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Size Does Matter!

Tisk, Tisk

Whoever said size doesn’t matter has never carried a notebook or planner 😉 I’m back today to discuss notebook/planner sizes. Surely you didn’t think since having found the holy grail of notebooks that my romance with stationery ended. Pst.

A Standard

Here’s a quick rundown. Paper sizes are measured on a standard paper size scale. International Standard Organization (ISO) specifies paper sizes used in most countries except for the U.S. and Canada which size their own sizing standard.

*The link provided goes in-depth about the differences between countries’ paper sizes.

There are a lot of mathematical formulas behind A, B, and C paper sizes but the common feature is that any successive paper size measurement is determined by halving the dimensions of the preceding one.

I use the ISO paper sizing chart for a few reasons. One is because I use a travelers notebook system and another reason is for ease when ordering products online.

• Click the link to learn more about this unique system. You won’t regret it 😉

Notebook size comparison photo
Notebook size comparison

Write or Type

Analog systems are fully customizable. Did I mention handwriting is linked to mental health benefits and memory retention? A paper system can include but is not limited to planners, journals, common books, and sketchbooks. A basic notebook is a handy reference tool for meetings or classroom notes.

In today’s climate, high-tech phones have all but replaced the practice of analog systems. Computer files replaced filing cabinets. And the cloud did away with photo albums. The common denominator; access. With a handheld device and the push of a button, information is at our fingertips. This access rewards the instant gratification we’ve become accustomed to.

Similar to its predecessor notebooks store information. And with the market still intact, stationery companies have evolved, offering a variety of sizes. Just as technology has gone from a desktop to our hands, notebooks evolved from a backpack to our pocket.

On the Go or At Home?

The flexibility an analog system offers, while reaping other benefits, makes it my preferred method of recording and creating. However, I am not fully analog. I rely on technology for blogging, editing, an alarm clock, a calculator, and shopping.

As for my size preference, I utilize different sizes depending on if I am home or mobile. If I am going places I prefer easy to carry. Creating on the go is done with limited supplies. Small and minimal art is usually the result. Currently, I use a passport-sized travelers notebook. At home the opposite is true. I express myself creatively in large, sometimes oversized books. Accessibility is a key factor.

Image of my passport and A5 journals
Ahhh! Beauties 😉

My journal, on the other hand, is an A5. An average size notebook. I need more room when I am writing than creating. Yes, I carry both every day! A fun little insight: an EDC is an everyday carry. A cute acronym present in the stationery community. My journal isn’t exclusive to writing. The paper in my journal handles a variety of mediums including watercolor. I am 100% satisfied with A5 for use as my journal but I am itching to try the personal size for on-the-go creating.

That’s the beauty of analog. You can switch it up without breaking the bank. Part of the appeal of travelers’ journaling is the personalization and aesthetic. There are SO many options to choose from!! Makers create covers using all kinds of materials but the ones made of leather are a true investment. I own two leather travelers journals, a passport, and a regular size, each from different companies but both cherished tools.


It Persists. I Create.

Depression is kicking my ass. I keep reminding myself this shall pass. It persists. Confirming it’s impression from days of past. No definite of how long this episode will last. It’s depth, vast. A shadow is cast.

Collages pieces with the word empathy
A collage page from my journal

Often I am asked, what is wrong? Or what does depression feel like? Unfortunately, I have no answers but I’ll give it a go. It is constant. It is like an itch that cannot be scratched. There is a feeling there but no words to describe how it feels. If I had to choose a word I’d say, for myself, numb. Then I ponder if numb has a feeling considering… Void of feeling. Yet there is a feeling. Oh I got it!! It’s like white noise or static. It isn’t loud enough for others to hear. A constant hum that lingers despite tuning it out. Trying is describe depression is similar to catching a hummingbird. It’s a feeling rather a noise. A consistent noise that only you can feel.

A drawn door on the left and a gratitude sticker surrounded by paint
A spread from my journal


My creativity is at an all time high (not counting the past week spent in bed). What I love the most about using paper to create is if you don’t like what you created, you can use layers to cover it up and start over. At the beginning of July I decided I wanted to start carrying my passport size travelers journal. I did so to encourage creating on the go and to have a place for the random daily papers I sometimes accumulate. It’s worked out well. I will most likely continue carrying it. I themed this month’s mini journal “play”.

No rules text
Words clipped from magazines make great journal pages

It has encouraged me to play using my creative mind. I think that’s where we go wrong as adults. We quit playing. I am guilty and I would like to apologize to myself for having stopped play.

