Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again

Alongside the catchy lyrics of the title of this post, I’ve also been using Lamentations 3:22-23 (a surprisingly encouraging book, considering its title!) as my motto lately:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

The ‘new every morning’ bit is just as well, because every day lately I’ve resolved that this will be the day when I [insert productive goal here]. And most days, it hasn’t been. Most days have been like the one before, where I get a few good hours in the morning, where my brain cooperates and I get stuff done, then it’s more or less worn itself out, and I spend much of the rest of the day wrestling with anxiety and exhaustion. That’s apart from the days where the negative stuff just takes over full stop and the whole day feels like a battle for sanity. I can’t listen to yarny podcasts or get on Ravelry without experiencing massive anxiety, and blogging has just been impossible.

Cannas

I have, however, made sure to take lots of pictures of flowers!

On the plus side, the ‘good’ hours of the morning are getting longer, and I might just be emerging from the cave I seemed to fall into at the beginning of May. Not making any promises (see above about productive goals) but baby steps, all the way. I’ve restructured various work things so that I can get them done, rather than sitting staring at my list, feeling useless. We’re settling into a pattern for keeping home tidy, which makes a huge difference to my state of mind, and I’m slowly digging out all the personal things that have been on my list for months. I’m finishing more books (audio only, still, as my visual concentration span is shot to pieces), and I’m lining up more titles to take on holiday with us.

Audiobooks

Some people might consider one audiobook app sufficient. I appear to have no self-control when it comes to libraries!

One of the things I need to do is buy a new notebook/diary/planner. I’ve got Too Many Thoughts, too many things to do, and far too many craft plans on the go at once. Things are scattered and difficult to tackle, so I’m casting around for a system that will give me enough structure while still being flexible. I’m leaning towards giving Bullet Journalling a proper, serious go, to include planning my Bible readings better, bringing my wandering eating back on track, and help me track those hundred little things that have to be done each day. One of the things mental health problems rob you of is the ability to see yourself clearly. All you see is the negative, the bad, the stuff you didn’t do, because you just felt too awful to tackle it. If you follow me on Instagram, you will seen my awesome Post-Its board (now in hibernation*), which is WONDERFUL for knowing what you’ve achieved, as well as what you’ve got to do. I think Bullet Journalling might do the same for the personal side of things, with a few modifications.

*It’s a great tool for when you have tight deadlines that HAVE to be met, and too many jobs to get done in that time. You have to break things down, think smaller, and it makes it easier to plough through them. But it’s not an ‘everyday’ listing tool really, and not great for my personal stuff. I mean, I’m busy, but not THAT busy, and I want something that will fit easily in a small notebook!

Projects

Projects! Actual progress!

I particularly need to get my crafting life sorted. The flat is covered with works in progress, random supplies, books and patterns, and without order, I don’t feel I can start creating again. It’s not that I’m not finishing things, it’s that I’m not recording them, so I’m not giving myself the credit. Time to change that! Above is the Frankencardi (finished!), Nearly Black, and my Trailing Flowers shawl, all of which need properly photographing and blogging. There are projects in the bottom of the wardrobe, more in the bottom of the sideboard, yet more under the sofa and a couple behind our giant corn plant. And yet I keep telling myself that only one is suitable for taking out and about with me! I think I’m going to have to hibernate some of them, work on others in a more concentrated way, and try to reclaim order around here. I’ve got too many lovely things to let them languish in our garage.

Do any of you use Bullet Journalling? Or another named system for organising your life? Tell me about it! I’ve almost finished my current notebook, so it’s a chance to start fresh and I’m open to ideas!

Linking up with Ginny, because crafters are the most organised people I know, and I appreciate all the help I can get πŸ™‚

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14 thoughts on “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again

  1. Lovely to read a post from you again. I just want to say thank you for starting me on 15 for 2015. That list got me through 5 months of worry and three more months of building my life again when I no longer needed to worry. Baby steps, small goals and a pat on the back for every little achievement. Best of luck and just keep going a day at a time and one foot in front of the other. X

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  2. Baby steps indeed. Keep going and do congratulate yourself on the good things – your frankencardi is splendid! I don’t do bullet journaling, just a million lists!

