Monday, January 12, 2015

One Little Word

You may have seen Ali Edwards' One Little Word classes. She's been doing this for the past few years. I looked into it a bit last year, but decided not to take it on because I had so much on my plate and I was in a transition period with my scrapbooking. I wasn't sure if I wanted to stay with traditional or convert to pocket. I have since made the decision to go with pocket scrapbooking for everything with the except of my Title Pages. Some of those won't be 12"x12", but most will.

From what I gather from Ali's blog, One Little Word is about your daily life. I haven't signed up for her class. I thought about, but after talking about it with people who have taken it, I decided not to take it. If you love Ali's handwriting, you may really like it. I am not really into other people's handwriting in my scrapbooks. I struggle enough with journaling in my own handwriting so I don't want to add someone else's to the mix. Maybe once I get to the point where I'm not bothered by my own handwriting in my albums, I'll give into other handwriting being in there. I don't mind family and friends' handwriting on things like cards, pictures from children, notes, etc. I'm getting better with journaling in my own handwriting!

One thing I have started doing to add to my pages is to find information. What does that mean? Many of my photos are from traveling. I love touring historic homes and nature sites so those make up the majority of my photos. I have started to really keep track of where we went. I save all of my brochures, tickets, and memorabilia from wherever I go. Once I print the photos and scrap them, I spend time on Google and research the places I've been. I include things I think are important to know about where I was. It's amazing how quickly our minds lose this information. I will share this in more detail in a future blog post.

So I have been working on my journaling! When I did traditional scrapbooking, I absolutely hated journaling and wanted no part of it. It's interesting how my attitude has change when I changed my style of scrapbooking. I am actually enjoying looking up information about places I've been. It's like I get to reminisce and go on a mini vacation while scrapbooking. I'm also realizing how fortunate I have been in my travels especially for someone my age. I know people twice my age who have never really left the town they grew up in! I feel so sad for them. There's so much to see and do out in the world!

I've made several big changes to my personal life in the past year. Scrapbooking and paper crafting is a huge part of my life. I was unhappy with this aspect of my life. I felt like I was buried in photos, papers, and embellishments. I really had too much stuff and had no idea where to begin. I would get so frustrated and just give up. There was a period of time where I actually considered giving up scrapbooking or going completely digital. I really wasn't digging the idea of digital. I like digital and the pages I've seen and made are nice, but I didn't want to be glued to a computer for hours on end and what would I do at crops? I love going to crops and it's rare to see someone doing digital at them.

I knew something major had to change. My unhappiness couldn't go on. If it meant selling all of my scrapbooking supplies, then I was prepared to do just that. I decided to go through every scrapbooking related item I own and part with items I have never used and owned for years and the items that just no longer fit my style. This was before I started pocket scrapbooking. It took me a few months - literally - to go through every single item. I had a major scrapbook sale once I completed this task. I plan on having another scrapbook sale in the spring. Yes, there's that much left!

I felt relief when I cleaned everything scrapbooking out. It was desperately needed. Parting with items was tough. For some items, it was like saying goodbye to an old friend. For other items, it was like bye bye....who cares? I made a deal with myself that every 2 years I will go through every scrapbooking related item I own and see if I need them still. If I haven't used an item in 2 years, it is going unless there is a big plan for it. I do have some items that I purchased for big things like Sheba's last day when we took her to a park and Milo's last months. I haven't been able to scrapbook those moments, but I am putting together a plan of action!

One thing that I recently decided to do that has shown me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel is to no longer randomly print photos and scrapbook whatever moves me at the time. Several years ago, when i had only a handful of digital photos this methodology worked just fine and dandy. now that I have around 100,000 photos, it's not happening and I'm getting nowhere. I just end up buried and frustrated. So starting this month, I am going to print all of my photos every month. In the beginning of February, I will print all of my January photos and I will scrapbook them in order! Crazy, I know! :)

What about 2003-2014? And what about the printed photos from film (remember that stuff?) Well, I start organizing my 2014 photos and getting them sorted by month, then day, then by which sites we saw. I print all the photos by quarter. My first printing of 2014 will be all the photos from January through March. I will scrapbook them once I have completed my 2015 monthly photos. Does that make any sense? I will slowly work backwards after I keep up to date the current going ons.

After making these big changes to my scrapbooking life, I felt relief. I'm no longer drowning under my favorite thing. Scrapbooking really is my life. Scrapbooking is part of my life every single day of the year. Even when I'm on vacation and far from my supplies, I am thinking about what to use to scrapbook today's photos or what I need to order to complete the pages with the photos I took today. I also look for scrapbook stores whenever I travel. I'm also on the hunt for brochures, maps, schedules, advertisements, stickers, tickets, menus, and whatever memorabilia I can find to add to my scrapbook albums. I bring all of these items home with me and sort them by state in zipper bags. These items are never shipped home not matter what. Often times when we fly somewhere for a trip, we have to ship a box home because our luggage is full or there are items not allowed in carry on so we just ship it home. These items are put in my laptop carry on bag and that never leaves my sight.

So what does all of this rambling have to do with One Little Word? Surprisingly, a lot. Remember me saying how unhappy and frustrated I was? Those two words appeared far too often in my life. So I decided I needed to make several changes. This all leads to my One Little Word:

Yes, I am going to be happy this year! I am going to figure out what changes need to be made so I am happy every day. No, I don't have to walk around with a goofy smile, be phony about it, or just fake it. I truly want to be happy in every aspect of my life. I want - no need - to be happy with my scrapbooking. This is my job! Who enjoys being miserable while working? No one I know. Who wants to be unhappy every day because they're frustrated with something that goes on every day of their life? No sane person!

I need to be happy. Don't we all?

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