Monday, September 21, 2009

More Preaching to the Choir

An old friend sent me an e-mail asking me some questions about scrapbooking. Writing my response to her e-mail, reminded me how passionate I am about scrapbooking. Yes, I enjoy the creative outlet that it provides me. I love trying to make my pages visually appealing. But most of all, I love telling our story. And even if no one ever cares to read it, I've had fun telling it. And I can't help but believe there ARE people who will be my kids, for one.

I started "formally" scrapbooking sometime around the turn of the century. But I have always been a scrapbooker at heart. I would jot dates and notes on the backs of photos. I kept journals. I would make my own little scrapbooks by *gasp* gluing photos to pieces of paper and stapling them all together. I would slap pictures into albums that I bought at craft stores. I have always had an interest in taking photos and recording the details that went along with them. But when I stumbled onto Creative Memories, it was like I had just stumbled onto my own personal holy grail. Wow! This was exactly what I'd been looking for my entire life. And I cranked out the pages...did I ever. I pretty much scrapbooked every picture that came down the pike and I finished big, fat, thick scrapbooks like nobody's business. I gave numerous books away and I still have thirteen books sitting on my own shelves. I will sheepishly admit that those books cover a very small span of time...about a year and a half. Yes, yes, I was quite enthusiastic.

And then I had kids. The amount of photos increased and the amount of time I had to scrapbook decreased. Suddenly I found myself "BEHIND". Gradually the supplies got shoved out of the way, I found myself pulling them out less and less frequently. It was just too hard to do with all the kids. My husband had been telling me that I should just have online photo albums - and I did - but I missed the creative element of scrapbooking that I had always enjoyed. And then I discovered digital scrapbooking.

It was perfect. I could easily share my pages with others. I could do it without a lot of mess whenever I had a few minutes to myself. It was speedier - I could reuse a design multiple times. I can print as many copies of a book as I want (seems good for a mom of four). On so many levels, digital scrapbooking was the perfect thing for me.

As my enthusiasm for scrapbooking returned, I started reading books and magazines. And that drastically changed my thinking.

Ways that I've Changed My Philosophy:

I no longer buy into the concept of being "behind". I figure whatever I've done puts me ahead of nothing so now I'm always ahead. I see myself more as a family historian or a family archivist. I'm trying to keep track of our journey as effectively as I'm able to and I'm using several tools to accomplish this. I'm "journaling" our adventures in my blog. I'm taking tons of pictures and trying to take some video too. Someday I hope to revisit some of those things to put together "baby books" for the kids. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. There's no law that says I have to follow some sort of timeline and document every single thing, every single day. I just want my kids to get the "feel" for my interpretation of our lives. So now I scrapbook what I can and I feel good about it and I don't beat myself up for what I haven't done. I've also stopped thinking that I need to scrapbook every photo I take. Which is a good thing because these days I take a ton of photos! Instead I just think about the story I want to tell and then I find the best photos to go with my words. (For more on that check out Stacy Julian's book Photo Freedom.)

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