January has ended somehow! It seems like most people felt like it lasted forever and they might just be right. But I’ve been here in my burrow, plodding along with these little projects, and seeing daily progress in my life. January has been good to me! I’m here today to share some of my highlights from the month, from my favorite books of the month to little peeks into my notebooks.
Please forgive my videos. I’m using a tripod for the first time and have struggled with angles. And shadows. And children. But done is better than perfect and my life is so pleasantly unperfect.
Favorite Books of January 2020
Olive Kitteridge was a big surprise for me! I tried to read this when it was first published and put it aside, but tried again as my first book of 2020 and was so pleasantly surprised. I loved these short stories and found Olive to be grumpy and oh, so human.
This Tender Land was beautiful. After finishing and gushing about this novel, I read that its story perfectly mirrors The Odyssey. I wouldn’t have picked up on that because I’ve never read it (and probably never will?), but that’s a fun spin for you literature majors out there. I loved the characters of This Tender Land and their quests to find lives to call their own.
Joy at Work was just the nudge I needed to get to work on some digital clutter that I have in my life. I’ve cleaned up my computer desktop and the apps on my phone (I only have 1/2 screen of apps, which is down from 4! So far, I don’t miss anything!). Next I’m going to tackle all of the images I have saved for my blog — they are uploaded to WordPress so I no longer need them saved anywhere else!
This was my first month with my phenology chart! As you can see, about halfway through I decided that I needed more room to write (of course), so I shortened the weather boxes to lengthen the narrative space. This was so much fun. Even on the coldest days when I didn’t want to think about what was happening outside, I found myself thinking about how I was going to describe the day in my phenology chart. It gave me a connection to the outside world that I would have normally ignored, which is exactly what I need when the winter feels endless.
I’m using the blank pages in the back of my Hobonichi Weeks for this chart. I’m using Micron 01 pens to draw the lines and fill in dates, sunrise/sunset times, and high/low temperatures. To draw the weather and write the narratives, I’m using Pilot G-Tec-C .25 pens. To color, I’m using Crayola Twistables.
My Morning Pages
I had my best month ever with morning pages. I only missed one day, which was the morning after I had the stomach bug so I’ll forgive myself. I only write one page a day now which takes about 20 minutes. I never, ever go back to reread what I’ve written and I’m sure it makes no sense at all – these are usually written around 3:30 in the morning when not much makes sense anyway!
I use a basic lined A5 notebook for my morning pages and love how simple it is.
This is a flip through of my main Hobonichi Weeks. I use it to track chores and habits on the right side of the spread. On the dated side I write a little paragraph at the end of each day, either a quick summary or just something that I want to remember about the day. This daily ritual is something that I look forward to each evening and sometimes catch myself thinking, “that’s going in the book!”
Here’s a peek into my little Bible journal, which is also a Hobonichi Weeks. I’ve been very open about how religion is difficult for me and I find much of the Bible to be unbelievable. But I read it daily (often twice a day) because I like trying to understand the history and because I believe it was written by people who were seeking wisdom and meaning in their lives. I also believe in setting intentions each day and find it easier to state those in the form of a prayer.
The first set of pages you’ll see are my morning readings and daily intentions (or prayers). The second set that you’ll see me flip to are my nightly readings and reflections on my intention of the day. Despite all of my reservations, I’m loving this practice!
It was so much fun to compile this post. I love notebook flip throughs – I love seeing rows and rows of written words, which add up to pages, which adds up to full notebooks, which adds up to beautiful stacks of journals and planners. With steady dedication, progress is possible! I remind myself each time I stumble out of bed in the morning – every day counts. What I choose to do with every moment is what I choose to do with my life.
How was January for you? What was the best book you read this month? What is something that you’re glad you did? What’s something you’re glad you didn’t do? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!