Decade in Review

My original plan was to reflect on the decade in my bullet journal. Once I saw the list, I felt proud and accomplished. I decided to Tweet them out over NYE and NYEE. Now, I’ve decided to immortalize them here.

In no particular order and only the publically-safe ones…here are the things that changed (good and bad) in my life over the past decade.

  •  Earned PhD
  • Became me
  • Found a partner
  • Became a leader
  • Became a godmother
  • Rescued a dog aka my love
  • Great friends
  • Traveled to London x2
  • Fell in love with Belgium
  • Saw George Michael in concert in Antwerp before he died
  • Saw Tom Petty in concert at KAABOO before he died
  • Saw Imagine Dragons when they played a tiny wine tasting  just before they made it big
  • Created a plan for the next decade
  • Was a strong daughter to my mother as she slowly died
  • Chose a family I wanted
  • Gained way too much weight
  • Still look younger than I am
  • Got some grey hairs
  • Fell in love
  • Learned to sail
  • Presented at ~6 conferences
  • Went to Canada and Mexico more than once
  • Traveled to the southern hemisphere – Buenos Aires
  • Made friends on Twitter and then met them in person and proved the world is kind
  • Trusted people and was correct to
  • Built an amazing personal learning network
  • Sold a house for profit
  • Joined the 6-figure club
  • Returned to art with photography
  • Loved camping
  • Meditated, did yoga, and learned to be mindful and minimal
  • Was happy

Definitely the best decade of life so far.




BuJo Reflections – What I learned?

I started my first ever BuJo (bullet journal) in July 2019. I’ve tried various forms of diaries and planners over the years–both paper and electronic. This is the first one that has ever stuck!

I do my own flavor, as most BuJo-ers. The notebook is not a dot notebook; it’s lined and spiral. I don’t go my calendar year. I’m going until this notebook is full. I start from the front with monthly things and lists (my reading list, for example). I start from the back with collections (notes from books and conferences).

I absolutely love it. I feel less stressed and more accomplished. More centered and organized. I left it at work one night recently. I seriously considered driving the 20 miles back to the office to get it. I talked myself down since I would be mostly asleep and then I’d be reunited. I gave it a hug the nex morning!

I’ve watched countless YouTube vids since July. I’ve talked to people about it. I’ve bought washi tape! I have more colorful markers than I did in July. I’ve tried multiple layouts for weeks, months, and year-at-a-glance. Different habits have been tracked or not since July.

What I have learned?

  1. I prefer traditional rolling dailies.
  2. I enjoy month-at-a-glance and year-at-a-glance.
  3. I like a bit of color and decoration but I cannot do the uber fancy themed things. No interest in that.
  4. I don’t like to capture all my work meetings–that’s for Outlook.
  5. I get a fantastic dopamine rush from completing tasks and coloring in habit trackers.
  6. I’m looking forward to getting a dot notebook!
  7. Sketch your plan in pencil and then use the markers.
  8. Stabilo erasers are required.
  9. I really do re-read and look back at it.
  10. Fountain pen writing smears when you highlight it.

What’s next?

  • January 2020 is laid out. It was not done in rolling dailies. I have a variety of boxed layouts.
  • February 2020 is begun. It will be rolling dailies.
  • I started a 50×50 list (~14mos until I hit the big 5-0). Could only think of 20 things, one of which I already decided wasn’t important.
  • I am ramping up on the commitment and habit tracking in the BuJo. I’m ready and eager!


Self-Dev: Orchids & Why WIIFM now?

I’ve been buying, enjoying, growing, and killing orchids for at least 20yrs. This year, I have reached a new level of orchid ownership: I learned how to care for them, why they die and how “Big Orchid” sets us up to fail.

As an L&D nerd, I’m wondering why now? Why do I suddenly care enough to learn and change my habits of buying, enjoying, and killing?

  • Self-directed: we all know self-directed learning is a driver in adults converting a task into long-term memory. The why, the WIIFM. With orchids, I have chosen my entire field of study including my instructor (Michael’s Orchids on YouTube).
  • Attention: the orchids have had my attention for about 2 decades. Now they have my attention to help them live their best possible life. I think for me, this has accidentally bumped into my growth (ageing) into appreciating nature more and my move to minimalism. Old me saw orchids as flowering centerpieces to collect and discard. Today’s me sees them as a challenge to my (green thumb) skills and something to concur. I don’t value disposal things anymore either.
  • Transformative: Michael, my unknowing instructor, has challenged my previously held notion that orchids bloom and die. In a video, he taught me how “Big Orchid” sets us up to fail with the peat moss, mildewy, root clump. Who knew! (Big orchid is a tongue in cheek phrase that I am using.) Michael has excited me which makes me share which aides in converting to long term memory. I’m excited by learning that it is not all my fault that they die which increases my attention, which aides to the transformative of me, my learning, and my skills.
  • Emotion: Orchid flowers literally spark joy for me. And I have mentioned that I’m excited by the rewards of my orchid care? I have one that is in full bloom and another growing an impressive bloom spike! This makes me more excited…I see the flowers of my labor and I want MORE. This aide my transformation and ups my attention even more.
  • Spacing: This is the biggest thing that I don’t think we do well enough at work. But here, in self-directed land, I tend to be a bit of a weekend orchid warrior. When do I drill holes in the pots? On weekends. When do my deep inspecting and flushing? On weekends. When I started with the orchid rehab process, it required doing a tea bath for a day and dry for a day, repeat until the leaves are fully hydrated. Orchids are living creatures. And like humans, sometimes they need to dive in deep to the tea bath and then take a break and focus on something else. Then dive in again to the tea bath. This is what I don’t think most of the industry does well with adult learning. Budgets, time away from home or job, and waining attention levels mean we tend to get in and get out. But how does that lead to transformation, long term memory, and the deep reward of flowers? It doesn’t. When the learning does sink in, I wonder what else aided it or if it was a fluke.

