So this is the long-awaited (well, maybe) Bullet Journaling post. Or the first one, anyway.

I have two feelings about bullet journaling. The first is that it’s an end unto itself, a thing to do instead of doing the important stuff–not quite a waste of time, but close. Making a list instead of getting started.

For the record, I’m totally okay with that.

The second feeling is the compulsive need I have to record everything. Like in blogs in the early aughts (you can find reviews of operas from 15 years ago if you work hard enough at it) or a website in the 90s that was kind of like a blog (and is now one page). And all the while, in SECRET JOURNALS.

Really, the bullet journaling thing is just designed for me. I journaled back when it was hard to locate the good Leuchtturms, and because I am a hipster, I developed a preference for the more obscure Bindewerk metal-edge journals. Except I don’t want to waste those on to-do lists, even fancy lists, so I went back to Leuchtturm again.

So: love journals? Check. Deep and abiding need to color coordinate stuff? Oh, yeah. Fact: I color coordinate bags and our family. pH is blue, kH is green, and I’m red, like my hair and my temper…except when I’m black/white or navy/grey or, as it happens right now, a minty green color.

I get a kick out the BuJo community (this is a portmanteau I hate, but it’s faster to type–and that’s going to become important later in the post). They all seem to draw these gorgeous layouts and doodles and memory pages and…yeah. I’m cool with that. 


But oh my god but I don’t know what planet these people live on, but the videos! The sites! The pristine, white, sun-kissed maple table with the mason jar of freshly cut flowers and/or lavender that comes with the necessary “I’m so embarrassed about the state of my house but since 20,000 people in the comments asked me to show you how I work my process, I hired a team of cleaners borrowed Martha Stewart’s set shoved everything in a back bedroom so I could make you feel bad because your homes AND your handwriting don’t measure up.”

Okay, I think that’s what was said, because while I love the pretty layouts, I don’t actually listen to the sound in the videos. I did once and that was enough.

So here’s the problem: I love the journal process. But I have a very limited ability to stomach internet cutesy craft shit. If there’s a cynical BuJo community out there who quote Smiths instead of that GTD guy, I haven’t found it. Maybe I will become that resource, but I just can’t churn out depressing graphics quickly enough.

I suggest you start with “Barbarism Begins at Home,” followed by “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” and, once your tween has started to fume, finish up with “Sheila Take A Bow.” The chances you’d get to sing 7 more are practically nil.

Okay, okay, okay. And all of this is fine, except for the following: I can’t use my right hand for the next few weeks.

Seriously. My entire life is spent reading and taking notes and typing and playing the piano and driving and cooking and cleaning and laundry. (All the work but rarely the lone mason jar with flowers.)

(I’m cheating and typing this quickly before kH finds out.)

The miracle is that I went this long without serious problems before (there was the one year in the 90s when I had to mouse with my left hand for a while, but it passed): by all rights I should have some sort of arthritis. I appreciate that, I do. But it’s just super frustrating to have a study that is full of books and notebooks and color-fucking-coordinated journals and supplies (red/tan for homeschool book research, grey/navy for early US Navy research)…

…and be working on loops and curls with my left hand. (I’m really right side dominant, you guys.)

FYI: I’m not using a Leuchtturm to practice my left hand script. I have one spare one saved up for a rainy day and OMG I’m not wasting it now.

With luck this will only be a month thing. And a small degree (small) of ambidexterity diversifies my brain, since I’m soon sliding into the age bracket for worrying if I have a migraine or an aneurism or a stroke (for those painless aura headaches).

(Fortunately reading, at least, is not hard to do with my off hand, so I’m pushing through my TBR list. I have a cute picture of my TBR list in my BuJo, naturally, but it will have to wait for Part II of what I had no idea was going to be a series until I realized how much fun it is to make cutsie graphics.)

As a follow-up: kH is still out of work, but that should hopefully be remedied in the next two weeks (or we are well and truly fucked), I greatly appreciate the offers and help I’ve received, and I have to go now because kH is coming up the stairs and I have to put the stupid brace on again.