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Everyday Tools for My Summer Infusions of Resilience



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by dr. Saby Labor in Blog
August 1, 2018 0 comments

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I currently live in the midwest, where you have each one of the seasons in all of their fullest potential. The ways in which I cultivate resilience in each season has significant overlap, however, I would like to share the tools, resources, and products I use to infuse resilience into the my life during the summer.

Getting Into the Flow

I often listen to a resilience playlist I am building on Spotify, “Resilience Tunes”. These are songs that uplift me, make me dance, smile, and laugh. They remind me of how fierce and powerful the medium of music is for social change, release, and cathartic processing. They also remind me of of joy, the fleeting nature of life, and how even silly lyrics can bring me thoughtfulness. You’re welcome to listen to the “Resilience Tunes” playlist as well. I’ll be adding new songs periodically.

In order to tune into this audio experience and tune out some of the external world, I use my earbuds or wireless headphones, depending on my vibe. If I’m taking a break for household tasks, to let my mind release and pause, like doing the dishes or vacuuming, I wear my wireless headphones. These cancel out a ton of outside noise, so be sure to let those around you know you probably won’t hear them talking to you or knocking on your door.

Writing It Out

Writing is my go-to format for creating new worlds, reflecting, or getting out the noisy lists in my head, rather than typing on a keyboard. I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember. Having the right pens makes all the difference in calling my thoughts out to play and dance on the page. I am going to share with you some of my favorite pens this summer, knowing that I will be on to the next fabulous writing utensil in a couple months. And yes, I don’t use pencils if I have any say in the matter. The grainy texture of pencil lead nearly makes me cringe (a bit over dramatic, I know).

My absolute favorite pens for daily writing, such as color coding my planner, writing notes from consultation meetings, and for daily journaling are the Pilot G2 gel pens. I bought this set of 20 colorful pens and just love them!

When I am creating curriculum, drawing a mind map of lessons for a course or workshop, or even writing content for one of the books I’m working on, I need pens that ride with the inevitable flaws that make their way to the paper. I mess up, scratch out, and start over constantly when I’m creating curriculum. It’s a vital part of my process.

If I’m free-writing I don’t worry about erasing and I’ll use my G2 pens. If I’m in an editing or fine-tuning mode, I need to erase. Crossing off words just doesn’t get the message across to my brain that we are moving on. I bought this set of 10 colorful erasable Pilot FriXion pens after trying one in the store. The erasers work beautifully! I have tried some erasable pens and they just smudged the page, but don’t disappear the marks entirely. These pens are different; they actually erase the pen marks! It’s the small things in life, like reliable, fun, and affective pens that bring me daily resilience. Seriously, these pens bring me so much confidence.

I use these colorful erasable pens to color code my research, add new notes from a different source to the same page using a different color, or simply write with a color that matches my vibe in the moment.

My Summertime Dapper Wear

Last summer, I discovered these short-sleeved button-ups on Amazon and my very generous spouse bought me two of them for birthday gifts. I fold the sleeves over twice to get the desired length and fit on my arms. I have gotten so many compliments on these shirts, especially from my queer and trans family, who are the ultimate fashion audience to please.

These shirts make me feel amazing and confident with the two-tone pattern on the collar and up the button line. The pattern options are endless! I spent a full hour browsing all the patterns when I was searching for this year’s birthday shirts. I found two that I am very pleased with.

Here’s me in one of them with my puppy nephew, Bozzi:

On to My Resilience Accessories

I don’t wear many accessories; I keep it simple. I wear a watch that doubles as a conversation-starter everywhere I go – seriously, everywhere!

My spouse bought me a Mistura watch at the Twin Cities LGBTQ Pride Festival last summer (again, for my birthday – she is so generous, right?!). These are pricey time pieces for sure, and it’s for a good reason. They sum up the importance of sustainability and craft on Mistura’s website:

“Renewable wood obtained through responsible and sustainable management, stone, textiles, reclaimed material, and leather are some of the elements used to create our timepieces. We love unusual materials, unexpected combinations, and exploration from the very beginning of each piece, to make it completely unique.”

There are tons of shapes, colors, and wrist bands. Wristbands inevitably wear down and Mistura offers a great warranty to repair or replace the wristband during the warranty.

Pace yourself when you are browsing the endless options for Mistura watches. It can be a bit overwhelming at first. I’ve made so many new connections to complete strangers because of this watch and it’s been a game-changer for networking and building community.


Getting Organized and Dreaming Big

I recently discovered the Passion Planner. I’m basically smitten over this part-journal, part-calendar, and part-planner. I’ve tried a bunch of planners over the years (so many that I should probably write an extensive review of my thoughts on each). I usually end up adding pages that I create myself to any planner that I purchase in order to capture the the breadth of my work and dreaming. With the Passion Planner, I haven’t had to do that yet.

They come in a variety of colors, academic-year and calendar-year, as well as undated calendars are options to consider. I have been seeking a planner that looks professional for meetings with institutional partners, as well as one that has enough room inside for drawing mind maps, taking meeting notes, and planning out my days, weeks, and months.

It allows me to reflect, set and track goals, plan and manage my time, focus my energy for the day and the week, as well as encourages dreaming big each week.

The Passion Planner has inspirational quotes on each weekly spread, which I am a huge fan of! I find that I take note of these messages every two weeks or so, but I love that the inspiration is available when I need it. I have been using the Passion Planner since March and I touch it at least once each day. In past years, I have lost track of my planner by mid-year, moving on to some self-made planner I’ve created or adapted using a combination of paper and digital apps to meet my needs. It is also one of the more affordable planners I’ve purchased and I’m a big fan of a good bargain.

Which organizational tools, resources, or products help you cultivate resilience?

Well, now you’ve the side of me that gleans happiness from material possessions. This tension of critically challenging capitalism and my desire for shiny things is an ever present personal struggle. We each have our paradoxes, our internal strife with contradictions, and now you’ve gotten a peek at some of mine.

For other tools and resources for resilience, check out my resources page, “Resilience, Self-Care, & Thriving”.

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