As much as I love to play with crafty things – both tangible and digital – I was resistant to scrapbooking for so long. I felt that if I was a scrapbooker, every photo and every event must be documented in some uniform yet embellished fashion. I felt there was a required order and structure to scrapbooking, one that required endless time and an unrepenting pledge to staying caught up. It just seemed like too much.
As I began to enter this space, I saw a lot of things that surprised me. Not only were people creating with their computers and using modern, non-ugly supplies, they were scrapbooking out of order! I’ve seen this anything-goes, scrap-where-the-memories-take-you philosophy grow strongly over the past few years, amidst calls to abandon perfection and being on top of things.
For those, like me, who love to be creative yet crave order and control, this is a mixed blessing. I can go with the flow and scrap whatever my heart sings to – but I strongly prefer to make sure all my photos are folderized and edited. I need some boundaries to feel safe and stable – as much as I love to color outside of them. To this end, I have an idea I’d like to share.
As I wondered what this almost laissez-faire attitude really meant to me and how it would manifest in my need to combine simplicity with art and life, I realized what “there is no caught up” really means. Just as many proponents of simple productivity will ask you – do you really want your headstone to say “She crossed everything off on her to-do list.” ? I’m guessing not.
In this modern age, with such a huge volume of photos in our digital archives (with meta data attached), scrapbooking is no longer about true record-keeping. It is throwing a little party for your memories, a rest stop from life’s chaos and ever-changing nature. Whether you scrap with clean lines or tons of glitter, it is a mechanism to stop for a moment and celebrate your real life in all its truth and beauty.
Abolishing “I need to get caught up” from your vocabulary requires a leap of faith, an acceptance that scrapbooking today is a journey, YOUR journey, and not a destination in itself.
Whether your journey is down a country road,
through a corn field (like mine),
or it has a secret garden entrance,
and an early morning stop near the water,
or requires strength to climb high,
bravery to ask for a hand,
or courage to find stillness,
we are all aimed in one direction.
Whether you use paper or pixels, live in Texas or Japan, we all share this journey as scrapbookers. See you along the way!