Sunday, 7 January 2018

Lanterns & Longish Weekends

It figures that the first week of the year, the week I'm all gung-ho to jump back into blogging we had a big snowstorm. Which caused a power outage, followed by an even longer Internet outage which essentially put a halt on all blogging enthusiasm. 

Ironically I had planned to publish a post about how one of my intentions for the year is to do less multi-tasking and how I thought I might be able to manage life one thing at a time. As it turns out multi-tasking is a lot harder when there's no electricity. For starters it eliminates the option of watching TV along with anything else. And since I was 95% prepared and not 100% prepared my cellphone wasn't fully charged which eliminated the option of listening to music or Podcasts as I went about my afternoon and evening.

I found a book and blanket and cozied up on the couch and read for almost two hours without interruption. When supper time rolled around I made some guacamole and ate by lantern light without any background noise. Then I went back to reading until the power came on a little while later. I won't pretend I didn't leap up to charge my phone and make a hot cup of tea but I also didn't immediately turn on all the lights and fire up Netflix. I kept reading and being content just reading my book and enjoying the quiet. 

Shortly after that I realized that the power came on but the Internet did not. In fact it was gone from Thursday at 3:30-ish until Saturday afternoon at 3:30ish. I tried to enjoy it and I did pop in Friends DVDs to watch while I worked on my Project Life album but I seriously felt like I was disconnected. I wasn't totally disconnected, my phone was fully charged and I was using data to scroll through Twitter for the latest news and check in on Instagram but it sure felt that way.

It left me wondering if I should re-evaluate my plans to go an entire week without multi-tasking, a week is a long time when you're only doing one thing at a time. And it really left me wondering how I can incorporate some regularly scheduled technology breaks into my life. 

Sunday mornings or afternoons seem like the most logical time to implement some slow down time but then again so do Wednesday evenings. Maybe it should be a daily thing instead of a weekly thing, although I know that's not realistic. 

Do you have mandated technology breaks? I know I go long stretches without my phone or computer if I'm out and about but if I have an evening or day at home it's likely I'm going to be watching TV and texting and aimlessly browsing....possibly all at once and there's no way that can be a healthy habit!

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

2018 - Brought To You By The Letter H

A few months back I briefly mentioned I had been reading about the difference between goals and intentions. It's still something I'm thinking about and I want that to reflect any sort of to-do list I make  going forward. I broke things down into four categories where I want to be intentional over the next year, they're purposely broad so that any goals I create will fit into one of the four categories. I'm not sure yet if I'll set monthly or quarterly goals or a mix of both but I do know that these will be the categories:

For the first time since finishing high school I know I'm going to live in one place for the whole year and foreseeable future. Since moving in at the beginning of September I've bought a few pieces of furniture and done a little rearranging to make it feel like home but there's still more to be done. The intention here is to create a place that is warm and inviting and homey. Goals in this area will be specific things like adding more art to the walls and creating a scrapbooking nook. 

Gratitude was one of my main resolutions for 2017 and while it wasn't perfect most days I did take time to list a minimum of three thankful thoughts. Lately I've been topping 20-30 things each day and it is true that the more you do it the easier it becomes. Along with continuing be thankful I want to be kinder and gentler to myself and others. Be a little less judgemental and a lot more compassionate, even when my Type A-ness just wants to solve the problem and move on with life. Difficult things to measure but might end up including sending more snail mail, planning more coffee dates and less meetings. 

The first year of a new job is always going to be rough but looking back I had a terrible work/life balance. I planned almost everything around work and it left me feeling resentful and generally unhappy. There's absolutely value in working hard and getting things done but there's also a whole lot of value in having interests and life outside the office. Reading more books, decreasing screen time and planning time away from work are all going to fall under this category. 

One difference between intentions and goals is the idea of forming habits. When you set a goal it's a task that you accomplish and then move on to the next task. Intentions don't necessarily have an end, it's about being mindful about how you're interacting with the world. Mostly all of these goals are about creating new habits and being intentional and less about doing x number of things before a certain date. My morning routine is going to get an overhaul in this area as is my tendency to multi-task. 

How is 2018 shaping up for you? Are you making resolutions? Setting goals? Carrying on with life like usual? Let me know!

Monday, 1 January 2018

One Little Word 2018

I hadn't given any thought to choosing a word for 2018.

I was starting to see posts pop up on social media and I watched the official launch of Ali Edward's One Little Word workshop but it wasn't resonating with me and I wasn't interested in forcing something. Last year I had the grand idea to choose one word each week...which was indeed a wonderful idea until about March. At which point it became a chore and I stopped even looking at the list of 52 words I had previously chosen. 

A little over a week ago I was journalling at the end of the day and thinking about words and it occurred to me that 'magic' should be my word for 2018. My first reaction was more of a 'Ugh, again, I don't want to pick a word.' than excitement but I let my subconscious mull it over and before I knew what I was doing I was browsing 'magic' and 'magical' quotes on Pinterest. 

This is definitely a scenario of my word finding me versus me choosing a word. And I'm still a little bewildered about what I'm supposed to do with the word 'magic'. In a lot of ways it seems like a juvenile word conjuring up images of unicorns and rainbows or on the opposite end something dark and scary. I'm much closer to the unicorn end of the spectrum but I'm not about to redecorate everything pink and I'm also not going to start consulting a psychic. I'm left shrugging my shoulders and actively deciding to go with the flow.

I'm not going to do the Ali Edward's workshop and I probably won't actively incorporate it into  my Project Life album on a regular basis. I'm anticipating documenting most of my word in my art journal with doodles and collages and whatever I feel like doing, whenever I feel like doing it - maybe it will be weekly, maybe it will be every few months the one certainty is that I'm not attaching any rules to the process. 

Are you embracing a specific word for 2018?  I'd love to know your word and how you're planning to interact with it over the year!