We’re not the same as we used to be

The pandemic has had a profound effect on all of us. How often did we all say, “I just wish things would get back to normal.” But as we have emerged from the pandemic we’ve all had to discover that our idea of “normal” has had to change. 

Raise your hand if you still have a hard time figuring out how time works nowadays! How often do you still catch yourself recalling an event and saying “it happened last year” only to realize that it was before the pandemic so it must have been at least 2.5 years ago? My brain is struggling with a time-space continuum turmoil and the concept of “blursday” is still lingering even though we’ve been back to normal for several months. Albert Einstein said that time is not linear but that it gets warped and rippled by gravity. Is gravity just another word for a pandemic?

Yes, I’m rambling. But if you’ve been around here long enough, you know that Stationery Nerd is known for a certain level of rambly nerdiness. 

It’s been 935 days since the beginning of the pandemic for me here in Michigan. And it’s been 631 days since I published anything on the Stationery Nerd website. I should definitely be apologizing for ghosting you … but if I’m honest, I really thought it had only been a couple of months. The pandemic really messed with my head and my life is a lot different than it was 935 days ago. 

How much did your life change in the past 935 days? Is it fully back to normal or have you carved out a whole new version of your life in this post-pandemic world? 

Wait … are we even post-pandemic yet?

Ha! I guess that’s a question for history to answer. But today is one of the first days that I’ve felt like we’re officially in a post-pandemic world. It’s different for everyone, but I suspect I might be trailing behind the rest of the world in this feeling.

But as I am making plans for the rest of 2022 and I start thinking about goals for 2023, it’s time to leave the pandemic mindset behind and take steps to create a life that becomes my new normal. I think the way to do that is to recall the things I loved before the pandemic and make sure I’m carrying those things with me into the new phase of life. 

Pam in a post-pandemic world

It’s difficult for me to separate the two sides of Stationery Nerd. One side is me, Pam, the nerdy girl who loves playing with stationery. And the other side is Stationery Nerd, the website that is home to all of Pam’s nerdy ramblings about stationery. The pandemic took over Pam’s life and didn’t allow anything in except the pandemic, which caused Stationery Nerd the website (and YouTube channel, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok) to suffer without a leader. 

Before the pandemic, I was a graphic designer with a 9-to-5 job and plenty of time and energy to devote to a side hustle and build up the great and amazing Stationery Nerd brand. 

During the pandemic, I transformed from an ordinary graphic designer into a leader in the communications department at my government job where I was on the front lines of educating the public about how to stay safe and healthy against this new virus. Instead of a normal 40-hour low stress job, I found myself working around the clock and literally putting in 70- to 80-hour workweeks and being on-call 24/7.

In the days following the “emergency” of the pandemic, my job morphed again with a promotion to the Creative Operations manager, leading the team of graphic designers, copywriters, video producers, and event coordinators. I might not be working 80 hours but gone are the days of a simple 40-hour work week. I love my new job. But now it’s time to figure out how to fit Stationery Nerd into this new life.

I Miss Stationery Nerd

I’ve missed you guys! I yearn to write those long and rambling nerdy blog posts that tell you all about the details of a new stationery treasure I came across. Diving deep into the characteristics of ink and how it behaves on different types of paper, or how well a notebook holds up to the abusive tests I put it through, or teaching you about how to do a good and proper Brain Dump and which notebook I use for mine. 

Of course, I haven’t stopped buying stationery supplies. I’m still journaling almost every day (although that wasn’t the case during the height of chaos in 2020), I still have a bullet journal for work, there are still too many rolls of washi tape and stickers in my collection, and I still buy too many highlighters, and I don’t think any of that will ever change. But I haven’t been telling you about all that stuff. 

I wish there was a way that I could just invite you all over to my house and we could sit on the floor in the living room and surround ourselves with all the goodies I haven’t shown you yet. Wouldn’t it be a blast to have a big ol’ party so we could play with paper and pens and notebooks and highlighters and…. all the things? 

Stationery Nerd 2.0

So… I’m back. Things will be a little different this time and it might take me a bit of adjustment to get back into a groove and figure out how Stationery Nerd fits into this new life that I have now. But I’m back. And I want to tell you everything!!

  • I want to tell you about the notebook I’m using every day for my personal life (Midori MD B6 Slim) and how it is keeping me on track with everything outside of my work life.
  • I want to tell you all about what that strange math formula means on the notebook cover shown in the photo above – 20×365=120.
  • I want to show you how the consistency of my work bullet journal helped me make it through the hardest experiences of my career in the past 935 days (A5 Life N33 Notebook) and how I use it as an inbox for all the stuff coming at me all day long.
  • I want to tell you about all the great new stickers I’ve designed and have for sale in the Etsy Shop, and the 30 Days of Journaling books I’ve published and have for sale on Amazon. And also what new things I have in the works for both Etsy and Amazon.
  • I want to introduce you to the 90-day Wellness Plan I’ve created for myself and how I’m using stationery to motivate me to track important areas of my health. And yes, I’m going to share the trackers I’ve created with you so that you can focus on being healthy, too.
  • I want to tell you that I binged through Chuck again – which reinforced my love of the term Nerd Herd and makes me so happy that I named the Facebook group after that reference. (Are you a member of the Stationery Nerd Herd?)
  • I want to tell you about my renewed commitment to sending a nerdy newsletter where I can share with you all the amazing stationery discoveries I make (see that big yellow box below??).

I’m sorry for ghosting you. Thanks for being faithful to Stationery Nerd even when I was silent. I can’t wait to reconnect with you. Leave a comment below and tell me what you’ve been up to and how stationery helped you make it through the pandemic, too.

Stay Nerdy!