May 2020 Highlights

It feels totally ridiculous to publish this post today. I’ve been working on it throughout the month and I think it’s really important to have these reflection posts – something to allow me to look back at all I’ve achieved by taking small steps every day. As a relatively new stay at home mom of three, my duties aren’t tracked by any measures; I’m not rewarded with a yearly raise; I don’t have a job description to fall back on when I become overwhelmed. So these posts help me clarify what’s important to me on a day-to-day basis.

But friends. The world. As soon as we think we’re figuring out this pandemic life, we are thrown into such a loop and it’s so difficult to look away. And we shouldn’t look away. To be honest, my little daily habits of journaling and reflection have helped me more than I can even describe. I hope something in this post will help you find a habit that helps during this horrific moment in human history.

On the first Wednesday of the month, I’ll use this post to linkup with Ginny at Small Things. Ginny hosts Yarn Along – a monthly linkup for bloggers who love to knit and read. And on the 15th I will link up with Anne Bogel at The Modern Mrs. Darcy to share my notable reads for the month.

Favorite Books of the Month

I finished 13 books in May — not only was it quantitatively my best month of 2020 so far, but it was also my best month in quality. It seemed like every book I picked up was amazing – it’s nice to be on a reading roll!

I’ve continued my Year with Anne by reading one book a month. Anne’s House of Dreams has been my favorite so far. Once again, there’s a whole new cast of characters and landscapes to get to know and love. I’m going to be sad when I finish this series. Every month someone in the comments says, this is the perfect time to read Anne! And they are 100% correct. Anne is so heartwarming and full of hope – perfection.

I’ve actually gone a couple of months without reading a WWII fiction novel, which is surprising! But The Things We Cannot Say was top notch and I was fascinated by Alina and Tomsz’s story in Poland. And the present day story featured a young woman named Alice with her own compelling plot. There was so much that I loved about this book!

Emily St. John Mandel is so talented at writing books with strange timelines and edgy ideas. The Glass Hotel is her most recent offering and I enjoyed it very much. This one played with the idea of alternate realities and dimensions, while being firmly rooted in one of the major tragedies of this century – the 2008 financial collapse. It had a tiny bit of a sci-fi flair which I don’t typically like, but it was built into the plot so well that it was easy to just stay along for the ride.

Hobonichi Weeks – Weekly Habit Tracking

My Hobonichi Weeks is one of the things that have kept me grounded throughout the last few unsettling months. Each Monday morning I share the previous week’s spread. It’s just enough motivation to keep me on track each week! I’m in the middle of some really exciting streaks:

  • I’ve written in my journal 58 days in a row
  • I’ve walked at least 10,000 steps 55 days in a row

I sincerely believe that 95% of the credit goes to habit tracking – I don’t want to break the chain! This is the longest I’ve been able to keep up with a habit tracker. I used to draw out a big, complex one every month in my old bullet journals and then I’d fall off the wagon when I started to see so many blank squares. I’d feel like such a failure. But it’s so easy to start fresh with the weekly format. If you had a bad week, leave that baby behind. You don’t ever have to look at that again! Just keep going.

Knitting Progress

I’ve totally stalled on my Birkin Sweater. I’ve been stuck on the same sleeve for over two weeks! The motivation to work on this just isn’t here and I’m at peace with that, but I did manage to knit about an inch on the sleeve last night. This will get done, just not by Mother’s Day (of 2020) like I planned. Obviously.

Morning Pages – Daily Journaling

May was a wonderful month for morning pages. Along with my hobonichi weeks, it’s been what I’ve consistently turned to for quiet time and reflection. This is a flip through of my journal entries for the month. I enjoy filming these because I love to see the pages that I write each day add up to something bigger. I love having stacks of filled notebooks and the only way to fill them is to write one page at a time. So that’s what I’m doing.


The month of May was so hard. March was hard. And damn, April was hard. The month of June, although only two days in, feels even harder already. Self reflection is an important aspect of our lives. Recognizing and reflecting on our automatic thoughts is hard. But it must be done if we’re going to grow as individuals, as families, as communities, and as a country. This is only the basic work, but without it, nothing is actually going to change.

I’m hopeful for June. I have to be. If you’re looking for me, the best time to find me is between 4-7am at my quiet little desk in my quiet little corner with my quiet little notebooks. Please say hi!

21 thoughts on “May 2020 Highlights

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  1. I think that in all of the craziness that is our world right now, self-reflection has never been more important. I started journaling again to deal with the pandemic, but it’s become so much more than that now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know what you mean about feeling silly with the blogging – it seems super irrelevant, even if it’s not my country. On the other side, your life happens, too, and talking about it doesn’t diminish the importance of the protests and marches.
    Habit tracking and morning pages are so cool! I do them, too – I have a small monthly spread in my calendar which is for work projects, but I assigned them as such. (I am not doing the chains, though, that would be too much stress right now). How do you do the morning pages? Three pages, as Cameron suggests, or do you set a timer? I do 20 minutes – three pages would take too long and setting an alotted time for writing helps me to focus and makes planning my mornings a lot easier!
    Stay safe, and have a great week (and enjoy your journey in sleeve land!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Julia!

      I used to write the full three pages every day (I think I started about 3 years ago?), but I found that it would take me nearly an hour to do that and I definitely ran out of things to stay. I’ve experimented with different lengths and have found that just one page a morning works for me. It takes about 20 minutes – so it’s very similar to what you do!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know The Glass Hotel got mixed reviews, but I absolutely loved it! It helps that I’m not a very good critic :p

      I hope this is a great big catalyst for change!! I can’t stop watching and I’m actually okay with that right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s true. All the months of 2020 have been hard (or so it seems). But I like your quiet time idea for journaling, reading, and reflecting. It’s been a long time since I’ve taken the time to do just that. And now that I’m setting aside some time for crafting (i.e. knitting) I think I need to add the quiet time to my schedule!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Goodness, how have I not found your blog before?! Reading, journaling, and knitting are some of my favorite things. 🙂
    I actually just started a new blog inspired largely by Anne of Green Gables and L. M. Montgomery: http://blytheandbold.wordpress.com. I’m hoping, as Anne said, “to add a little beauty to the world” by spotlighting and inspiring creative living and art of all sorts–especially books. 🙂
    And, yes, now is truly a very good time to read Anne! I just finished an audio version of Anne of Ingleside–my least favorite of the series, but still so good.

    Like

    1. Hi, Faith! I’m so glad you commented on my blog – yours is super cute! I’m following you 🙂

      And I just decided to abandon Anne of Ingleside – which was so hard to do! But I’m looking forward to the next in the series in July.

      Like

    1. Of course!

      The notebook is an expensive one that I purchased on Amazon. Here’s the link: https://amzn.to/2N4BnkB

      The notebook cover is from Galen Leather: https://www.galenleather.com/collections/leather-a5-notebook-covers

      And my favorite pens for journaling are Pilot Precise V5, which I buy by the box: https://amzn.to/2CfCH2d

      And I wrote a post about all of my notebooks in January: https://katiegilley.com/2019/12/28/all-the-notebooks/

      I’m hoping to write an updated one soon. 🙂

      Like

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