what i’m into – keeping me sane {august 2019}


I’m preparing this post on Sunday, September 1st! And I can’t believe that it’s September already. A lot has happened in my life last month, most of which I discussed in Now I Get It {Summer 2019} so head over there to see what’s been going on. Yes, I do feel a bit overwhelmed.  September is going to be chocked full of events and things to do leading up to those events and my tendency is to get so wrapped up and focused on the things that I have to get done that once that crunch time is over, I ALWAYS collapse and get sick from exhaustion (mental, physical, and emotional).  I hope that doesn’t happen this September and to that end, I have been working on those things that have been proven to relieve my stress.

Nurturing My Inner Artist

I commented last month, that I have begun to explore my inner artist. As a writer and in my new role as an Event Manager, I spend a lot of time inside my head.  OK, OK. I am always inside my head regardless of my work. Drawing and watercoloring have been serving as a release from mental overdrive and I have found it to be very relaxing.

And so I spent Labor Day Weekend working on a couple of versions of our house in watercolor.  I was inspired by this YouTube video by Shayda Campbell. I really enjoyed this process and painting houses so I hope to do a lot more.  If you’d like me to give your house a whirl (Obviously, I need all the practice I can get) reach out and let me know.

I also have fallen down the rabbit hole of looking at other artists on YouTube and I am really enjoying Minnie Small’s videos about the creative process.  I want to figure out a way to combine my inner writer and my inner artist together in some way.  I don’t know what that would look like but it’s an intriguing and exciting possibility.  I am thinking of snazzing up my Bullet Journal a bit more, as a creative outlet. Since, I have been using it, it has been a completely utilitarian, which has been great. It’s let me get use to the format and figure out my favorite layouts and spreads but I’m feeling the urge to do a bit more.  We will see.

Nurturing My Inner Athlete

The day this post will be the 100th consecutive day of my #shannanmoves streak.  This involved either a one-mile run or a 30-minute walk.  I am mixing it up in September and preparing for the annual Liz Hurley Ribbon Run for breast cancer in October. I don’t know if I will run the race because I am planning a trip on that weekend but I had said that I wanted to follow the Nike Training plan to get ready for the race and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t do it.  There are rest days in the plan but I believe I can still do a walk of some time to keep the streak alive.  However, for the next 6 weeks or so, it’s not about the streak. It’s about following the training plan and giving it everything I have. If I need a rest day then I shall take one.  It makes me sad that the streak may be broken but it is important for me to learn to listen to my body and give it what it needs. This includes all areas of my life, not just exercise.

What have you guys been up to? Let me know in the comments and If you have a monthly recap post letting us know what you’re into, please share it in the comments below and let your community know that you are doing so.  We do this every month, next on Tuesday, October 1.

enjoy life…

enjoy life project: konmari(ng) my mind

Re. The Bullet Journal.jpeg

When I resigned from my job at the end of 2017, I took time to rest, recover, and consider what I wanted to do with my time and my life. My son was three and I was fortunate enough to not to have to rush back into the workforce.

Since the year of my recovery (2018), I have begun to write regularly and I’ve become involved in more projects and activities (just last week I began a new role). My usual methods for keeping track of everything were not working as well as I wanted and I was looking for ways to staunch the tide of overwhelm that was threatening to drown me some nights as I reviewed  my day and agonized about what I may have forgotten.

And it wasn’t mainly those day-to-day things that bothered me.  I am a writer and I need ideas to write.  When I got these ideas, often at the most random times, I would scribble them on a Post-It, place them in an app (or two) on my phone, or in one of the three notebooks I had at the time.  I wanted a way to streamline everything into one place.  Enter, the Bullet Journal.

I was first introduced to Bullet Journaling by Anne Bogel in February of 2016.  It piqued my interest and I started doing research. I bought a notebook for my professional life and while I didn’t use the exact process, I began to use the key and signifiers to keep track of my to-do list. It was very helpful.

Skip forward to early 2018: When I left my job, while resting and recovering, I didn’t really need to keep track of my life in a succinct method.  I wasn’t doing a lot. Now I am and I have been feeling discombobulated. My brain is officially a “mommy brain” and things that I thought I could once easily remember were seemingly falling through the cracks.  It was a bit unnerving.

This month, I was given the task to look at different organizational methods for a project I was working on. I am also reigniting my love of drawing.  I started following @amandarachlee and @ShaydaCampbell on Instagram and YouTube.  They are also Bullet Journalers. So, all of this created the perfect storm and I went to Bullet Journal.com. This was the second thing that I saw:

KonMari Your ThoughtsThat was that! I ordered the book The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Campbell via Snail on the Wall. Received it, began reading it, found one of the empty journals that I had kept from KonMari(ng) my home and began.

