I am a stationery addict.
Unlike my sugar-addiction, this is one vice I have absolutely no desire to kick and my house has upwards of 50 unused notebooks & journals stashed away in drawers, cupboards and my filing cabinet. Much like the books I read, I don’t purchase a new notebook / journal when I’m necessarily ready to use it. I buy whatever catches my eye and then squirrel it away until the exact right day when it “calls me” to read it or write in it. It all depends on my mood, the season, or whatever new interest that I’m embarking upon, so there are close to 100 unread (physical) titles and half as many virgin notebooks and journals, just waiting for the moment when they’re eventually brought out and given their time to shine. And I have everything from hardbacked to softback, spiral to Smyth-sewn bound, in dot-grid, graphed and lined, and all in a multitude of my my favourite colours. So you’d probably think me frivolous and a tad ridiculous to have set my sights on another new journal recently, when I obviously have sufficient stores of the darned things to keep me going for another 30 years. But I have. And it’s beautiful.
It’s called ‘The Gentle Giant’ and it’s part of the ‘Tsuki’ range of Bullet Journals available from notebooktherapy.com, which is an adorable Japanese & Korean online stationery store. I’d been eyeing it up for the past couple of weeks, after seeing a review of it by Elizabeth Greer Turnbull on her ‘Plant Based Bride’ YouTube Channel. Now, Elizabeth and I would disagree on a number of things (I mean, she’s really into the whole woke, box-ticking, identity politics bullshit that just makes me want to vomit, lol) but when it comes to stationery reviews, I trust her judgement and her ability to remain impartial even when gifted items for PR or sponsorship. Her video totally sold me on wanting this beautiful new journal (after I recently decided that I absolutely hate the Ottergami one I bought and set up for 2021 and really wanted something with lighter, brighter paper and a cool, blue colour-scheme) but even a stationery-obsessive like yours truly here tries to show a little restraint from time to time. So I popped it on my wish-list, thinking I’d maybe consider getting it sometime in the new year.
But then, I started chatting to the other half about it and how I really hated my current bullet journal: the pages aren’t white enough, the binding isn’t properly completed with a cloth glued all the way along the spine and the makers had tried to fake the look of it by sticking some small end tabs on – one of which came off as soon as I lay the book open flat – and that just really pissed me off. That this brand was cutting corners on a really important part of the binding structure AND trying to con the customer by making it look as though it had been bound properly, just left a bit of an unpleasant taste in my mouth. The whole thing felt sullied. And that’s on top of how different the colour looked IRL to the picture online. I thought I was buying a journal in a soft, pastel shade of baby pink, but when it arrived, it was a horrible coral shade which I never would have knowingly purchased. Urgh!
Seeing how disappointed I was with the journal I was currently using and hearing how much I really loved the ‘Gentle Giant’ one (which had been reviewed by a YouTuber whose stationery videos I trust) my lovely other half said that he’d buy it for me as a part of the gift he was going to give me, to congratulate me on having hit a couple of important weight-loss milestones! What an absolute legend! And he also told me that he had bought me a new bottle of ‘Lost Cherry’ by Tom Ford, because it’s my absolute favourite fragrance in the world right now (and he knows I’m carefully trying to ration out the remainder of the bottle I currently have).
How awesome is that? I was really surprised because I hadn’t been expecting to get anything at all. We don’t do Christmas presents in our household because we’re against the notion of obligated gift-giving, preferring instead to just give each other surprise presents whenever we personally want to. Not because some societal expectation has been placed on us – that same reasoning is why we never celebrate Valentines Day either as we both think it’s jut a crass, commercial fake day when people are supposed to show love for one another; we’d much prefer to do so when the mood takes us as it’s much more genuine and never just expected of us.
So he ordered me the A5 sized version of the ‘Gentle Giant’ journal – along with a lovely little pack of stickers also on the Notebook Therapy site, which all show a selection of Japanese art prints and landscapes with a largely blue colour scheme – because blue is my favourite colour and he knows how much I love both stickers and Japanese art. They’re absolutely perfect for use in the ‘Gentle Giant’ notebook which I’m now planning on keeping to an entirely blue/blue-green colour scheme throughout!
Be gone, foul coral coloured inferior bullet journal!
Unfortunately, with the company being based on the other side of the world, it’s going to take a few weeks to get here; especially with all the backlog of Christmas post being shipped all around the globe. So I’ll probably still have to use the blasted Ottergami thing for the first month of 2021. Which, I mean…I suppose it’s not the end of the world, but I use my bullet journal for everything! I have a future log, monthly calendars that I draw up, a sleep tracker, a weight tracker, a habit tracker, pages of online orders I’m waiting on, a page for things I need to reorder regularly, a wish list, a reading tracker, a symptom tracker and daily spreads where I record everything I eat, how much water I drink and when I take my doses of medication & supplements. It has all the important medical information in the front (allergies, illnesses, meds I take regularly, my blood type, my donor card and my emergency contact details) and on top of that I create daily to-do lists, using the ‘rapid logging’ system devised by Ryder Carroll.
