On making and breaking routine
I’m technically homeless right now. It’s not that I’m living on the streets or anything like that, but I don’t have a home of my own since we found toxic mold in the walls and had to leave suddenly. We are relying on friends and family while we figure out what to do next.
Life feels so unstable, like the rug has been pulled out from under us. Nothing is routine anymore — at least that’s what it feels like. Still, I’m learning some important lessons during this difficult time and I thought I would share them with you.
Routine, even when broken, provides the foundation for stability.
Goals and commitments that I established before the crisis are keeping me going now in the midst of it.
For example, I had decided to write and publish an article every day in August well before discovering the mold. We left our home on July 26. As the reality of what we were facing set in I was tempted to back out of the writing commitment but I’m glad I didn’t. I may not be able to write at a set time in a set place each day, but I can write and doing so is helping me cling to some semblance of routine. It may feel like nothing is going as planned but if I pick up my notebook and write I can feel accomplished at the end of the day.
Sticking with what’s familiar over trying something new minimizes stress.
My bullet journal helps to keep me sane. Rapid logging, which is core to the method, allows me to quickly and easily keep track of random thoughts as they come to me.
The bullet journal method is not difficult to master if you don’t get caught up in personalizations and decorations. Still, I’m not suggesting anyone try to take it up at a tumultuous time. Simple methods of organization that have worked in the past are always better than any technique that technically has the potential to be more effective. I use my bullet journal because I know it works for me.
Writing things down promotes peace.
Using my bullet journal to collect to-do lists and other things I want to remember helps me to stop worrying that I will forget something important. It hasn’t been foolproof, but when it has failed it’s because I didn’t write something down in the first place. One failure to meet a deadline helped get my head back in the game and now I’m using my bullet journal much more consistently.
Additionally, I’ve been using my private journal to work through thoughts and emotions. Even when I think I don’t have much to say, I find that the thoughts come together once I make myself begin.