sunlight on peak district mountains

Goodbye 2018 – December Reflections

December, as it usually is, has been an exhalation: of stress, work, chaos. I spent the first week up at university, catching up on lectures and bits of reading I missed throughout the term, before enjoying a couple of days in London with some friends. From there, I headed back home to be with my family for Christmas.

We did the typical yuletide activities – making a wreath for the door, going on cold woodland walks, shopping for and wrapping presents, baking festive-flavoured things – and ate lots of yummy comfort food. It was a blessing to be able to use a proper food processor to make vegan nicecream again – I miss it so badly when I’m up at uni with just my cheap smoothie blender to rely on.

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Reflecting on My 2018 Goals

We have reached that reflective point in the calendar, a week in which lots of us cast a thought back over the previous 12 months and linger on the good and the bad the year had to offer. I thought I’d take a moment to wrap up by looking back on the goals I set way back in January.

Physical Health

I wanted to spend lots of time outside and move more in an effort to improve my general wellbeing. I think my success with this varied over the months but I did get out the house quite a bit and I did give basketball, yoga and running a crack. Through these activities, I attempted new things and overcame old anxieties; I’d say that’s a win even if exercise did fall off my radar as the year toppled into the colder months.

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2018 Bujo Flip-through: 12 Lessons From My First Year of Bullet Journaling

December marked my twelfth month of using a bullet journal. In the last year, my method and style for creative organisation have changed dramatically; I’ve learnt a lot through this process and thought it could be helpful to list a couple of these lessons for those of you looking to start a bujo in the new year.

January setup post

Start with the bare minimum

To avoid becoming completely overwhelmed in my first month of bullet journaling, I stuck to a one purple pen and a bunch of straight lines to create all my spreads. Yes, it looked a little boring. And nope, I didn’t satisfy the creativity lurking within me. But I did get over the hurdle that is starting something new.

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The Bullet Journal Stationery I Used Most in 2018

2018 was my first year of bullet journaling. Rather accidentally, I stumbled into it in January in a very, very minimalist fashion. I almost had to trick myself that I wasn’t entering the world of arty bujos through my stubborn use of a single pen to create spreads for the whole first month. That way, I wouldn’t overwhelm myself and run away from the whole thing in a blind panic.

Throughout the year though, my confidence and creativity grew. As did my desire to fill old jam jars and the living room coffee table (much to the annoyance of everyone else) with various bits of stationery.

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happy sunset silhouette in sand dunes australia

Take That, Anxiety: An Open Letter from the First Term of University

Dear Alys,

Hey, you made it through the first term of university! Can we have a pause for applause, please?

Yes, you’ve cried. Yes, you’ve had days when leaving your room took more than a couple of thoughts and deep breaths to achieve. Yes, anxiety hasn’t decided to fully retire to The Bahamas, never to be seen by you again (yet). But you have persisted through these feelings and honestly, they’ve been rather fleeting for the most part. More like occasional-dandruff-to-brush-off-the-shoulders level, a minor inconvenience, rather than taking-a-few-days-out-because-of-flu level.

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orange leuchtturm 1917 bullet journal

A (kind of) Love Letter

Hey there,

I know you’re feeling hurt at the moment, I sense it in the silence and distance between us. Whenever I try to start a conversation with you, you leave me with unfinished sentences: frustrating lines that hit connectives, hanging as uncomfortably at the end of a line as an introvert at a frat party. Connectives are made to mingle amongst the dancing letters of a sentence, not act like roadblocks for a train of thought.

You can tell I’m frustrated when I start mixing modes of transport in one simile. Yes, I’m a little frustrated. Not at all with you though, you’ve been wonderful this last year, but with myself for neglecting you these past months. And for allowing that to create both this space between us and my difficulty in coming back to you. You’ve always been there for me when I needed to let my thoughts out in chaotic streams of consciousness, no matter how much time and attention I had, or didn’t have, for you. And so I can understand you’re hurt.

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Bullet Journal Inspiration: Weekly Spread Ideas

Some of the most popular posts on my blog are my bullet journal monthly setups. Unfortunately for everyone involved, I haven’t graced the internet with one of these since October. That’s because the way I utilise my bujo has changed – I started university at the end of September and found that the spreads I normally use are unnecessary (and impossible to keep up with) as a student.

So from November, I switched techniques. Now, I only create weekly spreads. This is so I can focus on planning in everything I need to do without wasting time on pages that don’t add much value to my current lifestyle. So doing a monthly setup post would be pretty obsolete as it would just involve the title page and not much else. Instead, I thought I’d do a post with a selection of my most recent weekly spreads in the hope that it inspires you to get creative in your own journal.

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