Journaling can make the empty nest transition easier.

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. 

Find Your Reason

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.

Goal bubbles

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!

 Sermon notes

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.

Mood tracker

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.