Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A custom stamp for my x-small moleskine to tracking daily physical self-care

Hiya, I'm back. I got hit by one of those gnarly colds that comes around every two or three years. Darkening your doorway, unannounced, it whacks you in the head with it's carry-on, steps over your felled body, then puts its feet on the couch and commandeers the remote for days on end. It arrived on Thursday and is just now making sounds indicating a reluctant departure is imminent.

Recently I purchased an Moleskine 2011 12 Month Daily Planner: Dark Pink Hard Cover X-Small because, like a two-year-old, it radiates CUTE and PICK ME UP, HOLD ME! Yes, you can eyeball Laurie at Plannerisms as the most likely suspect in prompting this purchase.

Every object must have a purpose, so I decided , with a smug sense of cleverness, that this teeeeeny notebook might serve as a microscopic tracker of information I've had scattered about in multiple, larger, notebooks. To wit, physical activities, choices and conditions which affect my health and energy level. These, of course, affect my sense of well-being and self-confidence. I try to optimize both as a the basis from which all other activity flows.

First, a pic of the moleskine:

Moleskine extra-small, cover

This thing is TINY and ADORABLE. It feels great in the hand. Now here's the stamp:

3 x 3 custom stamp

I ordered it through rubberstamps.net. Go to 'art-mounted stamps' and select your desired size. Mine was a 3" x 3" stamper. I created the image in Adobe Elements and then uploaded it to the site. Rubberstamps did a great job, I'm very pleased with the actual stamp and the turnaround time was quicker than I expected. Here it is from the top (it has a black, wooden, handle):

3 x 3 custom stamp viewed from above

And, now, here it is in use in the pink moleskine, for which it was designed (note the bleed-thru; imperfection reigns):

Moleskine extra-small w/custom stamp

Here is an explanation of the categories:

  1. Calories
  2. And, of course, shortly after this stamp arrived I decided to stop counting calories, at least for now; more on that another day.
  3. Offs
  4. Meaning days I eat foods not on the 'legal' list of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which I've followed for four years. It is a real godsend in combating a chronic disease with which I'm afflicted.
  5. Sleep
  6. Number of hours.
  7. Alcohol
  8. Obvious.
  9. Exercise
  10. More obviousness.
  11. Pain
  12. I was born in 1962 so I'm on the wrong side of forty.
  13. Pre-hab
  14. Measures I take to improve chronic, recurring, or cameo appearances of pain. I have the attention span of a gnat and need to remind myself that, YES, there is a correlation between using my SpinalStretch and reducing the intense pain I feel along my right, IT band!
  15. IBD
  16. Symptoms of an Inflammatory Bowel Disease flare. I have Ulcerative Colitis, one of the two IBD diseases (the other being Crohn's). This is why I follow the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Disease). Dx'ed in 1996. What a nightmare, prior to SCD. Now it's just very hard, but not a living hell.
  17. Mood
  18. Track as a way to see the correlation between mood and behavior and vice versa.

My hope is that tracking these behaviors will automate them, positively, to the point I no longer have to track them. It's a type of behavior modification. However, even if I have to use this current approach FOREVER, it's a short form and beats the pages-long journal writing I used to do to get to this point.

I've been using it like this for a few days, but found the space too cramped (very little room to write any extra bits and pieces I may want to add) and I dislike having to track/carry/remember/reach for yet-another notebook as part of my organizing arsenal. Reluctantly, I'm abandoning the pink moleskine - sacrifices must be made. Instead, I'm incorporating the stamp into my messy, dirty, Moleskine Plain Cahier Journal Kraft Pocket: set of 3 Plain Journals which I use as a daily planner (pulling the bones each day from my weekly planner). Here's a pic of the controlled chaos:

Moleskine pocket cahier as a daily planner and new custom stamp

You can see that I pulled out an old date-stamp and played with that, too. It took me awhile to realize that I had stamped '2017' instead of '2011'.

For now, I'm going with this. It's not such a bad little Christmas tree, after all.


  1. I absolutely love the idea of that stamp! You are a genious! I cannot figure out why I never thought of anything like that ...LOL
    In your defence: those XS Moles are indeed ridiculously small. I am using one for each of my kids this year, as a "one sentence/anecdote per day - diary" because that is as much as you can fit onto one page: one sentence ... ;-)
    I'm off to search the dated stamp I have somewhere. Just thought of a nice use for it.

    Thanks again for the inspiration ...!

  2. Hey, Jotje!

    THANKS for the reply, I really appreciate the feedback! I do like your idea of keeping one for your kids, what a great keepsake!

    You'll have to post back and let me know what you are using the dated stamp for.

    BTW, I'm going to the post office this morning and will send off your calendar. I already checked on-line for postage weights (and using my food scale!) and the cost is minor so you don't owe me anything. My good deed for the day. :-) Enjoy.

  3. **waves and smiles** Hellooo! Enabler here! :)

    I LOVE the customized stamp! I had no idea such a thing existed.

    I'm right with you, I adore the teeny Moleskine but I can't figure out what to do with it. I don't want to have a million separate notebooks for everything every day. Right now it sits on my dresser and gets admired from afar.

    I seriously need to get a dated stamp. Where can I find one? Will I need to order it online?

    Have you decided what to use your Minister for yet? ;)

  4. Laurie, you can get them at e.g. Staples, and most other Stationery shops. Mine had disappeared, I'm afraid. Didn't survive the many moves, and certainly didn't live through one of my Flylady-attacks ...
    I wanted to use it for my Notes-section. I now scribble the date on the pages myself, but thought it would make a nice overview and overall neat appearance if I used a stamp for the dates.

    I sooooo need to get a life ....

  5. Hi, ladies! Laurie - Jotje is right about the date stamp. I have mine from years ago when a library I worked at was throwing some away. Jotje - nothing wrong with creating mini, transitory, works-of-art. There are so many things truly WRONG in this world, enjoy the the pleasures that come your way. To paraphrase a piece of advice from 'Hair, the Musical', "Kids, be free. Do whatever you want to do, be whatever you want to be, so long as you don't hurt anybody."

  6. Oh, and Laurie! About the Minister... it just arrived today and I was tempted to write "refuse delivery" per my email conversation with the Daily Planner (nice people! I had wanted to cancel the order but it was too late) but when it arrived I just couldn't resist opening it. I took off the plastic shrink wrap but I have yet to actually look at a week's spread. I'm approaching it much in the fashion of Charlie Bucket eating a chocolate bar.

  7. I know you wrote this years ago, but I just discovered it. Love your stamp idea! If you see this comment, I'd like to hear if you're still using it.

  8. Hi, Liora!

    Thanks for your comment. No, I don't use this anymore. Some of the categories - IBD, ALC, and OFF are things I don't have to track on a daily basis anymore. Now that I'm very, very strict with my diet and alcohol intake I rarely have IBD symptoms - go figure. Obvious has always been very obscure to me. BTW, dropped by your site, very interesting!