First theme review of 2024, and time to set a new one for spring!


CGP Grey – Your Theme


My winter theme was “Screenless,” although I never felt the wording was quite right. I didn’t completely abandon screens, but rather I wanted less screen time overall and for screens to feel like a reward. Fortunately there was plenty to explore: I did all kinds of arts and crafts, like making things out of my Christmas tree. I even whittled a spoon and made incense from the needles! I discovered that jigsaw puzzles are a perfect replacement disassociation activity for scrolling through TikTok or playing Candy Crush.

The theme also got me outside more, even in the wet, unpleasant winter, and I explored the slough and made new journal entries. And often I would participate in social outings when my instincts were to stay at home and play Elden Ring all day. But don’t worry, at night or at the end of a long day of screenless activities, I felt perfectly comfortable indulging in some adventures in the lands between.

I think there are certainly parts of this habit I’ll retain long term. Even right now, in the middle of binging on Balatro, I took a break to work on seedlings for my spring garden. I also picked up the ukulele again, and it turns out my cat likes me to play and sing for him.

Onto this spring, I’m choosing the theme “Community.” I’m not exactly sure it how it will manifest, I just know that I want more of it in my life. So many of my themes have been about changing myself, so it’s time to reach out and get involved with others.

It’s Theme Time!

CGP Grey – Your Theme


Apparently I completely forgot to do a summer theme review, so I’ll bundle summer and Fall up together. Summer’s theme was Joy, and it was deeply successful. Every moment a decision came up, I thought, “what will give me joy?” and boy did I experience a lot of it. I spent lots of time outside, enjoyed lots of events, got to go to events where I could perform in my masks, went BOWLING, went sailing on a tall ship, had many visitors, and just basked in my new home. The one downside of the Joy theme was the answer to the question of “should I get ice cream” was always “yes.” I REGRET NOTHING.


Moving into Fall, I decided I wanted to become more in tune with my body, listen to it more, and just be more physically present. Thus theme was “physical presence.” This was an interesting one, because it manifested in ways I didn’t expect. I expected it to get me to exercise more, and while there was a bit of that (I was more apt to get up and go for a walk because I realized I my body needed it), the biggest new habit to come out of this theme was…peeing when I actually needed to instead of holding it for a more convenient time. Honestly, it’s probably a habit I needed to develop anyway now that I’m getting older! It’s the little things.


The other big one was that I started taking a dance class. I wanted to improve my internal sense of rhythm, and it’s something I’ve always meant to do. It’s a beginner class for adults and lots of fun, and I feel like I might actually be getting a better internal metronome! 


On to Winter. My last set of themes have been all about what I want more of in my life, but this time I want to work on something I want less of. I want to try and do more screenless activities. Winter is a time where I tend to give my brain a huge rest and spend a lot of time disassociating into the phone and playing Elden Ring. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, I want to try and find more ways to use that time up in non-screen activities. To start off, I brainstormed a big list of potential screenless activities that I could engage in, and bring it up whenever I’m at a decision point of what to do next with my free time. They are:

1. Cookie decorating! I picked it up as a new hobby since I had a bunch of icing supplies from decorating sugar skulls for Día de Muertos

2. Working more on my slough journal, where I’ve been experimenting with different physical media

3. Arts and crafts

4. Wrapping presents

5. Writing physical things (like the postcards I occasionally send out to all my friends’ kids)

6. Going outside more in spite of the cold and wet

7. Reading

8. Recording more mask tiktoks

9. Mending broken things


That’s just a small brainstorm, but my hope is that I’ll find more ways to fill up little moments with more screen-free activities.

This year’s spring theme of “Movement” was a WHIRLWIND. Here’s a review and a reminder to start thinking about a summer theme.

CGP Grey – Themes

As I mentioned in my winter review, “Movement” was pushing me ahead into buying a home, which I did, and the theme carried me along through the entire process and all its associated chaos. However, this season’s experience gave me a new insight about this whole theme process altogether…


Usually I try and give a mid-season update on my themes, but not this time. That’s because my winter theme was “still.” Here’s a review of how it went, and a reminder to start thinking of a spring theme of your own.

CGP Grey – Themes

I chose “still” because the Long Dark was weighing heavy upon me, and I knew that I needed to lower all my expectations of my output. Here’s how it manifested:

The winter dreariness is setting in, so it’s time to review how my Fall theme went. As a reminder, here’s the video about seasonal themes:

CGP Grey – Themes

My Fall theme was “focus,” and I wrote a bit about how it was going in Focus – Fall Seasonal Theme Update. In coming up with a special ritual to get myself into a state of focus, I learned about how it works for me as a replenish-able resource, and a slowly one to replenish at that. Here are the ways that my theme manifested this Fall:


October is here already and my Fall theme is underway! I chose “Focus” as my theme because I was feeling full of fuel from my replenishing summer, and thought I could use it to close out a few projects. In practice I’m already re-learning my limits when it comes to focusing through on a project. In a way, I’m glad I recently reposted my Time Management for Sick People overview. It was good to have it fresh in my mind as I was reminded at how much energy focusing uses up for me nowadays.

Rather than making myself sit down to focus on a task or project x times a week, this theme is manifesting more in treating focus as a valuable resource. Basically, I have to be choosy about what I focus on, because the cost is severe compared to my past life.

Let’s break in the new blog by talking about SEASONAL THEMES!

CGP Grey – “Your Theme”

Ever since I watched this CGP Grey video about themes I’ve been hooked on them. Something about the method works extremely well for my brain, and I feel like I’ve been able to improve my life and myself bit by bit over time. That’s saying something considering most of the time I’ve been doing these has been over the course of the pandemic.

For Summer, my theme was “replenish.” I spent a lot of resources leading up to my top surgery in May, and wanted to fill up the buckets that were running low. As always with these themes, sometimes they manifested in interesting ways that I didn’t expect, but that’s what’s fun about them!

Here’s how “replenish” showed up this summer: 

Continue reading “Summer Theme 2022 – Review”