While I am at it

I would also like to formerly apologize for discontinuing Monday Morning Mantra without notice. I’m not so certain those posts were a hit but if you liked them, my apologies. When I am in a slump the first thing to suffer is my productivity. And having a set posting schedule is part of a productive routine.

A collage with a girl and the word journal clipped from magazines
Just me, playing

Wrap’n it Up But First

I am fortunate to have a support system for when I am muddling my way through. I mean they are always there but more so during times of uncertainty. For instance, my Baby Momma (daughter’s step-mom) dropped in a random hello, how are you? Now she has seen me at my worst and still comes around yet only when it seems necessary. We have a soul connection. Perhaps I beckon her when I am down. Who knows but I do know that speaking with her and seeing my mother are about the only 2 things that counterbalance the yuck. I think it’s important to recognize such connections. During this episode I’ve also noticed the growth in my relationship when it comes to support. It has evolved. Just by acknowledging these two scenarios I bring light to the darkness that encompasses me. I think that’s a beautiful thing.

Ok, ok, okay

This post is all over the place so if you made it this far, thanks! It helps me to process by writing things out and lucky you, this is my soundboard. I went outside of my comfort zone and shared some photo’s from my journal for your viewing pleasure in hopes of it lessening the agony of reading my dribble. I’ve fallen behind on the newsletter but my intentions are to send some words that route soon. Don’t miss out. Subscribe!

How are you holding up?? Is the heat wave affecting your area?

Intact Yet Out of Whack

I am considering, once again, going off my medication. Yes, I am stable. Yes, I am reliable. Yes, my creativity is still intact but I am bored with life. Typically I am full of life. Loads of passion. I’ve been called animated. Charismatic even. All of those compliments go by the waist side when I am medicated because all of those characteristics are out the window when I am medicated. The only way I know how to feel like myself is to stop taking the antipsychotic I take. I, of course, would then up my antidepressant to help with my symptoms. Dare I say I’d rather be crazy than boring any day! There. I said it. And I mean it.

The only part about taking medication that I can tell a difference is my reaction to life. Perhaps since I have acknowledged this I can now work on it. I have an emotional reaction, physically to everything but guess what?? I am used to it. That is how I was created and voiding me of it depresses me significantly. I will continue taking my antidepressant as that helps keep me alive. Really. And I will monitor myself to make sure I don’t start rapid cycling. Damn. Typing that makes it all so real. I have rapid cycling bipolar 1 with psychotic tendencies. Fuck.

Maybe I should stop all medication and crawl in a hole. Ugh!

I spend 90% of my time in bed. The other 10% is spent at work. No, I am not sleeping all that time but I am stuck in bed. Nothing excites me anymore. I need to explore. I need to move my body. I need to shake the 30 pounds I’ve gained from this damn medication. I need to feel like myself 😒 I try not to rant very often but I need to get this off my chest and out of my head. I need to find a solution but is there one? I don’t think I will find resolve considering my circumstances and that sickens me.

I’ve had no motivation to keep up with Monday Morning Mantra. It sucks I can’t even find the umph to do something once a week. Last week I used the excuse, It’s Fourth of July to not post and this week I have no excuse. It’s me. That’s all. Ironically I have been creating a lot. I don’t feel like I’ve been bit by the creative bug more so I am using up materials I’ve acquired. That was a goal for 2022 so maybe I am on track with something.

Having a new puppy is a lot of work especially when the pup is the jealous type. Grrrr. She’s giving me a run for my money so to speak. How do you teach a pup personal space? I’ve been spoiled by my 12-year old dog. He is a Maltese and as laid back as they come. Well the new pup seems hellbent to force him to play tug of war by chin checking him with a toy in her mouth. He’s old and wants nothing to do with her. He gives in every once in a while but for the most part wants to be left alone. She requires attention 100% of the time and frankly, I don’t have it to give. Not at 100%. We ordered her a training collar with a beep, vibrate, and shock setting. We haven’t had to use the shock setting because the vibration and beeping are working, temporarily. She doesn’t seem to retain discipline. It’s been difficult to say the least.

I have been on YouTube a lot lately. I like to watch videos of art journaling, stationery hauls, and anything else to do with paper 😂 It calms my active mind. I’ve also watched a few Netflix specials.

I don’t know how to process mundane. It’s too slow for me. I don’t even know what I mean by that but tis how it is. Let’s see how things go. I have a doctors appointment on the 18th so I can increase my antidepressant. We will see what happens 🤓 I ain’t scared 😉 I have the tools I need to succeed 😝 *shakes head* Don’t ask me. I’m off to treat myself to a yogurt with fruit, honey, and granola. Yummy!


