Reclaiming Dinner

Last month I started feeling burnt out. Not necessarily unusual, to be honest. However I wanted to see if maybe a break from the internet would help. Sadly the break did the exact opposite — it left me feeling isolated from my communities, so I quit after a couple days.

I did, though, realize there are small ways I can take time for myself without completely disconnecting from everything.

Each night, I take 45-60 minutes off from work, social media, Twitch, emails… all of it. This is my time to eat dinner and take some time for myself. It’s a practice I’m hoping to continue for a while, especially if I have a family — or a roommate who doesn’t isolate themselves to their room. Since it is just myself right now, I have zero problems with having music playing, watching a show or movie, or reading a book.

This practice hasn’t been easy every night. And I assume it will become more difficult in the weeks coming when my work launches our new season of shows in the evening. With that in mind, I’m giving myself the freedom to bend the “no work or Twitch during dinner” portion, and for that hour I’ll observe our shows while having my dinner, but try to limit my actions to those necessary.

It’s a really small thing, but I’ve been enjoying it. It’s a time to enjoy a show uninterrupted. A time I can take to journal. A time to just… have the weight off my shoulders for a while. And I’m grateful to friends who are aware of this practice who have respected my time off, and been extremely encouraging. If I ate breakfast more consistently, I’d likely take that to myself as well — though maybe not a full hour. Maybe one day, all of my meals will be disconnected. But for now, I’m grateful to have my dinners.

A new year, another BuJo attempt

So I’ve attempted a Bullet Journal a few times… (like this, this, this, and this one.) And if I’ve discovered anything the traditional idea of what a “bullet journal” is, just isn’t for me. But it doesn’t keep me from being drawn to them.

It’s the visual appeal, frankly. I’ve been an avid journal-er since before middle school, and planner since at least high school. However, the bullet journal system tries to mesh both of those systems into one. Sort of. It almost completely omits the longer, freeform part of journaling that I have loved for so long.

So rather than creating what has become to be known as a “bullet journal” — I’m taking inspiration from these spreads and creating a new journal for myself.

I wish it had a fancy and catchy name. Honestly, it’s almost like paper blogging. I’m involving covers, spaces to collect short highlights, goals, gratitude. I haven’t decided about tracking yet. I’ve left some space for it for this month, but I’m not sure if it’s something I want to do. Mainly this is because I’m not sure there’s anything I want to track specifically.

Last year, I only had basic, minimalist monthly covers.

2019 Monthly Journal Headers

For 2020… I decided to get a new journal, start fresh, and add a little more for each month.

At the beginning of the book, I have a spot for short highlights. Things from the year I want to remember. They can be memories, a feeling, a quote, event… Anything. I am not doing year-long goals at the beginning of the book. I do have a small space set for monthly goals. I am not giving them too much space or focus because I want to make sure goals that I set are attainable. I believe they call these S.M.A.R.T. goals? But mainly I do not want this book to be a shining beacon of things I never finished.

2020 Journal Headers

I’m sticking with simple and somewhat minimalist. I’m using my mildliners to add some color, but the last thing I want to do is feel that I cannot journal because I need to have a whole bag of supplies with me. All I need is my faithful Pilot G-2 gel pen (07 width).

After the monthly pages… it goes directly into journaling. I won’t add the next month’s cover until I’m through with the current month. Occasionally, I will be using some journal prompts to help my reflections. I have no idea if I’ll fill the whole book in one year, or in 7 months and have to sort out some kind of partial book or multi-year book system. And who knows, maybe I’ll abandon this system too. So far, straight up stream-of-thought journaling works the best for me — so why change too far from it? But for now, I’m enjoying this new form and small outlet for creativity. (And I’m enjoying discussing it on my discord with others who BuJo! I’ve also created a tarot area as well.)

How does your journal look for 2020? Bullet Journaling or more free-flow?

My Holiday Top Five Desired Gifts

Creating holiday gift round-up posts are typically super fun. And this year has been, however, as I sat trying to think of things I really wanted or could really use… my list is kind of short this year. Mostly? If I could pick anything it’d be an office out of the house to write my thesis, and my car insurance paid off for the next six months and my plates renewed. Or both credit cards paid off… Things that would make amazing gifts, but kind of feel too large to ask for.

