March Layout & Launch

Wild March.png

February got off to a great start. And I love love, so I had fun finding a bunch of love quotes as well as lovey images to share on Instagram. (You can check them out here!) I never did manage to send out holiday cards at the end of 2018 (or 2017 either). But I did send out some Valentine’s Day postcards to my best girlfriends and emotional supporters to let them know how much they mean to me and how much I love them!

I also made some good progress on the relaunch of the Wellspring Stones site (this site!!) and on other work fronts. So when my symptoms flared, as they always do, I was really frustrated! It’s always harder to go back into prison when you’ve been out on the lam, isn’t it? Bullet journaling increases my awareness of what exactly is going on, helps me to be more understanding with myself and to regroup where I can by upping my self care.

One Sunday I felt like I unleashed a self care bomb in my desperation to feel better - bone broth, dry brushing, aromatherapy, meditation, salt bath, and I don’t remember what else! But as I’m sure you know, all the efforts in the world are no guarantee of anything.

The trees began to whisper, and the wind began to roll,
And in the wild March-morning I heard them call my soul.
— Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The May Queen, Conclusion.

Here is my layout for March. I did this layout ON March 1 because the last few weeks have been challenging. Spring is finally coming and the sunshine is coming back. Speaking of which - Daylight Savings Times starts on March 10th! Yeah!

I’m excited for the spring ahead of our clocks and for the spring equinox. Every month, I check in with some of my favorite communities in DC - such as Politics & Prose, InterNations, the National Cathedral, and my health club Equinox, among others - to see what events might be on of interest and so I have them on my radar and I can register (And yes, I always check the cancellation policy, of course).

March is also the month of my birthday. For now I am signed up for a three hour retreat on forgiveness, a quiet morning Lenten reflection and study at the Cathedral. And then a sound bath in the afternoon at a meditation space I’ve not been to yet.

I know I may have to reshuffle or cancel as the date approaches, but I do not let my illness get in the way of setting goals. I’m easy about it; “not too tight, not too loose.” I’m not so loose that I don’t make plans but not too tight that I’ll be crushed if the day doesn’t unfold with these two events. We’ll see! I’m excited for now!

Title Page for March

I found a quote I just loved from Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson from his poem, The May Queen. I was going to keep it pretty minimal this month, but then I decided to learn how to draw the official flower of March, daffodils, since I love them. (I googled “How to draw daffodils”; the internet is amazing!). I am pretty happy with how my title page and quote turned out ::

March Front Page.JPG

Monthly Layout

March this year required 6 rows of weeks - which does lend itself to the most elegant layout. And I was careful not to have wasted space which can happen when the days of the week fall like this.

I don’t love that the titles of the days of the weeks are on two levels, but it’s not the end of the world. Again - trying to keep it minimal, I did not box out the days and though, yeah, that led to some confusion when I started to fill in events from my future log, I still love the way it looks. As usual, all my appointments for the month are in pencil just to keep it clean as those can and do shift according to what I can do.

I love my quote - the way it plays off of Tennyson’s “wild March.” Also March is Women’s month, and I love how wild women have been lately - especially in politics and our national discourse.

But my lettering was a bit shaky and off for my side quote. Oh well.

I love bullet journaling as a lesson to notice my perfectionism - on the page and in my life. Maybe the single daffodil makes it better.

March Month layout.JPG

Past + Future Log

Here are my look back and look ahead pages for the month previous and coming up. I record the highlights and events of February, and doing so is very helpful because I often have accomplished and done more than I remember or credit. Because the end of February was such a struggle, I completely forgot all that I did do and listing here in one place made me feel better about the month overall.

Strolling through the images on my phone is often a good reminder of what I’ve been up to, and that’s what I do first to jog my often faulty memory.

Then I laid out a future log for April to record dates and things I want to remember that is coming up next month. Not much yet - other than the long awaited Game of Thrones premiere! I added the lines to demarcate the week for quick guidance.

Let’s just take a moment to honor the premiere of the final season, shall we? (oh, yeah I’m excited and hosting a watch party!)

Okay, back to the present!

Our present is animated by our past and our sense of the future. So these pages in my monthly set up are critical for me - to both remind me of not to recrimination over the past or discriminate against the future. And to more accurately assess my actual accomplishments.

March Review and Future.JPG

Trackers

These are the only two tracker that I do for every month; I track my habits and my sleep.

Tracking habits helps me to maintain the daily activities I am nurturing. Often this page just serves as a reminder to put on some music or to diffuse some aromatherapy. Or to consider my body and be mindful about whether or not I have the wherewithal to exercise or do some yoga.

By laying out which habits I specifically wish to cultivate, I have recorded what’s important to me and what daily routines will support my best health.

The sleep tracker helps me hack my insomnia - first and foremost by showing me what’s going on and what pattern’s there are. I supplement this with two apps - Sleep Cycle and Fitbit.

With Sleep Cycle, I record what time I turn off my devices and start to try to sleep. And I record that. This month I think I will also record on this tracker the quality of sleep that Sleep Cycle records.

And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
— Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The Fitbit tracks what sleep I actually manage to bank. I don’t get too hanged up on the number. I can be feel stronger on days with 6 hours of sleep than those with 9, but not if I freak out first thing in the morning that I got “so little sleep.”

That said, when I looked back at the end of February, I could see how my “devices off” time crept later and later and how that affected my sleep quality and quantity. I am committed to doing better this month with devices off no later than 10:30. Full stop!

As for naps, which I also track, I had two in February. Fewer than I thought and probably needed. So I am going to try and do a check in more regularly too.

March Habits & Sleep pages.JPG

LET’S DISCUSS

  • What habits are you trying to cultivate?

  • Do you track your sleep?

  • What do you associate with the month of March?

  • What woman in history do you most admire?

EXTRA ELEMENTS OF INTEREST

Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The Poetry Foundation

The May Queen by Alfred Tennyson: A Family Affair
Victorian Musings by Kimberly Eve, January 6 2014

I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The Poetry Foundation (source of the daffodil quote above)