My bullet journal is literally my brain in a notebook. I’ve been using the Bullet Journal system to create my own planner/notebook thing for the past 5 years; ever since I learned about it. And whilst I’ve always been an obsessive planner, it was only once I’d been introduced to Ryder Carroll’s original system (along with the hundreds of different personal interpretations of it by other users who would upload images of their own BuJo’s to Pinterest or Instagram) that I finally found the perfect way to keep track of everything going on in my life, inside my head and within my own body.
It’s a system that just makes sense to my perpetually racing, somewhat chaotic brain, and using it every single day (multiple times a day) means that I really want it to be something that is sturdy, ergonomically functional and also aesthetically pleasing. If something about it just doesn’t sit right with me, it makes me less enthusiastic about utilising it. Which is also probably just another ridiculously bourgeois idiosyncrasy of mine that makes some folks’ eyes roll in disgust…but I really don’t care. I have a system that works for me and I’m not about to compromise its efficacy, just because some virtual-signalling wanker wants me to feel guilty for all the starving children in Africa who would love to eat my barely-filled notebooks…or something equally as bloody ridiculous.
So, I shall have to remain at the mercy of our seasonally-unpredictable postal service and struggle on with this inferior version for a little longer. I’ve already drawn up the trackers and calendars and a bunch of other spreads, so it’s basically ready to go, but I just know that when my new one arrives, I’m going to want to migrate everything across into it, and start using it straight-away. I just have no idea when that day will be.
Likewise, I’ve also ordered so much stuff off of Amazon recently that doesn’t look like it’s going to arrive before Christmas Day either. I’m literally waiting on: 2 boxes x 12 ‘Battle Bites’ protein bars, 2 boxes x 12 Protein Brownie cookies, 1 x box of 15 Fulfil Salt Caramel Protein bars, 2 packs x 5 ‘FattBar Keto Super Fats’ Almond & Butter Cookies and 3 x Perlege Sugar-Free bars of chocolate. All stuff that I’d hoped to have here by Christmas so I could have the option of a few days eating a little less rigidly during the festivities (without actually exceeding my daily 20g carb allowance) whilst then having a nice little stash of goodies on hand as we move into 2021. But alas, nothing has arrived. Not even my ‘Pip & Nut’ almond butter squeezies, my chia seeds or any of the 20+ washi tapes I’ve been really wanting to get to use.
And as for my perfume, well I’ve been told by himself that I don’t actually get it until I hit my 50lb weight-loss milestone, when I’ll officially have hit the halfway point. Last week I weighed in at 15 stone 12lb (222lb) so I was 2lb away from reaching that mini-goal. I’d predicted that this week would probably be another maintenance week where I don’t show any loss at all (based on the pattern that these weigh-ins seem to be taking) but as you may have noticed from the date, today is actually a Tuesday, not a Monday. And why is that? Well, believe it or not I actually forgot to weigh myself yesterday. I’d forgotten that another weigh-in day was upon us already! Not because I’ve lost interest or motivation in my mission, but because it’s just that time of year again: the week leading up to Christmas where every day is like Sunday.
So, I apologise for this weigh-in being a day late, but it really does seem rather fitting in the week where I haven’t received my congratulatory gifts from my other half and absolutely nothing I ordered from Amazon has arrived either. Tardiness it would appear, is very much the order of the day. But what of that errant weigh-in? What exactly do the scales say this week? Will they manage to deliver when nothing else did over the past 7 (I mean 8) days?
Well…I just hopped on a few minutes ago and…I lost 1lb!
I did better than I thought (this weight loss shit is so hard to predict!) but that’s almost worse than not losing at all, because now I’m so tantalisingly close to the halfway point of having lost 50lb! And it means I don’t get my new perfume either yet, lol. I’m pretty sure that next week is ‘Shark Week’ (as much as I can be sure of anything day/date related right now) so that will probably mean a gain is on the cards. And that REALLY annoys me because I’m not going to be eating off-plan at all over Christmas. I really wanted to be able to just breeze through Christmas week not gaining anything and possibly even losing. But if the previous months are anything to go by, I can probably expect anywhere up to a 3lb of hormonal “ghost-gain” during the next 7 days. Urgh. So unfair!
But it is what it is. And this week, we’re another pound down – and another pound of fat loss is never something to be sniffed at. The scale is moving in the right direction and I am, as always, fully dedicated to my goals. I doubt I’ll post again before next week’s weigh-in, so I shall just take the opportunity now to wish you all a Merry Christmas and thank everyone who has been following along with my little weight-loss project this year. It’s been a ton of fun so far…bring on the next milestone!
Take care folks