Began Again

It’s time to begin again. Again.

The Patreon page didn’t work out the way I’d hoped. I still love the platform and its ideas for connecting creators and patrons, but I couldn’t figure out how to make it fit with my journaling. I ended up closing the page over the summer and lost my way for a time.

So this beginning is a tough one. I feel a greater sense of uncertainty than in past new beginnings and a lot more fear. Fear of the usual things, like looking foolish, like making unwise decisions, like failing. Again.

But I’m not ready to give up yet either.

This time around, the plan is simple: to write and post journal printables — here, on my own website — that aim to ask good questions and encourage insightful answers.

As always, my goal will be to create pages that make it a little easier to notice the good stuff, to document memorable moments, to make sense of the world around us, to discover the things that matter most, and to build the courage and confidence to set and pursue meaningful goals.

I’ve revamped my printables page, which now includes my free pages and pages that I’ve moved here from Patreon and my Etsy shop. I’ll continue to create printables — some free, some not — and post them as I go.

The printable I created for this post is all about beginning again. It’s part of my Life Story series, where I’m exploring the idea of capturing our life stories through everyday moments. As with all of my new printables, it’s available in four sizes to fit a variety of page and planner sizes. (Printing instructions can be found at the bottom of my new shop’s welcome page.)

Have you begun something again recently? What was your first step?

Are you thinking of beginning something again soon? What will you do first?


Journal Prompt - Making wishes

I like to think of wishes as goals-in-training. They're a great way to think about things you'd like to have, do or change. And the thinking doesn't have to end there. It can lead to thoughts about the steps you'll take to make your wishes come true. (I know not every wish is possible, but I love the prospect of working toward the ones that are.)

What are you wishing for today?

(This printable journal page is part of a new series over at Patreon, where you can journal with me and support my work all at the same time.)


Journal Prompt - The Story of Your Life So Far

Our life stories. Finding meaning in our moments. Learning from experience. Becoming who we are. Enjoying the ride (or at least parts of it).

Some of the things I've been thinking about this week ... and for as long as I can remember.

I have a project in mind. It's both big and small. The thought of sharing it makes me really nervous. But it's the good kind of nervous, where curiosity wins out over second thoughts. I hope you'll stay tuned!

In the meantime, what important moments stand out in your life story so far?

P.S. This printable journal prompt is part of my Monday series over at Patreon, where you can journal with me and support my work all at the same time.


Journal Prompt - Things That Aren't Perfect

This week's prompt is all about life's imperfections -- the ones you're making the best of, the ones you're working to change, and the ones you like just as they are.

I love this prompt for two reasons: first, it's a reminder that we can choose how to manage the challenges that come our way and, second, it reminds us that some imperfections fit our one-of-a-kind lives rather perfectly.

There are definitely some things I'm working to change, but there are also a wide variety imperfect things I wouldn't want any other way: our tiny home, my closest relationships, the way it takes me forever to chop vegetables (it drives my husband nuts!), my journaling. 

When I was learning how to knit as a child, I remember complaining to my mom that some of my super-tight stitches made my swatch uneven (and I really wanted it to be perfect.) I'm paraphrasing here, but she said something like, "That's how you know it's handmade. The imperfections make it beautiful." I've never forgotten that and I often repeat it to my own daughters.   

How about you? Which of life's imperfections are you working to change and which ones are you happy with just as they are?

P.S. This printable journal prompt is part of my Monday series over at Patreon, where you can journal with me and support my work all at the same time.


Everyday Moments - This Week's Journal Page

This week, I'm writing a small blurb in my newsletter about finding meaning and beauty in everyday moments and now I can’t stop thinking about it. 

It's an idea at the core of my journaling – and my life. This is hard to write -- maybe it shouldn't be -- but I think I revel in everyday moments because I find day-to-day life really hard. My natural disposition is pretty dark. Negative thoughts come far more easily to me than positive ones. So the positive stuff I do, write, and say – it’s almost always intentional, deliberate, fought for, chosen over something negative. 

And you know what? I'm grateful for whatever it is in me that makes me work to find the good. It means I am always on the lookout for silver linings, for interesting things I missed in my initial evaluations, for bright spots and points of connection in the people I meet. It helps me take fewer things for granted. It helps me judge less and care more. It helps me love my life. And, for the most part, even when life is especially hard, I really do.

That’s what I want to share in my journal work online, the search for the good and the meaningful and -- most of all -- the finding of the good and meaningful in places we have access to right now and in moments we are experiencing right now. I have the feeling I’m not the only one who has to work hard for both. 

This week’s printable journal page was an exploration of that search. Today, I cut and pasted two sections from the page (and some pretty pastel paper!) into my little notebook. I’ll write about the effort I’ve put into a collaboration with an amazing partner that led to an opportunity for us to speak at an international conference next week and I’ll work hard to frame this experience as an adventure – something to be enjoyed rather than worried over.

How about you? What efforts and adventures have you been up to so far this week?


Printable Journal Page - Moments From Your Week

This week's printable journal page is out over on Patreon. It follows up on last week's format, but also goes in its own direction. To be honest, I feel like I'm going on instinct here and I hope you don't mind exploring with me. 

I was thinking about last week's noticing, but also about some of the daily sensations and experiences that can be good sources for reflection, in addition to be good things to record and to remember about our lives.

The thing about this page is that it approaches the week more by moments of experience than by chronological days.

I'm going to spend the week filling it out, little by little as I go, and I'll share some of my progress along the way.

For right now, though, the prompt that jumps out at me is taste. It has been a quiet day of writing and prepping for a talk next week, but it has also been a yummy day. Cranberry focaccia for breakfast -- which always reminds me of my mom's kitchen because I had it there first -- and lovely roast and mashed potato leftovers for lunch brought home late last night from my mother-in-law's kitchen -- which contain a unique blend of herbs and spices that everyone who knows her would recognize as hers.

How about you? Have there been any tasty moments in your day so far?