An Illustrated Journal
Early evening is when I get restless. I don’t like to read at the end of the day because most days I spend a lot of time on the computer.
Sometimes a movie is a good fit, but more often than not, I find myself watching television or spending more time than I should scrolling Instagram. And that leaves me more restless.
After thinking about what I could manage and what makes sense, I’ve decided to try journaling. It’s new to me and I want to experiment.
I’m not interested in listing what I’ve done during the day. Instead, I want to focus on one thing that caught my attention during the day. One topic, subject, thought, or feeling.
And I want to set some parameters:
This is the first collage.
Last night I cooked a new dish: Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy Cabbage from Smitten Kitchen. It was good, especially the cooked cabbage.
When I was pulling the ingredients, I realized new recipes are what keep me interested in cooking. Sure, I have a few go-to recipes, but I like trying new ones.
And my cast iron pans.
Geez I love those pans. They are like the original non-stick cooking pans. And clean up? So easy. I use them for almost all my cooking.
What about you ... do you journal? Do you set parameters? I’d love to know your process. Got any tips to share?
Do you cook? With cast iron? I'd love to know.
New adventure when you need it most.
Figure out this riddle and you'll have the first clue for what's coming in the May Playbook: a look at one of the most popular hobbies in the world. A real tweet!
If you haven't joined the email list, get your ticket to ride today and come aboard!
New work brings new perspective
I was struggling with how to write and present an idea about maps for the April Playbook. Nothing was working and I was beginning to feel lost and frustrated.
So I decided to go in a different direction. To combine my collage work and hand lettering and present it in a long scroll.
When I finished, it occurred to me that we're all navigating new territory. Trying to find our way.
There's no map to tell us which way is the shortest, best solution to get us from here to there.
But maps can still guide us:
Cartography and the coronavirus
Map terminology as it applies to the challenges of staying home:
It's your internal guidance. If you pay attention to how you feel, you'll find your way. Getting tired? Maybe it's time to take a break. Frustrated? Take a left. Or right. Abandon course and do something different.
This is where you map your survival strategy. Maybe it's creating a routine: getting up at a reasonable hour, getting dressed, and saving your comfy clothes for later in the day.
Exercise. Because it helps. But does it fit better in the morning or afternoon?
Work. Begin and end when you normally would, if you can.
Meals. Keep it simple most days. But once in a while, make something different or special. Plan a three-course meal. Or a special dessert.
You've got a lifetime of experience, knowledge, and know-how. Make a list and run through things you've done, things you want to try, and things you miss.
You may not be able to go hiking, but you could plan hikes for the future. Explore documentaries about hiking. Journal or tell stories about the hikes you've completed. What do you remember? Waterfalls, wild animals, blisters ... the heat?
Not a hiker? Replace the word hiker with whatever suits you.
I resisted the urge to try something different. It took three attempts at failed experiments before I convinced myself to go with hand lettering for the illustrated article. It took more effort than I initially wanted to commit to, and I stumbled more than once along the way. But I'm glad I did it.
The project kept me occupied for quite some time and while I was doing it, that's all I thought about. (What a relief.) It's done, I've accomplished something, and that feels good.
I hope you're able to find things that bring a sense of calm and comfort. To stretch yourself when you don't want to. And I hope this helps.
p.s. The map article is part of the April Playbook: This State of Mine. It's an experiment. I'm not sure how well it's working, but I figure the only way I'll know is to try.
p.p.s. When it comes to maps, one thing is clear. Maine has maps:
At Garmin's Yarmouth, Maine, location, Eartha, the world's largest revolving and rotating globe gives visitors an up-close, topographical look at the earth.
Garmin also publishes the Delorme Atlas & Gazetteers that cover highways and byways in cities and back-country destinations all across the country. In all 50 states.
And the Osher Map Library in Portland, Maine, has a stunning collection of maps swimming with sea creatures and serpents, a rare collection of globes, and 3D views of the collection available online.