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    1. Thanks πŸ™‚ I think I plan to try Bullet Journalling exactly because I have a million lists! I keep losing them, so need a better system to keep track!

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  3. It’s good to hear from you! And I love looking at your crochet projects. I have seen Bullet Journaling, and am considering trying it out. Right now I’ve started using a binder with daily, weekly, and monthly sheets I designed myself, with space for not only to-do lists around the house, but crochet projects, Bible reading, food planning, appointments, various things to remember like Picture Day at school…anything I can think of. They’re a work in progress, and they change as I remember more things to keep track of. I’ll have to see if it’s useful long-term, or if something like Bullet Journaling would work just as well. I just really like checkboxes and lines and neatly organized categories. πŸ™‚

    I have wondered in the past few days whether too many lists, and too many modifications, were achieving the opposite effect. Am I spending so much time on my lists that I feel like I’ve accomplished something, when all I’ve really done is busywork? But I do think they’re helping me stay on track and focus, because otherwise when I get home everything just skitters away out of my brain.

    I also have so many crochet projects on the go that it’s starting to feel like a real problem, like an addiction…so one of my goals is to pick a few projects and finish them by Christmas. And NOT to start a new one before Christmas! Maybe I’ll set a reward–if I finish three projects, I’m allowed to start one new one?

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    1. I think the essence of good planning is ‘find what works for you’. Like you, I think I’m going to end up designing my own – Bullet Journalling isn’t so great for long-term mapping, or knowing when a bill needs to be paid, but it’s perfect for brain dumps! I shall experiment and report back πŸ™‚

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  4. Laura, You sound like me! (or I sound like you). I too have too many started projects not finished. I also struggle with anxiety (and depression). Your days sound like my days,but you actually reached out and talked about it! That is more than a baby step. Super! I have found that the only list that I can manage is a daily one on my phone. (notepad). I write the important things that I HAVE to do there and check it during the day. I feel good when I accomplish what is on there. Longer lists overwhelm me and I tend to loose them if there are too many. Thank you for your article. Love you pictures.

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    1. Thanks πŸ™‚ I think short, achievable lists are essential if you’re anxious. The joy of crossing something out is so soothing! I’m hoping to find a balance between that, and making sure some of my long term goals don’t get lost along the way. I’ll report back!

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  5. I just got a Passion Planner and so far I really, really like it. You get a monthly planner so you can see at a glance the big structure of what’s going on, as well as weekly pages which have a good amount of space for each day, but also space for personal AND work to do lists, divided according to priority. You’re encouraged to nominate one big goal for the week, and a focus for each day. There’s also space for scribbling notes, ideas, thoughts etc.

    It makes me feel much more in control of what I’m doing each day, knowing that it is contributing to my larger goals. It probably doesn’t quite do everything you want, but it would be worth a look, I think. You can download sample pages to try: http://www.passionplanner.com/

    Earlier this year I also tried this planning system: http://www.productiveflourishing.com/free-planners/
    I liked it but it was a bit too detailed for me. The thing I liked most was the focus on project-based planning, rather than calendar-based planning. Again, you can download printable pages to try (I never moved to the printed, paid version).

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    1. Ooh, thanks for these. I think I’m going to end up with a weird mish-mash of things, as I like bits of all of them! Although I do creative things, I don’t need to plan for a creative business, but I do want something that helps me think long-term, not just about the next chore that needs doing.

      Lots to mull over, thank you!

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  6. Ah, organisation is a mystery to me. I try so hard! What I find is working at the moment is a diary with the week down one page and a page for notes opposite. I used to use a “long list” of everything and rewrite it once a week, but now I use a weekly list and draw items from it for daily tasks, that way I can group things that I can do simultaneously, e.g. on the same trip out, hour at my desk, or while the washing machine is on. I too struggle with anxiety and depression, I guess we struggle to feel in control.

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    1. I tried that sort of thing, but found I need to break it down further and further and need more notepages etc etc – 1 page per week isn’t enough!

      I’ll let you know how I get on πŸ™‚

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