However, I did indeed come up with 5 items that I would absolutely love to have — all but one you can find on my Stream.Gifts list.

  1. An HP Sprocket (or other portable mobile printer). I almost bought one of these before my trip to England… I love the idea of being able to select photos from my phone, and then print them as 2×3 inch stickers I could place in my journal. In hindsight, I wish I would have… But, I feel moving forward this would be a fun addition to my journaling habits.
  2. Sennheiser open-back over the ear headphones. My current headphones’ pads are flaking off and are absolutely frustrating. I know I can buy new pads and replace them, but then it’s just a countdown until this happens again. I’d rather just get headphones where this wouldn’t be an issue. There are other brands that I’d be interested in as well, but this is what’s on the list for now.
  3. Sims 4 packs! I’ve gotten back into a Sims kick, and am absolutely LOVING building and designing homes. I have a few packs, but am eyeing a bundle with Island Living, Strangerville, and Vintage Glamour. (If anyone’s interested in feeding my habit, my EA Origins name is Adorkable613 — you should also check out my houses in the gallery!)
  4. The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen. I found this via Instagram, and it is something that I want to incorporate into my new Thanksgiving traditions: financially supporting Native charities and businesses. Food is also my other passion, both as a hobby and academically; so my interest in this book is pretty deep!
  5. A weighted blanket. I normally sleep fairly well, but I would absolutely love one of these to just give some added comfort. I have no idea the amount of weight I should go for, but 12-18lbs, form what it seems, is a standard weight. Given how quickly I’ll fall asleep with a large cat on me, I’m hoping this brings that kind of comfort. (Throw in some extra firm pillows, and I’d be a happy sleeper!)

Kind of a simple list, but items I think I would get a lot of enjoyment and use out of. There’s still plenty of other things on my Stream.Gifts list, for myself and the cats. (500lbs of Sour Patch Kids anyone?) To be further out of debt, further into my thesis, and just take off some of those “adult” worries would be amazing… but I know those will come in time.

What’s on your top 5 holiday gift list?

Waking the Witch: an empowering read by Pam Grossman

Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power by Pam Grossman, host of The Witch Wave podcast

Last night I finished Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power by Pam Grossman. Described as part memoire and part cultural analysis — this book delivers on both parts.

I’ll admit, part of me was hoping this would venture into the self discovery of waking my own inner witch, but despite this, it is still a strong book delving into the history of the Witch as an archetype as well as witchcraft in general through history. Grossman specifically touches subjects on the witch’s influence on art and music — as well as pop culture. One of the areas I specifically liked, was the cultural examination of women through the lens of The Witch.

I’ve long taken issue with this notion that a woman’s worth is exclusively tied to her ability to bare and raise children. The concept of the witch pushes back on this with the force of hellfire. It’s so pervasive, that it’s incorporated in part of witchcraft as well in this 3-fold image of the goddess (maiden, mother, crone). A woman who didn’t marry, who didn’t have children — especially after she reached “child baring age” — was and still is seen as unnatural and an aberration. Even prior to my hysterectomy or my diagnosis of endometriosis, I hated this view of women. Surely, something so grand and divine would have designed and made me for something so much more than having kids, right?

Anyway. The book is more than just pushing back on this limited view of women in society. I actually learned quite a bit about Pamela Colman Smith — the woman who conceptualized and illustrated the quintessential tarot deck, despite being left out of the name for so long: the Rider-Waite, now Smith-Waite. I cheered with her in her retelling of groups reclaiming the idea of the witch as a means of power over their oppressors, often in fun and tongue-in-cheek ways, though still extremely powerful.

I felt a sort of kinship with Grossman throughout the book. Maybe it’s because of our anthropological backgrounds, or that we’ve found a way to incorporate witchcraft with our faith. Maybe she tapped into feelings inside myself of powerlessness, of isolation… Yet she did so with a hammer of hope. There’s a place for me within this archetype of the witch. In this global coven of likeminded, like-experienced people. And that is extremely comforting.