Bullet Journaling

Mar 29

Bullet Journaling

RhodiaI respect the bloggers that have the disciple to write weekly or even more often. Many bloggers even earn their living with monetized blogs. Not me.  I don’t blog to get more readers. I blog for fun and to “stuff” share with family and friends.

This month I will tell about a new experiment in organizing my life. It is a Bullet Journal. It is a simple and flexible way to keep track of daily to-do lists, monthly tasks, future plans as well as goals and planning efforts. I won’t detail the steps because Ryder Carroll, the inventor explains it nicely in this video. It replaces fancy planners and calendars. All you need is a notebook and a pen.  I have used so many types of planners over the years, that it is refreshing to do what I want without being forced into someone’s else’s structure.

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Blizzard of 2016

Jan 31

We survived the blizzard of 2016. We were safe and warm at Charlestown Retirement Community. Over 150 employees stayed on campus for 72 hours keeping the roads clear, shoveling out the main entrance, and keeping  the dining services going for our regular meals.

So many employees went beyond their job description and made our life pleasant. We never lost power which made it much easier for us.

The video library reported that 134 videos were rented on Friday which meant residents were prepared for a quiet weekend.

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Christmas is Coming

Dec 18

shelf decoratingDecember is the time for family, shopping, baking, and the anticipation of presents on Christmas. Or that is what the TV ads portray about Christmas.

Christmas is one day on the calendar, yet November and December is all about Christmas.  Have you noticed that Merry Christmas is coming back after the years of the “politically correct” Happy Holidays?

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In Touch With Nature

Aug 31

secret gardenGet in touch with nature is many times suggested as an antidote for what ails you. I have a “secret” spot where I do just that. I like people, but I also like solitude. I found my spot close by the St. Charles apartment building where we live. It has a water feature with a small fountain in the middle. The preformed plastic pond is surrounded by flat rocks so it looks like it was a natural pond (almost). Someone has added two statues of St. Francis on each side. A new ceramic frog also turned up this year. I seat on the bench in front and enjoy the sound of running water, the shade of the tree overhead, and the privacy of the spot.

Actually there are many places around the Charlestown campus suitable for a pause that refreshes. There are benches under shade trees in many locations. A special area that is set apart from the rest of the campus is the Memorial Woods and Memory Walk. An area by the front gate was set aside for the planting of trees dedicated to family members who had died. Now the brick-lined Memory Walk curves through the trees.  Dan and I donated a brick in memory of my parents in 2013. There is a dedication of new bricks in the Memory Walk in the Spring and again in the Fall. The grounds here are beautifully maintained by a dedicated grounds crew. And I don’t have to lift a finger to weed, fertilize or prune.

IMG_1659 IMG_1515

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Apple Watch Two Months Later

Jul 21

apple watchI have had my Apple Watch since May 13. As an early adopter, I know there may be an issue or two in its use. All in all, it does more things than I thought. Some of these include:

  • Directions. When I set the map app on the iPhone to find a location, I get taps on my wrist for right and left turns.
  • Control Apple TV. It is easier to swipe the watch face to do a search and select the channel or movie I want to watch.
  • Motivator: The activity app signals me to show my progress of standing and walking throughout the day. I like to see the red and blue circle close at the end of the day. I can set the calorie count I want to burn. I have a stretch goal, so I don’t always make it. I make the standing goal. Sometimes I have to get off the couch to do it.
  • Photos: The iPhone has a self-timer that works very well. Now it works even better. I set the iPhone on a flat surface, open up the camera remote app on the watch, see the image that the phone sees, and tap my wrist. Magic!
  • Weather Report: I have a metrologist on my wrist with the Dark Sky app. I get the temperate, the forecast, sunrise and sunset times, the wind, visibility, humidity, dew point, barometric pressure and UV index with two swipes.
  • Notes and Reminders: The Siri function works very well to add reminders and dictate short notes. I don’t need to carry note paper or pen anymore.

Of course, the Apple Watch has a calendar, contacts, texting and phone call features that you would expect. Several iPhone apps are available on the Apple Watch, so a tap of the Digital Crown gets me access to:

  • Evernote
  • Photos
  • Passbook for Apple Pay
  • Music
  • Twifferrific
  • Keynote
  • MyFitness Pal

WatchesI think I am the only resident that has one. I did see two other watch owners when we were in Las Vegas the same evening. One was an Apple  app developer, the other was our server when we ate after a show.

All in all, I have pleased with my purchase. By the way, it does tell time with a variety of changeable watch faces. I will match the color to the clothes I am wearing when I use the modular face.

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Festina Lente

May 30

Logo aldusI first saw this phrase in a blog post on April 27. I made a note to write about that thought, but unfortunately I did not write down the source. Here I am over a month later, thinking about what it means. I knew it has been used before. I struggled to remember my high school Latin. I gave that up quickly and turned to my favorite research tool—Google.

The first search result referenced the Urban Directory. I was not expecting that. Here is their definition.

To do things the proper way instead of hurriedly and heedlessly; to see urgent things through in a thorough manner.

Translated from Latin to English, festina lente’ means literally ‘make haste slowly‘; this translation also sounds a lot better than ‘hurry slowly’.

Wikipedia offers a more intellectual explanation. I knew the expression had been around for a time. But I was not aware of the back story.

It goes back to the classical Greek as an adage and oxymoron meaning “make haste slowly” (sometimes rendered in English as “more haste, less speed”. It has been adopted as a motto numerous times, particularly by the emperors Augustus and Titus, the Medicis, and others. The Renaissance printer, Aldus Manutius, used the emblem of the dolphin and anchor that has been used since Roman times to illustrate the adage. The photo [above] is of his printer’s mark.

Another search result sent me to Chapter Four of Karlin Sloan’s book Smarter, Faster, Better: Strategies for Effective, Enduring, and Fulfilled Leadership. She writes,

“The intent of the phrase is that activities should be performed with a proper balance of urgency and diligence. If tasks are overly rushed, mistakes are made, and good long-term results are not achieved. Work is best done in a state of flow in which one is fully engaged by the task, and there is no sense of time passing.”

As I pursued the search results, I found the following:

  • a non-profit organization in Wicklow, Ireland providing equestrian & horticultural related services for people with special needs,
  • a guest house in Johannesburg South Africa,
  • a Blogger site detailing travels,
  • and a coffee house in Amsterdam.

I decided Festina Lente can mean whatever you want it to mean after seeing these sites.

Why did that phrase resonate with me? I am “retired” so what does this mean to me. Since I am active in the Residents’ Council, too many times concerns and issues come up that seem to need some immediate action or resolution. But in most cases, we need to slow down and think about the long-term effect on actions that are taken. As I continue my leadership role, I need to remember this adage that has stood the test of time. Now let me hasten slowly to finish my To Do list before the day ends.

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