When I was young, I collected little pieces of daily life in a scrapbook of sorts. I had one of those old bound books with the blank pages and a trusty roll of scotch tape and in went everything from badges to receipts to postcards or bracelets we had made. Two pieces of tape a little handwritten note later and I was thrilled to have my own version of memory-keeping and saving the important stuff.
When I started scrapbooking again in college, it was because it was fun. I was pre-med in college and needed a creative outlet that would let my brain's right side get in on the action a little bit. I even managed to get a part-time job in a little local scrapbook store to pay for gas and college textbooks. I started teaching classes there and even managed to get published in scrapbook magazines a time or two. It was fun and the scrapping industry was booming!
Fast forward to now and here I am married raising three children and the opportunities for photos and scrapbooking are more than I can manage most days. Not to mention the products...oh my goodness...how do we keep up?! New collections, the newest trend, design team this, and YouTube that. Not only do we scrapbook now but we decorate planners and art journals and even our daily to do lists. Where does it end?! Since when does my grocery list require a work of art depicting every item? Why can't my to do list be just that...a to do list and a messy, marked up success story for what I accomplished today?
I think that in this world of too much it is important to remember why we document and why we memory keep. It isn't just to keep up with the latest trend or embellishment. It isn't to learn the packaging technique or have to start watercoloring when we hate messes. We all document for different reasons but the foundation still remains the same as it was when I had my scotch tape as a child. To remember. To preserve. To leave a trail of bits and pieces that shows how our lives develop. So, in the world of You Tube videos and design teams and the never-ending pressure to create magnificent works of art, I challenge you to remember that the most important thing is just to document. No matter your style, no matter your talent level, no matter your life reality. Don't feel intimidated because you don't think your work will be "as good" as someone else. Sometimes inspiring others in the way that I want to means telling people to breathe and remember that if you are documenting that is truly all that matters. Your families, friends, and even future generations will care more about your stories and your trail of memories than the visual triangle, embellishment clusters, or exact shade of enamel dots used. I promise!