You may not know this about me, but I LOVE scrapbooking. It combines so many things I love to do and think about that in some ways I think it has taken over my life. And that’s probably a good thing.
My own interests have been pointing me at scrapbooking for a long time. I have had my own camera since grade school, and I have been writing for just as long. I always loved hearing family stories and gossip, and I did a bit of genealogical research as well. And I wouldn’t be a member of my family if I didn’t make something with my hands. My particular bent involves paper and ink. If I can stamp on it, write on it, or stick paper on it, I am a happy girl.
The wonderful thing about scrapbooking is that it combines all those things into one big, messy, creative, expressive miscellany of personal meaning. And the thing about scrapbooking is that it is entirely personal. The reasons any of us do it, the techniques we use, the products we fall in love with, the stories we choose to tell, are all a result of our own personal inclinations and history. Which makes this a very inclusive and accepting hobby.
Which leads me to why scrapbooking is important. This is how you can tell your story. The story that matters to you. You get to decide how to present it, you get to decide what to emphasize, you get to decide how much or little to do. It’s YOUR story. And by your story I don’t necessarily mean that it is about yourself. (Although who else is qualified to tell that part of your story?)
So it’s your story. But scrapbooking is also a way to become more present and appreciative of your daily life. Think about things like Ali Edwards’ Week In The Life project. Who knew minutia could have that much meaning? But it does. It all matters. It’s all interesting and valuable, if you look at it in different ways.
Those are the two things about scrapbooking that really bring home how important it is to me. But they also help me realize how unimportant it is as well.
Living my life, and being there for my family is more important than a piece of paper any day of the week. While they may appreciate the pages I’ve made that share my love for them, they appreciate hugs, kisses and chicken nuggets a whole lot more. If I don’t share my love now, it won’t have any value to them later.
That makes scrapbooking so much easier. I don’t have to be perfect, or even pretty. I don’t have to agonize over which paper to use and how big a photo I should print. I just use what I have and go on. It’s just paper. It’s only words. And I can always go back and do another page if I don’t communicate my thoughts well the first time around.
It’s only when a page is done that it becomes love.