What Bullet Journaling Taught Me About Life

Alyson Swihart Brew Your Best Life Brewing Creativity

bullet journal and life lessons

Every year I get super excited about my new journal or planner.  In the summer of 2017, I was introduced to bullet journaling from a Pinterest post my bestie shared.  Totally pumped, I took to it. I was already a list person- grocery lists, to-do lists, health food lists, list of where I want to travel – you get the point. I had a list for EVERYTHING. Of course it was all on single sheets of paper, on the back of receipts, and (dare I say) on the back of a check my hubby hadn’t cashed (oops poopsy!).  As you can see, my VERY IMPORTANT LISTS were constantly being lost, and the idea of a bullet journal (a book of lists), where I could be HELLA creative with writing in cool fonts -  I was all in. PINTEREST, watch yourself ‘cause I was coming for YOU!!!

REALITY SETS IN:

There I sat, with a completely blank slate thinking… “WTF, now what?”

So, I did what anyone would do….  I consulted PINTEREST for creative ideas. 

Side Note: I was not ‘stealing’ ideas.  I was getting the creative energy following.  More importantly, it was better than me sitting in-front of my kids screaming profanities and eventually quitting because “It was TO MUCH! ” Remember that as a mom, I was leading through example, I was copying someone else’s ideas….

What I saw:  Beautiful layouts, amazing designs, and so many different ways to Bullet Journal.  For three weeks, I kept up with the BUJO (Bullshit Journal -I now call it), attempting to create beautiful fonts and cute little hand drawn emojis.  But then I stopped.  I stopped writing in it for fear of making a mistake!  Can you believe that?  I didn’t want to mess it up.   

But then a divine intervention occurred. My two-year-old found my beautiful, rarely used bullet journal, and with a Sharpy Marker, drew on the first three pages of my beautiful, hand-written fonts and emoji masterpiece.  At first, I felt confused and in disbelief, as though I was in the movie Titanic when the ship just hit the iceberg. But those feelings quickly faded to thankfulness. My little boy just destroyed all that pressure I was putting on myself to make this journal ‘perfect’. It was like he killed Darth Vadar and everything was right in the world again.  And guess what happened?  I started “bullet journaling” again, proud of my chicken scratch, kid’s scribbles, coffee stains and all! 

I learned SO MUCH about myself, like:

  1. My life is not neat and perfect, so my journal won’t be either.

  2. When I have so many choices, I freeze. Think spaghetti sauce aisle (aren’t they the worst?)

  3. Someone will always be better, just do you or you’ll never do it.

THE MAIN TAKE AWAY: KEEP YOUR EYES ON YOUR OWN PAPER (just like you were taught in elementary school), YOU'LL BE FINE!

 



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  • angela on

    “Do you” is great advice. And when it comes to Pinterest or life in general, don’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside.

  • Donna Maria on

    We look at so many perfect spreads every day — mainly from people who have to make perfect spreads because their business requires that they do so. Once I relax into what my life really is, I do much better and stop expecting perfection from my journal. Thanks for this “do you or you’ll never do anything” reminder, I needed it.


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