As I’ve gone on my personal journey the last few months, I’ve learned a lot about forgiveness, the pursuit of my own authenticity, and the purpose behind my bullet journal endeavors (hint, it’s not getting more done). My latest lesson is that I want to make sure I keep up my sense of curiosity and passion about the world – outside of my work and other responsibilities. And now I have a collection that will help me out with that.
Part of what I’ve learned the last few months is perhaps something you can also relate to: that we’ve invested so much of ourselves into others or into the routines of work and other responsibilities that we have lost our own energy and desire about things we were once interested in, or limited possibilities of what we could be interested in.
I’m not very old – and all my life I’ve been told the messages of productivity and efficiency. Get things done! Is that worth your time? Is it worth your money? Don’t waste your time with that! How are you making progress on your goals? … It’s all a bit exhausting, being on that hamster wheel. The byproduct of those messages is that I ended up limiting myself under the guise of productivity.
Here’s what I mean. An interesting event comes up on Facebook, or on a flier somewhere – it seems really cool but I won’t go. Why? Well, there are so many reasons you might also connect with – there might be a drive involved, a small cover fee, you’re unsure who would go with you, you’re not sure what’ll happen there…. so is it “worth it”? If my frame of “value” means productivity or effectiveness, often that answer is no. I could be grading, I could be going to a restaurant I’m guaranteed to like, do my usual thing with friends I know I like. Because that’s guaranteed to be “worth it.”
But what I’ve realized are the costs – losing my curiosity, wondering what it is I’m interested in, the possibility of new hobbies, interests, knowledge, stories, and experiences.
There were so many things I was curious about and knew random shit about when I was younger – I knew a lot about rocks, outer space, the making of Lord of the Rings, boybands, a cappella music, website coding…. and where did that go? In the midst of gathering “useful” and practical knowledge, those things get lost because they aren’t deemed as important or valuable.
But only if our definition includes efficiency and production. What if our definition was about experience, maximizing our life and hearts and not just our to-do lists?
I teach from Peter Block’s book called Community: The Structure of Belonging (2008), and he talks about changing the ways we gather. To focus on connection before content, and flip the focus of our interactions. Would a meeting be valuable if the only outcome was deepening our relationships? Eventually we get to task, because those are important, but what if connection was just as important?
So in that spirit, I made a Heart List. This is a collection that features things I want to revisit, reignite, explore, discover, and try – for no other reason than because I WANT TO. No need for quantitative value – just heart value.
Supplies featured (affiliate links): Rhodia A5 Hardcover webnotebook, Crayola broad tip marker, white uniball signo for highlights, InkJoy gel pen 0.7mm
What do you think? Am I crazy? What are some of the things you keep on your Heart List? I’m always looking for new ideas!
Grace and peace,
I absolutely love this! I’ve battled many of these thoughts here lately in regards to my new found hobbies of journaling, lettering, doodling in general – Is this really what I should be doing? What would people think if they saw me doodling? Am I being childish? And after 15 years of being a parent, I’m only just now trying to find out the things that I enjoy – not what is expected of me. I’m going to sit down tonight and really ponder my heart list. Thank you so much for this inspiration!
Thanks for sharing and commenting, Erika! what I “Should” be doing is such a plaguing question… I wish it was easier to let go myself
Thank you for tapping into my brain. You are so good at remembering to stop being so robotic about life. I start off with good intentions, then by 12:00 I’m in full work mode and forget to embrace what’s important. ME!!!!! So, thank you for reminding us! I will definitely create a Heart List today.
I TRY to get back to myself in my life – it’s hard to dig through the crazy though! Don’t be too hard on yourself 🙂
Great post! 🙂 It’s interesting how you mention that your purpose of having a BuJo is not to be more productive, neccessarely. I just started mine, but the whole time I was doing my research-prior to starting my BuJo-the one thing I kept in mind was that it will help me re-descover myself. And I believe that is the purpose of having a BuJo-to find, re-discover yourself. Staying on course with your tasks and daily, weekly, monthly goals is a bonus. In essence, you can’t really stay on track with yourself if you don’t know what makes you light up. Or you can, but instead of growing and going forward, you run around in circles; Actually, more like WALK around in circles, because you are organized and on track, right?… 😉
I am currently going through what you are describing in this post (more or less).
I so agree, Bia – rediscovering parts of me that i’ve forgotten has been amazing.
Heart list is a lovely name for those things that often only have personal value but are the things that make us interesting, keep us alive and help us evolve. Yesterday i told my best friend that I was no longer going to have 30 thing on my to do list each day. Instead I would only have a few that I would accomplish and I would have fun with them.
This world is very focused on being productive and it has produced anxiety ridden young people. When I leave the city and go to visit family in smaller towns the pace and expectations seem to slow down…I breath more deeply and I refocus and I bring this renewal home with me.
Your idea of the heart list is very timely and instead of a new years’ resolution list i will make a heart list.
Thanks for your words Jessica
Hi Julie, I completely agree. I started a similar list, but I titled mine “This Makes Me Happy” 🙂
OH I LOVE that idea, Julie. Maybe I’ll do the same and do a heart list in lieu of resolutions…
What a great idea. I think I will add this collection to my 2017 Bujo
You hit something true here, Jessica. I had some weeks of reconvalescence before me and made a list of easy things I like and might do in that time. But I had to think hard even to find more than 5 small things. I was shocked! You made me think about that again and gave me a reason why that might be so. Thank you! Enjoy your to-dos for your heart and I will look out for mine ☺
I’m 26 with tons of health issues. So when I’m lying in bed wondering what to do or explore besides Pinterest and homework, this would be a great page to flip to so I can at least exercise my mind!
[…] also want to explore new interests — a la Jessica’s Heart List — so I’m looking into courses at the community centres and SkillShare. Travel requires a […]
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