Struggling to Transition

If you are new to this camp, I have been dying to transition careers. It’s been three years and I’ve not been successful. And I have a year and a half left to go. It is my goal to be out of the food and beverage industry by time I am 45. At this point I think it’s safe to say fear is holding me back.

I’ve been looking for work from home jobs in line with customer service but job sites are ridiculous. They rope you into submitting your email address for multiple sites and redirect you and loop you and…you get the picture.

The other day I decided to stretch because I have been feeling stiff and just from doing neck rolls, I have paid a price. I suppose I am holding stress in my neck and when I stretched it released the toxins leaving me sore as all get out. It feels like something popped on the left side of my neck, in the shoulder area leaving me in agonizing pain. No fun. I am ready to wake up and feel like myself. This ongoing yuck I’ve been in needs to disappear. I have run out of ideas for combating it. And believe me, I’ve been creative.

The culmination of what seems like my life has to be the beginning of my S.A.D. Yay. I suppose the quicker it comes, the quicker it goes. April is typically the worst month. It’s creeping up. I feel as though I am taking it all actually quite well considering the weight of it all. Exhale. I remind myself. Exhale.

Perhaps I will turn this type of post into a weekly wrap up type series. I like to categorize my ramblings.

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A Little Bit of This and That

👋 Hiya

Late February and early March I was struggling with my outlook on life. I am happy to announce that I have turned a corner and no longer see things too pessimistically. I was beginning to worry as Spring is the worst for my S.A.D. (Seasonal depressive disorder). I’m not in the clear yet but things are looking up.

I missed Monday Morning Mantra this week because I didn’t wake up until 2:45 pm which is insanity! That was followed by more sleep as I slept through the night. I knew when I woke Tuesday morning that I could not make it to work. I called in and took my butt to the doctor. After two shots in the hip and two scripts, I am feeling more like myself. I have been able to find the motivation to take care of some personal tasks such as getting new tires and paying my car note. Each of which is gratifying yet sucks.

Despite my crabbiness and illness, I am relatively hopeful. I no longer feel weighed down by boredom. For that I am grateful. Now on to taking care of taxes. Meh. I didn’t file 2020’s taxes because I didn’t work but I did get unemployment so I will file that with this year’s measly earnings. That’s always fun.

I’ve recently thought about participating in Blogging from A-Z which begins in April. I read the instructions and it seems simple enough but I do not believe I have the time to dedicate to it although that’s my reason for wanting to give it a go; to make time for blogging. I’ve slacked a lot when it comes to blogging. My analog system has become my primary writing space which I wrangled for years to upkeep but now that that is routine, blogging has taken a backseat. As I read over this update I realize that I severely lack any focus. That can be a big contributor to why I’ve not been blogging much as well. I don’t like being all over the map and I have been for some time now.

I have had a difficult adjusting period with my new medication. It works. So good I could be the posterchild of advertising, however, I am void of any personality. I guess that is ok for the masses but I quite enjoy being a big personality so come next month I am going to chat with my GP about reducing my dose so I can feel a little more like myself. I’ve mentioned this before but April can’t seem to get here soon enough. That sentence alone I’ve never spoken as April has a reputation for taking me down, literally. Perhaps if I welcome it, it will be kinder to me. Who knows? We’ll see.

Happy St. Patty’s day graphic

As far as falling behind on blogging is concerned, I am happy to say that typing this post has helped me to be less hard on myself. The difference between an analog system and blogging is the editing aspect which apparently I need. Last September 2021, I entered the hospital to stabilize. I haven’t been hospitalized in 10 years. Immediately after discharge, I was scheduled for a hysterectomy. The procedure itself went smoothly but the healing time was extensive. I was released to work on November 8th and I obtained employment on the 10th. I had a somewhat lengthy training because my hire-on was in the midst of the holidays but once that was complete, I’ve been busting ass four days a week since then. I was hired on as part-time but it rarely feels like it because of the amount of work involved per shift. I feel my age more than ever. I made it through Christmas and New Year intact and have rolled into now March but not without exhaustion, obviously.

As I added today’s date to my journal, I was taken back that St. Patty’s Day crept up on me without my realizing it. My father is an Irish immigrant and traditionally I celebrated my heritage decked out in green and glam. Let’s not forget the alcohol I consumed to make my celebrating proper. Well, it has been six years since I’ve drank myself into oblivion in the name of being of Irish descent and for that, I am truly humbled. Next month marks seven years of sobriety from alcohol. That blows my mind. In my days of struggling to get sober, I found it best to not count my days of sobriety as I had a tendency to celebrate and then start over counting. A counterproductive system I had in place. When I did away with the counting I was able to accumulate enough days to finalize my sobriety. Now here I am a month shy of seven years and I have no words to describe the journey. Actually, I do but I fear someone in early sobriety reading this saying fuck it because of my experience so I’ll keep it to myself. I will say the outcome has been worth the arduous journey.

