The Memory Keeping Attitude

Thursday, November 20, 2014

When asked how long I have been taking part in Project Life, my answer is always the same: I began when I became pregnant with my son in mid-2012. But that's not the whole truth, not really.

Though it was in July 2012 that I got my first taste of Project Life, I've been a scrapbooker since a young age.  Only my friend Jennie, my mother and my three closest cousins will remember this, but I used to create what I called "Anything Books." These books contained, you guessed it, anything from magazine clippings to lists of my favorite songs scribbled in my ever-changing juvenile handwriting to letters back and forth between friends. They were usually created in coil notebooks and covered in photos of the Backstreet Boys or Freddie Prince Jr and went with me everywhere.  

2015 will be my third year documenting with Project Life. I'm often asked how I stay motivated, and how I find the time and energy to scrapbook. The simple truth is this: I have the right attitude.

I love pocket scrapbooking. I knew from the first page I completed that it was going to stick. Why? Because I'm obsessed with capturing life's moments on camera. I have been since I picked up my first camera when I was still in the single digit age group. I'm even more obsessed with recording life on paper, beginning when I purchased my first ever journal way back in 1992. 

This place right here - Project Life, where words and photos intersect - this is where I belong. This is where I want to be, because I truly love it, and because I truly feel as if I have a million stories to tell. My story, the story of my family and our days is special because it is our life and no one else's. No one else in the world is doing exactly what we're doing, loving what we're loving, becoming who we are becoming. This is our story and our story alone, and that makes it worth documenting. 

Memory keeping is not a chore. It's not something meant to frustrate you or make you feel guilty. It is a gift that you are giving yourself, your family, and anyone else you share your albums with.

You can buy all of the supplies and you can tell everyone around you that you're going to start Project Life, but if you don't step in with both feet and the right attitude, you won't be successful.

Anyone can do it, I am not the exception to the rule. I simply have the right attitude: the memory keeping attitude.

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  1. This. Is. Fantastic. I couldn't have said it better.

  2. I always try to explain to people why I do it, and it never really comes out this well said:) Project Life is sticking with me much more than frustrated me that I did all that work to get one photo on a page! This way allows for what I really love too...the photos and our stories.

    1. I still cringe when people ask me what I do for fun, and then I squeak out a "I love scrapbooking" and wait for the inevitable look... lol

    2. oh I's crazy the stigma it has.

    3. I know! The word scrapbooking makes me cringe. Can we come up with a new word that is more modern, and hip? ;-)

    4. I really love to use the word documenting. Because no matter if I'm writing in one of my journals or doing project life...that's what it is. Documenting:)

  3. Beautifully said, Rach.

    I too am often asked how I find the time for scrapbooking my family's life BY THE WEEK and I can never explain it quite right. But this here? This is golden.

  4. Yes, attitude is so important. Well written Rachel.

  5. Totally agree. My mom and I drove for 10 hours together recently and realized we have fundamentally different views about memory keeping. She simply does not care nor thinks it's important. Which, of course, baffles me! But yeah, I think that our lives are worth documenting- even and especially the little things. Well said, Rachel.

  6. I loved this post. I have read it like three times. I think I will be keeping it for when I feel discouraged :)
    Backstreet Boys and Freddy Prince Jr... I have been there too! You made me laugh hard :D
    Yesterday, I was teaching a workshop and some of the girls asked me about Project Life. They never heard about it and they were really amazed with the fact of documenting every week or every month of our lifes...I couldn't explain them why it keeps me so excited... I just LOVED it. I gave it a try and I couldn't leave it.


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