Why now for me?  A combination of interests running into each other.

What makes it work? Desire, attention, efforts, spacing, and seeing rewards/

How can you do this in your L&D world?

Data: OKRs

I’ve mentioned that one of my goals for this year is to bring meaningful data to my team’s work. We have a bunch of data in Axonify. We have spent years measuring butts-in-seats and Level 1–which usually told us we needed more chocolate donuts. Not kidding. But what does meaningful data that shows we’ve helped move the needle look like?

The lines of business (LOB) are using stoplights, big hairy audacious goals (BHAGs), and talking about OKRs. Leadership is all about Measure What Matters. I started to buy the book and then I found the condensed video version! Productivity Games is an awesome channel!

I’ve been running work life through my head and journaling in terms of essentialism. I didn’t know it was essentialism, and perhaps someone would disagree with my interpretation. I mentioned before the time management course I took on LinkedIn Learning said to block 40% of your work week to do what your leadership thought made you special, different from other candidates. Why were you hired into this role? Do more of that.

For me, I think it is mentoring of the team, analysis, and measuring what matters.

And we’re back to OKRs. LOBs are setting BHAGs and measuring against quality and quantity. The next phase of journaling is to develop a BHAG, objective(s) to get there, and key results that look at quantity and quality.

Now I return to my journal.


KonMari: Garage


When we combined houses in September, we couldn’t even get everything in the house and garage. There were boxes lined up in the driveway. We had three vehicles and one motorcycle. We had enough Costco-purchased TP, paper towels, and tall kitchen trash bags to last us three years.

Seven months later…the garage is done! Shelves are added up to the ceiling, overhead storage hangs just above the garage door line, and we have only two vehicles. We still have a couple of years of TP, paper towels, and trash bags. But the paper products are stored in a single spot. The biggest and best part…my car is parked in the garage again!

Shelving everywhere! 

You might notice a few things that still need sorting. The work area on the left is storage for random things so M has no place to work. The tall, white boards in the center back are for the next project–more on that later. The blue-taped, amber-ish boards on the right by rubbish bins need rehoming.

We gave away oodles of moving boxes and quite a few Sterlite bins yesterday. Posted on Fb Marketplace and bam! Gone in a few hours.

This is what happens when you live with a project manager who is the son of an engineer.

Capsule challenge

My closet as of April 6, 2019

So that’s my closet. Yesterday was the 10th and final day of a 10×10 capsule challenge. I was so ready to be done. I was done after day 5. It wasn’t even 10 straight calendar days–it was 10 business days. I choose tops poorly. I picked all my new faves, which were all patterns and resulted in hard to layer with the other items I selected.

According to the Cladwell app, this pic has 71 items in it. That’s my Work It capsule. Shoes included. This pic has way more than 71 items in. The far left, higher rod contains clothes from pre-gallbladder surgery when I was 20something pounds lighter, and swimsuits that fit. The left of the main rod contains oodles of tees that are in Cladwell but not in my Work It capsule. Work It is work clothes. And there are shoes on the floor of the closet not pictured.

I’m excited to have 71 items for Cladwell to build outfits from. Well, part of me. The part of me that started the minimalism journey wants to pair 71 down to about 30-40 items. Meaning, 5-10 bottoms, my 3 dresses, 5 pairs of shoes, 8 top layers, and 20ish tops. So that’s my next step in the process…as things wear out or size out…cut this picture in half.

We’ll see what it looks like in April 2020!

Minimalism – a journey

28 days ago, I posted about a bunch of personal learning topics. I’ve spent much of March watching minimalism videos, camping with no water/electric/toilets/cell signals, finishing TWO books, and #konmari-ing stuff. I am 48 now. I made $118 selling things I no longer need on eBay. I am much happier and feel lighter. I supported a friend through an incredibly unbelievable and tough personal time. It feels good to be on the other side of that (for all of us).

And that spring has sprung helps too!

Suggested YouTube Channels

I’ve subscribed to a number of minimalist channels on YouTube. I thought I’d share some of my more favorite ones:

Minimalism Update

Basically, I’m slowly going all-in on minimalism. My biggest bad habit yet to break is when dining out (an infrequent activity) to remind the waiter that I don’t want a straw even brought to me. I feel like once it is out at the table, it’s done for. Can’t return to the pile.

We’ve recently used up the last of the Ziploc bags and we did not replace them! I saw M going for a snack-sized bag (we still have a box) for granola the offer the day. I offered him a small plastic container instead.

It’s definitely a journey to get to where we need to be for boat life in 4 years. I look at some items, like my beloved orchids, and think: okay, you can stay with long haul but you’ll need to be in a wooden orchid basket, not the ceramic pot. But do I need to do that now? No, I can enjoy my white ceramic pots until splash time comes. Who knows?! Perhaps the orchid won’t even still be around by then!

YNAB Update

My money is 62 days old. That pleases me greatly! I like I can’t even express! I’m wondering if 100 days is possible. I’ve added a page in my bullet journal to track.

I also figured out something that I was doing wrong for the past 3mos. I was incorrectly categorizing my income. DUH! No wonder my reports weren’t helpful. All fixed and ready to do it correctly in April.

Two of my beloved orchids. One bloomed this year!

Next up on the journey…attempting to take-in a pair of pants. Sewing has never been my thing–perhaps it could even be called my enemy. Hitting some of the harder items in my #konmari-ing. The sentimental items.