Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This is why I don't crochet.

For me, scrapbooking is not so much a hobby as a compulsion. I need to scrapbook, but not as an artistic outlet, like an artist MUST paint. No, it's more because I am trying to prevent the past from slipping away.

When I first realized that this was my motivation to scrapbook (or make memory albums, or photo albums, whatever you want to call them) I first rationalized that it was because of my rather rotten middle & high school experience. Whenever I went to a camp or retreat where I had a blast, I'd keep a notebook with people's addresses, notes from them, and then make a list of all the fun things we did and things we laughed over. I used this as a reminder later on that not everything sucked.

Cheery, huh? A lot of those friends I kept in touch with the old-fashioned way: by writing letters. And mailing them, not emailing. Like my sister pointed out, I missed the digital age by thismuch, but I was a kid who would have been glued to Facebook. Oh wait.

Anyway, back to scrapbooking. Instead of the drive coming from misery, I realized later on that it instead came from genetics. Both of my living grandparents, Grandpa Henry (maternal grandpa) and Grandme GiGi (paternal grandmother) have oodles of photo albums with photos neatly organized, labeled and dated. I knew none of this.

But I did get a big hint from Grandma GiGi. She gave me a scrapbook after our trip to Chicago when I was in middle school, and it. was. awesome. She kept all kinds of stuff - brochures, ticket stubs, little maps with our route highlighted, and of course photos - and then said that I should keep going with it. And I did.

One fateful summer, a few years after Aaron and I got married, we went to visit his sister Stephanie in Montana. At the time, she was a Creative Memories consultant, and be the end of our visit I had sold myself on their products by reading her magazines and catalogs. I signed up to be a consultant, and started just as we moved to a new town. That summer, since I was unemployed and didn't have any friends, and Aaron was busy working, I completed two scrapbooks, redoing some of high school and early college books, and then "caught up" with our family life.

NOW, however, is another matter all together. Funny how having three kids will get you behind on your scrapbooking. I maintain a family album, one for each year (so far), in addition to a baby album for each kid. I just recently finished Leah's 1-2yr album, and THIS WEEKEND started Ben's 1-2 yr album - and did 22 pages in it! Sounds great, right? Yeah, until I tell you that was four months worth. I have a ways to go.

In addition to those 22 pages, I also worked some on our family album, which has been languishing back in August. Now September is done, but that took another 10 pages. I'm very happy with my progress, but I'd love to get caught up to at least January. When? Hopefully before August, when I'm supposed to start the NEXT family album.

The great thing about my albums is that they STAY DONE. Unlike laundry, dishes, meals, toy mess, and just about everything else in life, once I complete a page, it is something I never have to worry about again. And actually, I don't even have to remember it anymore! Because it's right there, waiting to remind me of how chubby my babies were, or how young Aaron and I looked when we first got married.

I know that those pages are going to contribute to my kids' childhood memories, also. (I mean, how many of us "remember" events purely from seeing the photos so many times?) This just adds to the pressure to stay up to date - I woudn't want them to miss out on any precious moments. This is a tish obsessive, I think. But nonetheless, I am compelled to preserve time and experiences. Someday when my kids are big stinky teenagers, I can look back and remember how sweet they were - are- right now.

Do you have the same kind of compulsion? Does it present itself in the same form, or do you have a different method to your madness?

ps - Giving away a mini-scrapbook starting tomorrow!


Noel said...

This past Saturday as I was moving photo albums to a higher location in the basement (albums with photos not used in scrapbooks), I got to enjoy memories from the past. If you think you and Aaron look young in wedding and early marraige photos now, whait till you're my wife's age :-0. Then there are those cute preschoolers who are now young women and even a pastoral intern and his wife who returned to the scene some years later.

One of the things I like about scrapbooks and blogs is that they not only have pictures, but text to go along with them. Of course we need to figure out a way to preserve the blogs so in case Google goes away some day, we still have the text....

Terri V said...

You know I got into scrapbooking a few years ago from a former co-worker and she holds workshops once a month in Fargo. I go every once in a while but now I do mine digital so I can get them done a little easier.

Lyz said...

Noel - Old photos are so perfect for some blackmail...not that I would ever do that.:)

Terri - I do have the CM software for digital scrapbooking, but can't justify using it (except for smaller gift albums) because I have such a stockpile of supplies for traditional albums! Maybe some day when I use up all those pages, paper & stickers...:)

Melissa said...

I have a blog that I update every single day with a new picture of each of
my kids and a little blurb about what they did that day. The only time I've ever missed is when I have te stomach flu - maybe 4 times in almost 5 years now. I started it as a pregnancy journal, then continued it for my distant mom, mil, grandmother and sometimes deployed husband. So, every day, I have my camera out, taking snapshots. I have it printed as a book yearly.

So, yeah, I totally get the obsessive thing!