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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.

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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!

Attitude Adjustment

Just when I think my depression is waning, it waxes. Ugh! Since September of 21, I have been battling laziness. As soon as I overcome my laziness in pops depression. Why? Is it the heat? Is it the never-ending demands of my job? Is it the new puppy we adopted? Or is it simply the way depression operates? I’ll never know for certain but I think it’s a combination of it all. You would think that I would have accepted it by now. Accepted that bipolar depression is not something that I can control. I can, however, look after my mindset and my outlook. Sure it’s difficult but it makes a world of difference.

I am grateful for:


Creativity

A roof over my head

Air conditioning in my home and in my car (it’s fixed🤗)

Hope in my heart

Compassion

And last but not least,

my job.


I have been having creative spurts that I am using to make a coworker a journal. Her birthday is in November and me carrying my notebook prompted her to share that she too likes to write. So…what better gift than a handmade journal, right? I will make sure to take pics of the final product to show y’all. I wish I had done that with the others I have gifted. In total, I’ve made about 15. Two of the fifteen were ordered while the remaining 13 were given as gifts. The most typical response I’ve received is, I don’t want to mess it up!! Everyone is afraid to add their artwork to them so with that in mind I made this one with bare bones and included matching papers for use by the new owner. Problem solved. I hope.

I have a three-bedroom, two-bath home with 2 acres of land. It is made a home having Mister, two pups, and a cat. We live in a state that has many days of heat advisory so having central heat and air conditioning is a must. We are fortunate to have it because not everyone does. You may remember me saying that my car’s a.c. was acting up. It is now working making my drive to work tolerable.

Despite the weight of depression, I have hope in my heart for better days. This hope extends beyond my depression. It reminds me that with compassion for myself and others I will survive. And last on my list, work. I am grateful to be employed and to pay my bills on time. Work is more stressful than not but I push through each shift with a smile on my face. Sometimes my smile will drop but I do my best to remember that the shift doesn’t last forever. We are short-staffed. This inevitably puts more strain on the existing staff. Working in the restaurant business comes with its own struggles so adding more work presents a difficult dynamic. It seems a vicious cycle that my employer can’t seem to get ahead of.

This practice of gratitude helped shift my attitude from blah to grateful. Some days this practice isn’t easy. Yeah, it’s easy to write a list but to truly honor that list you’ve got to sit with it. I am fortunate in many ways that when I am feeling cheated or slighted I have plenty to remind myself of. Just having my basic needs met is enough to cherish. Do you ever find yourself in a rut of ungratefulness? What helps you to appreciate what you have?

Until next time

xoxo

Monday Morning Mantra

Welcome to Revenge of Eve’s


MONDAY MORNING MANTRA

Each Monday I shuffle and draw two cards from two sources, a box set and a deck. The box set boasts encouragement, self-love, goals and focus while the deck affirms our individual power. I then use the two cards to guide me throughout the week. I place the cards on my refrigerator as a visual reference and I write them daily in my journal as written reference. If I find myself experiencing unwanted emotions or challenging thoughts I refer to the cards drawn. I have found this to be an empowering and powerful exercise. One that I decided to share with my readers.


My genuine desire to serve clears the path for me to step into my purpose
Affirmation

Over the years having a purpose has come into question. I came to the conclusion that each of our purposes involves being of service. Have I found my purpose yet? No but I damn sure hope all I have grown through has cleared some of the overgrown mess that has got in the way. I like to think I am on my way. This affirmation helps guide me to be of service. I also recognize that my part is needed to clear the path. This affirms my accountability.

Becoming the best version of me
Encouragement

I love how this week’s cards coincide; again! Once we are serving our purpose, doesn’t that bring out the best in us? Well, the above encouragement seems to think so. And like I said, I am on my way … I am becoming the best version of myself. It takes accountability, self-awareness, self-love, and compassion for us to evolve. I see life as a constant state of change so when we arrive we find there is always more. More ways to lead with love. More ways to love our neighbor. More ways to be of service. More to grow, therefore, we are always becoming. Take the pressure off finding your purpose by affirming that what you do now is clearing the path to become the best version of yourself.


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A General Life Update

‘Ello!

How are you?? Thanks for stopping in today for a little life update. It’s been a while. As the Memorial Day holiday has passed, songs of summer are being sung. Birds corral our bird feeder, the tree frogs sing us to sleep, and the highways are bumper to bumper with travelers. It appears that society is waking up after two years of isolation. At least that is how the buzz feels to me. Alive.

That is how I feel.

Alive


My S.A.D. season is in the rear view mirror and I … made it through unscathed. No deaths, accidents, or tragedy (except Ukraine situation). My personal scope of life is expanding after months of hibernation. I feel well rested and ready to take advantage of the summer however possible. Over the last month or so we’ve potted multiple plants, maintained the yard, and have added small touches of landscaping. The smallest detail makes a world of difference.

Biggest news is the addition to our family!! We rescued a puppy. Like literally off the side of the road. Someone abandoned her and we rescued not long after. I say that because she wasn’t in distress, matted, or exhausted when we found her. We put out posters with her picture on it to no avail. Three weeks after fostering her I decided to take her to a local no-kill shelter. Fast forward to the day I was scheduled to drop her and I couldn’t. We had already fallen in love. Maggie aka Moo is a mix of life, mischief, and love. She has been received with love.

It’s already hot here in Louisiana and my car ac has started to act up. Last April while dashing I flooded my car in a torrential downpour. I am lucky to know a mechanic that was able to salvage my car because neither my insurance or DoorDash would cover the accident. Long story but I was screwed nonetheless. Now a year later and my ac works when it wants to and in Louisiana that equals misery. It isn’t something I can just deal with by rolling the windows down. My medication raises my body temperature making it dangerous for me to get too hot. Fingers crossed I get it fixed sooner than later.

