My new 2020 Purpose Planner

You may recall that I had started using a bullet journal a while ago, but I found that having to create everything from scratch — while incredibly freeing and super creative! — was keeping me from actually using it. It became more an art project and less a planning-and-organization tool. But I loved many things about my bullet journal: the ability to keep various lists, logs, and trackers; the lovely thick pages and soft cover; and even the dot grid! (I was sure I wouldn’t like the lack of straight lines when I started using it, but soon fell in love with being imperfect.)

Thus began the Great Planner Hunt once again. I think I looked at every planner available on Amazon or pinned on Pinterest while trying to find one that really clicked for me.

I’ve got a good feeling about the one I decided on, after some trial and error.  It’s the Purpose Planner from Roterunner, the Teal Soft Cover, to be specific.  (To be even more specific, this is not a sponsored post. I just really like this planner.)

Why do I like it? Let me count the ways.

  1. It’s pretty!  It has nice thick pages and two ribbon bookmarks and an elastic to keep it closed.
  2. The planner starts with a Roles & Goals six-month planning section. I overlooked it at first, but I spent part of January 1st filling it out and it really helped me focus on what I want this year to be.

  3. It has monthly calendars and weekly spreads built right in. As a failed bullet journaler, this is BIG.

  4. The monthly pages include a Goals & Actions section and a guided Monthly Reflection.

  5. The weekly spread includes a habit tracker, sleep tracker, and fitness tracker, as well as all sorts of other cool sections.

  6. After every weekly section, there is a two-page dot-grid blank layout, and there are another 38 blank dot-grid pages in the back. I can still have all the bullet journal-style layouts I want!

  7. But how will I keep track of what I do with those blank pages? Well, the pages are numbered, and there is a blank Index in the front. I’m good to go.

You can go to the website to learn more, but here’s a little look at the different sections:

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Is it a perfect planner? No. It is spendy, for a planner that only covers six months at a time. The monthly calendars start with Monday (which I love, because I like to see Saturday and Sunday together, but it takes some getting used to), and in order to fit as much as they show in the sample photos, you’d need a very fine-tip pen and the ability to write in Eyestrain-o-Vision. But I’m still psyched.  I’ll check back and let you know how it goes!

xo – Lori

Getting fidgety again!

“I miss writing,” I blurted.

“What made you bring that up all of a sudden?”

“I have a blog, and I used to write almost every day. It wasn’t anything really important; it was just about my life — but it was as if I could figure things out by writing about them. I miss that.”

We’d been talking about my years as an elementary-school teacher (so I could understand the confusion), but my mind suddenly took a detour from thoughts of teaching — to having had melanoma the last year I taught — to my MS diagnosis a decade later and the stress that came with it — to how I’d wanted to release everything that was holding me down.

I started blogging back in 2011 to help me make sense of some unsettling changes, to give me a place to work out what was happening and what I was trying to do with my life. Posting daily was not a chore or a responsibility; it was practically a compulsion (I jumped out of bed more than once when I realized I hadn’t posted), but one I really enjoyed. I wrote every day for months; then every other day for almost a year. But I got caught up in what it meant to be a “blogger” (back when that meant something to many people), and since that wasn’t the sort of writing I was doing, I kind of lost the magic of writing for myself — and the dwindling post count showed it.

I posted exactly once in 2019. This past year has been a hard one for me, but I am planning to be very kind to myself in 2020, so I am going to give myself the gift of stress-free blogging. Let’s see if it helps me make sense of my life as I get back into really living it again.

Thank you for sharing the journey with me. I can’t tell you how excited I get to see that anyone is following along. Please comment so I know you are still here!

xo – Lori

Interestingly enough, I was singing with my family way back when this blog began, and we broke out SingStar just last night to welcome the new year in. (There’s no celebration that can’t be improved by belting out some New Wave tunes. It’s a scientific fact.)

Nothing up my sleeve . . . Presto!

sky II by Cammer's Camera on flickr

Watch me pull a blog post out of my hat.

I have been away for a while. Away from the blog, away from my friends, away — to a great degree — from being an active participant in my life.

It’s hard to come back. Hard to explain what was going on, hard to reconnect, hard to make the multiple daily decisions to step out and not retreat.

Many days over the past six months, I have not wanted to come back. Not to any of it.

Other times, it seems like things are on an upward trajectory, like I’m making progress, like the end of this is in sight. I have not determined why this happens, or how; I am glad when I feel better, and devastated when I slip back down again.

I have decided to keep making the attempt, though. I’ve been working on reminding myself of all the things I love, all the people I miss, all the reasons that life is worth truly living. Trying to see the blue sky reflected in the puddle that is left from all this rain.

So here I am.

Presto!

sky II” by Cammer’s Camera / CC BY