And so begins our second EnjoyLife Project of the blog: KonMari(ng) My Mind. I’ll keep you updated.

Do any of you bullet journal? Please, share your tips, suggestions, and questions in the comments below.

enjoy life…

You can check out our first EnjoyLife Project: Creating Home through KonMari here.  I just finished most of the komono, including the kitchen and will be posting my updates soon.


6 tips and tricks for tidying paper

We are creating home for our EnjoyLife Project this year. The first step is to purge my home of the unnecessary, anything that isn’t useful, beautiful, or loved. I am using the KonMari method, developed by Marie Kondo, a Japanese decluttering guru and author of two book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up {LM} and Spark Joy {SJ}.  So far, I’ve introduced the project, discussed my criteria and completed my clothes (part I and part II) and books.

Graphic. konmari paper

As promised, I am back with my tips and tricks (from Marie and myself) for Konmari(ng) papers. Papers was, by far, the most difficult category for me to tidy. I detailed the experience in a previous post.

Clutter is nothing more than the physical manifestation of indecision. – Marie Kondo

This was never more true for me than with papers.  Most of my paper clutter was from previous lives that I have lived and wasn’t fully ready to let go.  These included the notebooks that I made when I aspired to be hip and thin.  Now I realize that the goal to be hip was probably never that attainable for me in the first place.  And thin, as I had been envisioning it, was probably even less so.  Now, I’m working to feel comfortable in my style choice and to be healthy and so anything that doesn’t pertain to this new direction was out of here.

Additionally, there were papers from my previous careers (administrative support, event planning, project management, and grant writing).  I think I kept them because I wasn’t sure whether I would be doing that work again. I have been so indecisive about the type of work that I wanted to be doing in the world and going through my papers has forced, OK, that might be too strong a word. Going through my paper has strongly encouraged me to commit to the decision of my life’s work. And surprisingly, not surprisingly, it has come down to what will “spark joy”.


  1. Bring ALL of your papers into one place. This is very important because it lets you see the sheer volume of all the papers in your home. Staring at it all, I was shocked and appalled and you will probably be surprised, as well.  My papers covered a space that was five feet long and three feet wide.  The stacks stood up to two feet high.  It was very overwhelming.  But I needed to see it-to realize in no uncertain terms how bad it had gotten and that now was the time to do something about it.
  2. Start with the premise that ALL papers will be discarded. You are only choosing what to keep. This was incredibly freeing but also incredibly scary! And to this day, I have a nagging feeling that I have discarded something that am going to need. It hasn’t happened yet, but I am waiting for it.  However, I followed Marie’s advice and kept only the papers for which there was a clear purpose. The rest (four trash bags worth) are gone.
  3. Start with papers that evoke no pleasure. Tax documents, bills, etc. These are fairly easy to deal with. Need it; don’t need it. It’s simple. I used a combination of guidelines from Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey to determine which of my financial records to hang onto. After I did those, I moved onto my other papers.
  4. Save greeting cards, letters, journals, etc. for tidying sentimental. I began to lose steam when I tried to sort things that I was truly sentimental about. I say truly, because I have had a thing for papers since I was a child. I have always had “very important papers” even when they were just literal scribbles because I didn’t know how to write yet.  My mom has a recording of me imploring my sister (ok I was actually yelling) to “get off of my papers!”  I believe I was 5 or 6 at that time. But greeting cards, letters, etc. should NOT be sorted with this category if you have a special affinity for those things and so I have saved them for the sentimental category. 
  5. Create a pending box to handle papers that need to be dealt with later, and keep forging ahead. This is important. Don’t dawdle and linger. If you are not sure, put it aside and keep pushing.  I didn’t do this a few times and lost momentum. And once momentum is gone, it is very difficult to get it back.  Not sure? Put it aside for pass number two or three.  As you keep going, you will begin to “hone your sense” and you’ll know what you need to keep. Which bring me to my final tip.
  6. If you have a lot of papers, it may be necessary to go through it in several rounds. It took me a total of three rounds to know definitively what I was going to keep and what needed to be dealt with.  And after three rounds I was able to get the stack of papers to be dealt with down to a magazine box that I use as my pending box.

So, that’s it.  If you have any questions please, do not hesitate to ask me in the comments or sent me an email directly.  I would LOVE to answer them for you.

enjoy life…