1 Month(ish) Check-in for 2024

At the beginning of January, I wrote about starting a habit tracker to help maintain and monitor progress on small things I want to do every day. One of them was writing out entries from The Daily Stoic in an Itoya Profolio. The tracker setup was in a Lamy A6.

Daily companions, in theory.Daily companions, in theory.

For the first month it was going well. The excitement of something new and the feeling of commitment to do it propelled things for a time. The tasks were in mind at some point during each day and if I missed a day then the tracker reminded me with a visual record. I always got caught up on any missed entries with the Stoic journal. However, as January ended the momentum slowed. February started and my daily habits didn’t catch the bus.

Last night I picked up the Custom 845 to make a note in my work planner. I thought to myself I haven’t written with this pen much in the last little while. Part of the daily journal habit was to use this pen exclusively for writing there, so if I wasn’t doing that then I wasn’t using the 845 like I planned. This made me find the tracker notebook and open to the February pages.

Not the ideal record.Not the ideal record.

I stopped doing the things I committed to doing. More than that, I stopped using the system that was in place to maintain accountability. This was the result. Once a few days went by without either doing the things or thinking about them, it was down the slippery slope of out of sight, out of mind.”

Today I sat with the journal a while and wrote out all the February entries to date. This was good because I felt a sense of getting back on the horse, so to speak. It was not as good in that of I wrote out 9 days of entries without all the accompanying time to reflect on them and formulate my own thoughts in response, if any.

Sorry I ditched you, Marcus.Sorry I ditched you, Marcus.

At the outset I thought the journaling would be the easiest item to do each day. It was centered on a subject that interests me and engages my mind. It provides a chance to write with a great pen regularly and appreciate its qualities. It was meant to be a small but dedicated block of time each day to focus on myself and what’s important to me. But I let go of the rope and lost it for over a week.

One thing I told myself at the outset was that new things take time to grow and there would be bumps in the road. Here’s the first significant bump. I’m annoyed with myself but not mad. It’s more important to look at what interrupted the daily flow and find an approach that helps prevent the same from happening again. Do I need to set a daily task on my phone for this? I do it for some other things so even if they slip my mind there’s something else around to help bring it back in front in me. Do I need to pick a certain time or point in the day to do the journal? Should it be whenever I get home from work, or maybe just before I go to bed?

Now that the process has restarted, we’ll see if I take heed of the first and most obvious lesson. Whether it’s high stakes, low stakes, or something in between, saying you’re committed doesn’t mean much unless you do the thing itself.

Working On

Another project got started this week. One that wasn’t planned but feels like it was somehow years in the making. Yeah, sounds random.

The stationery hobby lends itself to ephemera and things you like that don’t necessarily need to stick around once their purpose is fulfilled. I feel this is best exemplified by used notebooks.

I’ve carried a small notebook daily at work for a long time. Once all the pages are filled the notebook has done its job. If the information it contains has no relevance or long-term value then I don’t see a need to keep it. But then part of me doesn’t want to throw it out precisely because it was a dependable daily item. Given a general desire to hang on to fewer material things, and having a hard time making that a reality, the old notebooks really do need to go. So, I throw them out save for one part.

I cut off the front covers of the notebooks and kept those. Not unlike a ticket stub from a game or concert you attended, it rekindles the memory of that time/place/experience. For several years these covers collected in a drawer, not often seen, or thought about. I came across them recently in the process of reorganizing things around my desk. I also stumbled across this.

A Peter Pauper sketchbook. I bought this hoping the heavyweight paper would be good for ink swatching. Unfortunately, fountain pen inks didn’t present on it the way I wanted. I’m not a sketcher so the book sat around without a purpose. Picking it up the other day not long after finding the notebook covers gave me an idea. What if I mounted the covers onto the pages of the sketchbook, essentially making it a scrapbook. Luck was on my side because the sketchbook pages are all perforated. If I removed every other page, it would keep the book from bulging or stressing the binding too much from the added material.

Okay, let’s see how this goes.

I like Nava's design aesthetic and their sense of humor. I like Nava's design aesthetic and their sense of humor.

This pairing predates the actual Nock and Rickshaw collaboration after Nock closed. This pairing predates the actual Nock and Rickshaw collaboration after Nock closed.

Pour one out for CWPE.Pour one out for CWPE.

I quite liked this Baron Fig set.I quite liked this Baron Fig set.

So far, so good. And then I realized there were other bits and bobs that would fit in too.

I got about a dozen pages done and wondered if the identification notes were a good idea. Some of the things say exactly what they are so what’s the point in me writing it there? Maybe a note that’s smaller and more out of the way, if it’s needed at all, is a better way to go.

Now I’m digging through drawers and boxes for the little things I kept. Can they all find a place in the scrapbook? I don’t know. I’m not a scrapbook person and have never done anything like this. It’s fun, though, to save some small part of the old things so they aren’t completely forgotten.

What otherwise disposable things are you hanging on to from writing and associated pursuits?


9 February 2024