When my daughter introduced me to the idea of bullet journaling, my initial response was- um, no. She and her friend poured over the cute, dotted pages for hours on end, creating mood boards and calendars worthy of a gallery. I simply didn’t have the time.
Now that I’m an empty nester, I’ve revisited the idea and made some adjustments that keep it doable. My first step was finding a reason for taking up this pragmatically crafty project.
Bullet Journal Tips
For about two months after my children were safely nestled in their dorm rooms, I felt like a ship at sea. The hours of “me time” I’d looked forward to now seemed daunting and lonely. I soon came to the realization that I’d forgotten what I liked. Not as in flavor of ice cream or favorite color, but as in feeling comfortable being alone.
My goal in bullet journaling became a therapeutic investigation of my days without kids. This medium offered me space to create in small batches, to make lists, to decide what I was feeling- and to keep a visual tally of all these thoughts.
With my purpose for bullet journaling in mind, I poured over the various systems for sale at my local craft store. The purists lean toward an unadorned notebook with pages full of grids or dots. I decided on an expandable system with pre-printed calendars and list pages to get me started.
Little by little, I invested in my bullet journal until I was satisfied with the following pages. I hope you’ll add your favorites to the list!
A monthly calendar spread sheet
On each daily square, I record something I am thankful for.
Monthly favorites list
Some of the categories are favorite food, what I’m listening to, and movies I’ve seen.
Each month I choose 2 habits I want to form and 2 I want to lose. Every time I succeed, I can fill in a bubble. I even have small rewards!
I keep a few pages of bullet journal paper in my purse and pull them out during the sermon. Reviewing these has been a real encouragement.
I fill in a square each day with a color signifying my mood. This has probably been the most helpful tool in helping me keep perspective. Most days are pretty good!
Getting the empty nest transition right has big implications for our future happiness and our family’s well-being. Journalling is a great tool to help you sort through all the thoughts and feelings that come with your new role and give you a record of just how far you’ve come.
I really wish you would do a YouTube video of how you’re using this tool. I became a
divorced woman after 21 years or marriage at the same my youngest went off to college. I still have trouble finding myself, setting goals, etc. You would be an inspiration.
Great idea, Laura! I am in process of creating a video for my Thought Vitamins© 30 day printables. They are very simple mantras that I use on days when I need to redirect my thoughts. If you haven’t yet downloaded them, I hope you consider it. Thank you for sharing your journey. I hope you do find inspiration here and I am rooting for you in this challenging season.