Thursday, March 30, 2017

Want to Shake Up Your World?

Able to juggle the schedule of a household of nine to ten people, plus hold the responsibilities of teaching full time, I was always thankful for my memory, an ability to move herds of people and capable of finding tools to keep me organized.  (I use the label organized loosely, however, but that is another posting.) I have found that my brain is not functioning optimally these days, but it is getting better.

My knowledge of grief began in college and is based upon Kubler-Ross' work studying terminal patients. Since Kubler-Ross broke the silence on the subject of grief, for years her stages of grief were utilized for grieving survivors as well as patients.  Grief is not a linear path, nor is it the same for each person. When my parents died almost fifteen years ago, I thought that one day I would get over it.  And now in the aftermath of my husband's death, for me I am discovering that it is not something I can muscle through, but that I will be forever changed and will continue to evolve and adjust no longer as a couple, but as an individual, capable of joy and gratitude. I can continue to dance and learn to do it with a limp.

I like Anne Lamotte's take on grief:

“You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”

With grief comes self-discovery.  For the first few months, I could barely converse, losing memory of what I was trying to say mid-sentence.  I was understandably preoccupied.  The problem I found, there was so much to be done and it seems that everything is time sensitive and high stakes.  Undertakers, lawyers, insurance companies,  and are all categorized as important, BIG deals.  I needed my head on straight to make the best decisions for me and my family.

Yes, prayer helps.  Physical activity helps as does getting enough rest.  Family, friends and the community at large rallied around us.  All of this helped me get through each day, but I needed a 
peripheral brain.  Here enters the Bullet Journal; life changing for me.  

I cannot say enough about how it has helped me break down big tasks and beat back waves of feeling overwhelmed.  If offers the chance to write down monthly, weekly and daily goals and appointments. For fun, I keep track of birds I have observed and the weather.  My favorite musical artists are listed as are movies to watch, books to read and a diary of what I eat.  Extensive financial pages include a budget, an expense journal and a savings plan. It is my everything journal. The beauty of the Bullet Journal is that it can become whatever is useful for you, it is adaptable. For me the Bullet Journal frees my brain from storing everything I need to remember.

If you want to learn more about Bullet Journals, I highly recommend you start here. There are plenty of ideas on Pinterest and Bullet Journal groups on Face Book.  Let me know what you think.  It just might shake up your world.


Christine Baldiga said...

I too am a widow who struggles with the same focus - or lack there of. I have read so many articles about bullet journals and your encouraging post has me wanting to dive in. Thank you for the link! And for your vulnerability.

fireflytrails said...

This is such a moving post in so many ways. I want to extending my sorrow for your loss. And I want to applaud you for carrying on so bravely in the midst of it. I really want to thank you for sharing about bullet journals. I have a large tablet meant for planning - each week I list appointments by days, things to do, etc. But recently I have begun to regret that I throw away each page at the end of the week. What to do? This might be the answer to my question. Thank you!

Kimberley Moran said...

Having been the one (I think) who brought bullet journals to your attention, I am envious. I know this is what I need and yet I don't know where to start. It is telling that your bullet journal is helping you through this horrific part of your life. It makes me certain I need a bullet journal as well.

PS That Annie Lamott quote. Wow.

Aggiekesler said...

First of all, I am sorry for you loss, and can imagine it's left a huge hole in your life. I thank you for being vulnerable and sharing it with us. Secondly, I'm glad you have found a strategy that works for you. I will now check out Bullet Journals.

Super Twin: Numero Deux said...

Dad was the first love of my life. Alex was my second.... ;)

Linda B said...

I don't get quite as fancy as some shown on Pinterest, but I've been a list maker/prioritizer for all my life, so when people started talking about bullet journals, I started looking. It's great for prioritizing, and when I taught, I used one for school and one for personal stuff. I'm glad they help, Barbara. I know that everyone is different with grief, and for me the quote feels right. It never goes away, but you do "make do" (my words) with the limp, knowing it will stay, but other parts can be good, too. Thank you for that. I hope to see you on Tuesdays!

travelinma said...

Christina: Big hugs to you. I hope that you find that this is something that will help you. I hope that my journey can help others, too. Although I realize that each person's experience and reactions are a little different-it helps to know you are not alone. Talking and connecting with others in a similar situation helps me.

Fireflytrails: First off, I must say I love your name....I might have already told you this. I do! I do! I hope that the intro to the Bullet Journal helps solve your tearing out pages issue.

Kimberley: You were the one that introduced me to the Bullet Journal. Thank you. I am forever indebted to you (for so many reasons.)

Aggiekesler: Thank you for your kind words. They mean so much. Really. I hope that you do check the Bullet Journals out.

SuperTWIN: Your Mama loves you more than you will ever ever know. Always remember Daddy loves you too.

Linda B: The fanatic perfect Bullet Journals are not for me. I use mine for purely practical purposes (PPP!) Thanks so much for reading. I have done Tuesdays off and on for only a couple of years, however I am going to do it! I can't give up these wonderful connections.