My sister got married on the 14th of May and it was a beautiful ceremony filled with love. Guests enjoyed the deejay, dancing the night away. The kids stayed at the photo booth printing photos of themselves with silly props. The bride and the groom mingled and took tons of photos! It was the event of the century🤓 So now I have a brother-in-law!

There is a lot that has happened and I’m sure they will come to mind after I publish this post ☺️ I’ll go ahead and wrap it up here. I hope you are enjoying the series Monday Morning Mantra. If you want more frequent life updates, subscribe to receive the Garden newsletter.

In Honor of Mental Health Awareness Month: My Experience

Here at Revenge of Eve we openly discuss mental health. While I am not a resource for maintaining mental health, I suffer from mental illness. I am not ashamed to have multiple diagnoses.


If you are interested, you can find my story here and here.


With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, I decided to discuss ways I get on with life, thriving despite my mental illness.

Creativity

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know I am an avid journal writer. I enjoy using my journal to write my daily activities, thoughts, and plans. I also like to explore my creativity using handmade journals. I am fortunate that my stationery obsession and paper craft hobby collide. Because of this I have many materials to choose from when I want to create.

I collect ephemera and add it to my handmade journals with memos to remind me of the activity or reference it’s origin. Documenting life this way helps me to slow down. Having the tactical items to look back on brings immense joy to my day.

Every Monday I draw cards from multiple decks to help guide my week. From these decks two are affirming and encouraging. You may be familiar with my drawings as I share them here with y’all! The series Monday Morning Mantra is a weekly drawing but a daily reference. I write each phrase, an affirmation and an encouragement, daily in my journal. I use the cards to guide my week. If I find myself struggling with negative thoughts or self-talk, I refer to the cards drawn. It is a practice that works wonders on my mindset 🤓

Self-Care

Believe it or not but journaling is an avenue of self-care. It is the number one way I tend to myself. While I journal I am mindful, present, and actively honoring my thoughts, ideas, and desires. Self-care is often sold as pampering oneself and while that can be considered self-care, there is far more work involved in caring for yourself. Through the years of learning to love myself I learned it takes some elbow grease but once you’ve loosened the years of excess, the gunk wipes away easily. Metaphorically speaking.

Journaling is part of my daily self-care routine. Other ways I take care of myself are by saying no when I cannot commit to something. Albeit whether it’s because I don’t want to or if I can’t, it doesn’t matter. Learning to say no without an explanation has made a positive impact on my life.

I typically do my own manicures and pedicures 1. because it saves money and 2. because I have been professionally trained to do so but recently I paid to enjoy the experience. I started a new job in November and as a reward for sticking it out I paid to have a natural manicure and a pedicure. It was the best $65 ($75 with tip) I’ve spent all year!!

A puzzle missing a piece

Routine

Having a routine is important for our mental health. This isn’t to say that you can’t stray but having a guided timeline for your day is helpful for everyone’s mental stability.

My mental stability is provided by medication, however, having a rough timeline to follow plays a huge role. I wake at the same time, work the same hours, and go to bed about the same time every night. My coffee and food intake habits are sparse throughout the day. Same as other activities; journaling. Trying to balance those is enough to keep me afloat and productive. I try to limit my scrolling time. Some days are better than others.

Relationships

A huge factor of living with mental illness comes down to support. I receive support from my family. Not financial rather emotional. They challenge me, trust me, encourage me, and most importantly, they listen to me. It hasn’t always been this way though. Having a mood disorder and addictions aren’t the easiest variables to deal with. There have been many misunderstandings, wrong assumptions, and unknowingly, enabling. Luckily we pushed through the difficult times and came out on the other side.

Friendships are an important part on thriving with mental illness. Various forms of relationships can apply. You may have made friends via the internet or it can be a friend that you have in the physical world. Support is support and it can be shown through a variety of routes.

Medication

And last but not least; medication. Having bipolar 1 (rapid cycling) means I have elated and depressed moods that shift frequently. These highs and lows can reach dangerous levels when not medicated. Mania (high) often involves impulsivity, irritability, anger, and grandiose ideas. Whereas with depression comes suicidal ideation, oversleeping, overeating, and numbness. These are general symptoms and those I cope with the most.

My medication, when taken correctly, stabilizes the influx in moods. It gives me a baseline that I cannot achieve without it. The unfortunate side effects of my medication are hypoglycemia and I cannot spend time a lot of time in the sun. I am also prone to boredom and feeling flat. My passion for life is nonexistent. That is the worst side effect but it is something I cope with so that I can function as a member of society, ie: work 😒

So how about you? How do you thrive despite mental illness? Do you or someone you love struggle with mental illness?

Monday Morning Mantra

Welcome to Revenge of Eve’s


MONDAY MORNING MANTRA 

Each Monday I shuffle and draw two cards from two sources, a box set and a deck. The box set boasts encouragement, self-love, goals and focus while the deck affirms our individual power. I then use the two cards to guide me throughout the week. I place the cards on my refrigerator as a visual reference and I write them daily in my journal as written reference. If I find myself experiencing unwanted emotions or challenging thoughts I refer to the cards drawn. I have found this to be an empowering and powerful exercise. One that I decided to share with my readers.


Affirmation

Asking for help is not being needy. You may be surprised by the eagerness others display when asked for help. If your plate is full, I challenge you to ask someone to help you. This can be done by delegating a simple task to a coworker or asking the family for help with the household chores. It doesn’t require a crisis to reach out for help.

Encouragement

With every morning comes new possibilities. We decide what we allow. Are you open to new possibilities? Do you welcome them? Subtle or more obvious adjustments can make a world of difference in our daily routine but you must be willing to receive them to reap the benefits.