I suppose ultimately this post was for myself as I’ve worked through some things differently than I am able to in my journal. It’s a bit all over the place so if you didn’t make it to the end, I understand. I am working toward finding my center and I appreciate your reading despite the lack of purpose. I suppose this post is a great example of mental illness trying to find its normal. Its place in this world. And for those that struggle too, I hope this post shows you that you are not alone. Every day isn’t all bubbles and butterflies. Sometimes it is just editing.

How have you been getting along?? Are you ready for Spring?

It’s Lost but Can Be Found

Sleep eludes me. My mental state seems to be deteriorating. It’s midday and I am taking seraquil to sleep. The sun shines bright but I don’t have much fight left to care. I am on day three of being off. I return to work tomorrow but today is exhausting. I haven’t done anything in a month. My life is an endless stream of unmotivated boredom. It’s days like today I wish I could wash away. I don’t like the thoughts that occupy my mind. They are bleak. All I want to do is sleep. So. I medicate. This isn’t the solution, I know. But I’ve already swallowed it whole. I feel out of control.

This cloud of numbness is familiar but dayum, will it ever go away? I feel like a slave to my moods. Each and every day. I question my discipline. I shit on motivation. I cuss my existence. Am I being overdramatic? Possibly. The news of a good friend being hospitalized hit me harder than expected. Perhaps because I myself am feeling low. I don’t know but I do hope she is able to find some resolve. Or relief.

I am not political. I do not watch the news. I do not do social media. Yet the news of war has reached me. Why? I am not asking you that per se but really, why? I feel the effects of it. I am sickened to even think that killing people is ever a good solution. It isn’t so why? Ugh. I’m done with that part. In fact, tomorrow is a new day. I’ll wait to see if what I have to say makes better sense.

New day. Same questions yet a better mind frame from which my thoughts stem. Today I am grateful for positive thinking. Instead of getting caught up in the why’s I am shifting my focus to the present moment. Right now. And right now, I feel better. I am grateful to have slept and found some relief from consecutive days of gloom. Is it just me or do days of dread last longer than days of joy? It seems that way. My head space wasn’t good at the beginning of this post, at all. As much as I hate putting negativity out into the ethereal, I had to get it out. Those ruminating thoughts are the thoughts that eat me alive if I let ‘em.

I began this post Monday and it is now Friday. Today is significantly lighter. What did I do? Nothing to write home about but I did carry my journal with me yesterday for some journaling and sketching on the go. I enjoyed it and will continue to carry it with me. That’s a small win. The sun is out after multiple days of rain, fog, and moisture in the air. That is a sign of better days ahead. Yay!

I am happy to end this rant of sorts on a better note. If your days have been a struggle I hope that today you are able to set your troubles down, take a look around, and be present. I know that that too can be a bit of a battle but wherever you are, you can do it. You deserve it. Take a deep breathe. Exhale. Repeat. That’s where I’m at today. How about you?

Something New!

Introducing …

Good Morning & Welcome

For some time I have contemplated running a series. I wasn’t quite sure what to include in the series until today!!

Welcome to the first post in a series of motivational posts!

Each Monday I will post an affirmation to carry you all throughout your week. The cards I will be using are from a deck called Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein.

Each week will also include a card of either encouragement, self-love, goals, or focus to help guide your week. I will be using cards made by Dayna Lee for this part of the series.

I have been shuffling and drawing cards for myself weekly since the beginning of the year. I write one affirmation everyday for a week. Keeping it minimal allows me to really focus and affirm the phrase in my daily routine. My mother bought me a deck of motivational cards that I decided to add to my weekly drawing. These cards are separated into the four categories. Encouragement, self-love, goals and focus. Adding one of these to my weekly routine will help boost my affirmation without overwhelming the concept behind doing it.

I have found that incorporating the affirmation has assured me of my own personal power. Writing it daily reinforces it and keeps it at the forefront of my day. When I decided to add the second card to my week I thought of y’all and my desire to run a series. From here on out I will post two cards on Monday to help guide your week. I encourage you to write each phrase each week. And use the phrases any time you find yourself frustrated, confused, or down on yourself. Each phrase is short and sweet so it is simple to do so. So without further ado, I introduce

Monday Morning Mantra

Always Find the Good
My power lies in my peaceful presence

I hope each of you use these phrases to guide and affirm your week. Feel free to share with others. See ya next week for another Monday Morning Mantra!

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