I make Project Life work around my lifestyle.
Here’s the thing. My lifestyle and how I want to do memory-keeping for my family might be different from yours. You might be more comfortable with using paper, pen and printed pictures. That is fine. With me, at this stage of my life right now, I realized that doing digital is the easiest, fastest and most convenient form of memory-keeping I can do. I was a heavy digital scrapbooker from 2005 to 2011. I have scrapped a thousand layouts, documenting my then-young children’s every move, quote and expression. That worked for me then. As my children grew older, they became more independent, spent more time away from me and had their own stories they can only tell.
The truth is, I feel there aren’t really big stories to tell most of the time.
When my youngest stepped into first grade, I was left alone at the house for the whole afternoon for the first time in 6 years. While it might be heaven for some, it wasn’t for me. Scrapbooking became a chore and I felt that there wasn’t anything left to “scrapbook” anymore.
But the little stories, I realize are the big stories.
While there aren’t any cute pictures to take, adorable expressions to document, there are big little things too. The noticeable shift of maturity, the struggle towards change, the rekindled closeness, the trials, successes – the sit-down dinners. Those stories usually aren’t accompanied by a photograph. Most of the times, my kids don’t want to get their pictures taken anymore.
So I take in little details.
The food that we eat, the books they read, the shows they obsess about, the clothes they wear. The current state of their rooms. Their social media updates.
That’s how Project Life comes in for me.
I take note of all the little big things. The shifts. The tender triumphs. The lessons. Literally, the little stuff of everyday and put them together.
Sometimes I feel like what I am doing doesn’t matter.
…you only get to see that it is worth it at the end
Whoever you are doing this for, they will appreciate it. Promise.
Having experienced loss in a family, I deeply appreciate emotions a photograph can give, the memories it can make me remember. How I wish my mom, or my grandma, or someone in the family, did this for us.
My kids now do their ways of memory-keeping.
My youngest does her own Project Life album about random stuff she likes while my eldest doesn’t really “scrapbook” but loves to hear stories about family and makes an effort in school projects that involve family history.
They are also avid fans of the albums I make. (and the biggest critics).
Memory keeping now is a family effort.
I am grateful for a husband who doesn’t mind taking many angles of the same shot or have us wear color-coordinated clothes during occasions. He even tells me to take pictures! My eldest is 14 – he has his own life separate from ours already so I ask him to share what is comfortable to include in our albums.
The sum is greater than its parts.
When you approach Project Life, look at the big picture. Visualize the end of what you are doing. Work towards it but make it fit your lifestyle. Memory-keeping shouldn’t be separate from how you live. The real balance is how you ensure memories are documented while still making memories.
I am Project Life.
It’s not just memory keeping anymore. It’s a way of life.
Project Life is a memory-keeping system designed by Becky Higgins. As part of the Digital Creative Team for 2015, I will be sharing my process on doing Project Life. I don’t blog in detail, but share snippets of how I work and document memories through my Instagram. You can also sign up for my newsletter.