Starting a ‘year of seasonal living’ journal …

I have decided to start yet another journal. Oh my. . here I go again! For just a wee moment, I considered finishing something, but that is not how this creative lark works is it?. One must strike when inspiration does. Right now, I have maybe 5 -10 different notebooks on the go with ideas, life’s plans, to do lists, financial workings, creative ideas, notes on writing and my book ideas and research. I also have visual journals that I use for classes and art techniques, self care, gratitude and mixed media play. Then I have mini handmade junk journals for whatever takes my fancy. Plus I have this blog – which is a journal of sorts. I also keep one journal going for writing only – this is where I work on my emotions and problems – sometimes this is more of a diary, a record of events, other times it’s like a place to write out my anger, frustrations and those feelings that you just wish you didn’t have.

Anyhow, this idea for a new themed journal came to me as I reached to my bookshelf for a book titled The Natural Year by Jane Alexander. I have had this book for a very long time, and although it was published in 1997 it is one I reach for again and again when looking for sparks to boost my health and wellbeing. Spring has begun in the southern hemisphere, and it always feels like a time of rejuvenation and lightness after the dark and broody winter months. I think spring is possibly my favourite season, I just love seeing new growth and it just symbolises hope of new beginnings. The cherry trees in our neighbourhood are just starting to bloom – it truly is a time of year that sparks joy.

This spring sees our family stuck in a lockdown – as I write we are on Day 44 (I think) – don’t they all just blur after a while? But I must get back on topic. I decided I want this journal to be a cross between a place where I can work on my plans and goals, but also a place to write, draw and collage my way through a period of time. That period of time will align with the seasons. I want to be able to share it online (so it’s not going to be like morning pages) and I want it to be a size I can carry with me, so that if I feel the need to write something I can. I want it to transform with me as I transform over time. That’s not much to ask of a journal is it!

From thinking and circling around all of this I decided SIZE does matter. I don’t know about how other people choose their journals, but I have found over time and through experience that the size of my journal makes a big difference to how I use it. If the focus of the journal is the writing I am much more likely to use an B6, or A5 size, but I also find the Travellers Notebook standard size too small for what I like to do. But the standard size TN’s are what I use for carrying in my handbag to make notes, and to do lists. We are so spoilt for choice on the types of journals available. And then of course there are so many options for handmade journals, and these are what really rock my boat. Anyway for this project I think the size needs to be big enough to write and stick images, but not too big that it feels like work to fill it up. I have a small Dylusions about 8 x 5, so I decided on using that.

There will be 4 sections in line with 4 seasons, and I will explore these four ideas:

  1. Spring – Season of the Body – September, October, November 2021
  2. Summer – Season of the Mind -December 2021, January and February 2022
  3. Autumn – Season of the Emotions – March, April, May 2022
  4. Winter – Season of the Soul – June, July, August 2022.

While I will do some introduction pages, I started with a Spring double page, sharing my goals for the 3 months of spring.

Spring title page

The next page are my thoughts about Ayuverda, I have been reading Happy, Healthy, Sexy by Katie Silcox. So I shared some thoughts on Ayuverda here.

The focus for the 3 months of Spring is BODY and so each month of spring I have decided to write monthly goals in line with body as the focus. For the whole spring season my overall goals are:

By the end of November be able to jog or walk 10 kilometres in under 90 minutes

To weigh less than 80 kilograms and to fit a size 14 top – (my current weight fluctuates between 82.5 and 84 kg). So this is a loss 4/5 kgs over 3 months.

For the 3 months of September, October and November I will then use the journal to define monthly and weekly goals to help me meet these targets. Here are my first 3 weeks:

It’s is pretty obvious I have decided on a colour scheme of green and yellow for spring. As with all things I do, we will see how long that lasts before I tire of the colours and move on – but for now I am happy to work in a predominately green and yellow palette.

On a different note, I had joined in for a free 5 day warm up class run by A Work of Heart, called The Creative Stretch. The idea behind the class to move from words and art to combine the story. During those sessions I created this page – which actually has not a lot to do with the topics given, but that is what I find, I do not stick to prompts very well! I decided against doing the full class, mainly because I have enough on the go, but also I am already not completing all of the Wanderlust classes, so for now, I will focus on them. There are so many online classes available at the moment, but there is not a endless source of time or money to do them. Lockdown life also lends to only snippets of time, when I can, not at specific times.

PAGE from my art journal I use for classes – inspired by Andrea from A Work of Heart and The Creative Stretch

This Monday the government will make another announcement on whether we stay in Alert Level 3 in Auckland. Right now, I fear we are still going to continue, due to the last 3 days being 45, 19 and 19 cases respectively. It’s tiring and draining and many people are talking about lockdown fatigue – for me, I am glad to have my art journaling as a hobby I can carry on with at home, between these 4 walls.

Stay safe and happy creating.


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