Friday, January 3, 2014

Journaling this Journey

It's a good thing our Professional Development day was cancelled today. Waking up to single digit temperatures with a warm, snuggly daughter beside me was not quite conducive to getting up early to fix the hubs' coffee before he left for work. Not that he expects it. But it's a simple gesture that I usually enjoy.

Today, he got incoherent grumbles from a comforter caterpillar. He made his own coffee. 

When he was gone and I stumbled down the stairs, I wasted lots of time playing around on my phone and drinking coffee. Not even reading or channel-surfing. And my coffee got cold before I finished it. It was not looking good.

I shuffled into the kitchen, swiping half-heartedly at the hair in my face. And was confronted by this:
What on earth am I doing wasting time on a day like today? Or any day, for that matter?

But (I like to think) we've all been there. And as much as I cherish lazy, snowy Fridays, sometimes I just have to get over myself and say (in my internal, capital S Southern mama voice): Lord a-mercy, put your clothes on. And a little lipstick wouldn't kill you either. When that's just not enough, because I developed my selective listening skills years ago and sharpen them almost daily in my classroom, it's a little bit easier to get on with it if I write about what all needs to be done. I call it journaling about my journey

So, let me tell you the story of how my day got better. 

I plopped right down at that sunny kitchen table and opened my journal. Not the expensive yoga journal (don't tell the hubs I haven't cracked that beauty open yet, k?), but the one I made about a month ago. Yep, made. From an old binder. Low-key and I love it. It looks like this:

Photos of people I love, ticket stub from vacation...I'm only getting started and I can't wait to add more found items and photos to my homemade chronicle. It's a little bulky, but that's because all the best stuff is in there, like:
  • Plain ol' cheap notebook paper, for both creative writing and important notes 
  • A monthly calendar (I print off one month at a time and keep it in the front pocket)
  • Some sheet protectors, for keeping precious mementos handy (like a love letter from the hubs, aw!)
  • Free printable guided journal pages, specifically these from Grace is Overrated and these from Home Life Simplified
I like the pages from Grace is Overrated for weekends or other days off, like this Christmas break that I'm expecting will be extended due to wintry weather. They're a little more creative and have lots of personality, and room to express yours. I'm a big fan of the little lightning round sections, mostly because I can imagine Bella looking at them later in life and learning all those little things about me that I might never think to tell her. (Confession: I have kept only 2 journals in my whole life. All the others have been thrown away. This tragedy will not be allowed to continue, for my children's sake. And any possible future biographers', ha!) 

My workday page of choice is this one:

Today, even being home, that's the one it took. I basked in the sunlight streaming in that kitchen window and I made a plan. And you'll never believe what all happened as a result of putting my pen to this one little printed-out page.
  1. I looked up an inspirational quote for the day: "Whatever's good for your that."
  2. I got dressed like I was going to work
  3. I put on makeup with Bella.
  4. I read with Bella.
  5. I snacked on celery instead of bourbon balls and drank water instead of Diet Coke.
  6. I put away (all) the dishes.
  7. I made lunch.
  8. I made the conscious decision to add avocados to my lunch.
  9. I did this Pilates stretching video and periodically added some wall-sits to my day.
  10. I reminded myself of my commitment to blog today.
  11. I started a pot of slow cooker broccoli cheddar soup for dinner (which we didn't eat because we weren't home due to #12, so technically dinner for tomorrow night is ready)
  12. I reminded myself that I had to supervise a basketball game at 6 p.m.
  13. I planned to go to the grocery store and play Easy Bake Oven with Bella. And then I was okay with running out of time (which I'm almost certainly never okay with under normal circumstances) because one of the best things about intentional living is always having something to look forward to about tomorrow. 

See? Journaling the journey helps, I promise. 

What could you accomplish tomorrow if you committed to it on paper? And more importantly, what physical artifacts of your presence on earth would you leave behind in your journal? 

Live on. 


  1. I really love the idea of having something to look forward to. I bet that is very important to intentional living. I'm going to think of something each night before I go to bed.

    1. It is definitely important to me, especially if I'm drudging through a work week and find myself wishing my life know, "Can't wait until Friday" kind of stuff. I try to find something, even something small, to be happy about for the next day. That would even be a cool journal to keep by itself, on your nightstand or someplace near the bed!