. I make sure to title and date the notes so if I do have to go back and check on something I can flip through the pages easier looking for a specific title.


So with all this said, let’s move into what I’m doing now.

1. I am using a Leuchtturm 1917 medium dot grid notebook. Paper isn’t thick enough for all my inks so when I fill this notebook up I’m going back to the Rhodia. Even if it is traffic cone orange.

2.  Straight out I made my legend to keep me on track. Yes, things are color coordinated. This happens when you’re job suddenly becomes two jobs. I’m now the admin assistant for my original office and the assistant to the director of marketing for our entire department. (I know, I sound exactly like Dwight in “The Office”.) This is the beauty of the BuJo. The original BuJo has their own legend. I used that and tweaked it to fit what I needed.


3. The Leuchtturm has the Index pages, which I do love. The Rhodia does not. But I’ll deal with that. The Leuchtturm also has all their pages numbered. LA! The Rhodia does not. Boo.


4. I took the time and made a full year calendar just so I could see dates. Sometimes you just need a good look at just the dates to help you out.


5. Now this is new, to me anyway. The Calendex! Boy, do I love this! Now I’m not so terrified of not having pre-made weekly pages or monthly pages. Go ahead and watch this great video by Boho Berry about the Calendex and how she set hers up. I took her idea and tweaked it for my needs. I like looking at things a semester at a time. I work at a university, so my life is basically on a semester schedule. I set up my Calendex by the Spring 2017 and Summer 2017 semesters. Don’t forget to add your legend!


6. I’m still using the monthly page for quick appointment updates. I’m using color coded dots to show recurring meetings.


7. My Social Media Calendar! Now, this is just a stroke of genius. Just kidding, I honestly don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier.


8. I’m back to using the weekly layout and the To-Do list as a full spread. My weekly page is only Monday through Friday because my Bullet Journal is only for work things. Nothing else. Well, except for…

9. The mega-list spread is my Spring Semester To-Do list. At the end of Fall semester I started writing down things I needed my student assistants to do when they got back to school. Then I realized that the list also had things I had to do. Then it grew to things my marketing students needed to do (see that ink bleed through?!). So the list became this spread. It’s all organized and color coded. Also, my list sprang from this!


10. Ta-Da! The only pretty pages in my Bullet Journal! I am only focusing on six days at a time to do this Zen Art Challenge. I don’t want to overwhelm myself thinking I “have” to do this challenge. This is the perfect reminder of something I enjoy doing. It is also teaching me a lot about shading, perspective, and other things I have comletely forgotten from my early days in art school (early as in 5 years ago…I have no excuse).


11. Lastly, I have a list. There are a ton of classes I want to take through; especially those that deal with marketing. So I created this list of classes I need to take soon and classes I just want to take. Lot of people put lists like this in their Bullet Journals – sometimes it’s books, other times it’s movies. All these classes are work related so I thought they deserved a page in my book. Also, if I didn’t write them down I’d forget.


So this is what works for me. That’s the beauty of the Bullet Journal. You can always find ways to tweak it for your own needs.