Saturday, August 9, 2003    


Let Me Count The Ways.....

By:Beth A.

Why do I love scrapbooking? I think my answer reflects the feelings of many who do: there are so MANY reasons!

I only started scrapbooking late last spring, but the positives it has brought to my life in such a short time seem amazing for one little "craft". Let me try to describe some of them (in no particular order).

First: my photos are actually starting to be seen! I have been a collector of family and other photos my whole life, but most of them live in boxes, or the lucky few in boring photo albums. Without description or context, and certainly without being viewed very often (if at all), these hundreds of wonderful, meaningful moments lie unappreciated. Little by little, these photos are coming out of hiding, showcased by their stories and presented in colorful, creative ways. It seems no one can now escape being subjected to my memories, as I just HAVE to show them off each time I finish a page. But even though non-scrapping friends may be forced to endure, at least these photos have become accessible, not only now but down the road for future generations. No one will have to dig to the bottom of a shoebox through unmarked myriads to find the bent-cornered, yellowed only copy of a special picture by the time I'm finished!

Second: the feeling of productivity! Even on those days when I can't seem to get ANYTHING done, working on a page for fifteen minutes makes me feel like I've accomplished something important. Seeing the progression from the disorganized piles to the visual story, even in steps, is a very satisfying prospect. And I look forward to completing the next step every time.

Third: the excuse to get in contact with estranged family, or to have meaningful discussions with those I've always been close to. Sometimes chatting online or long distance about nothing, just to talk with the person, is less than fulfilling. Having gone through many photos taken in other lands and times, however, gives me lots of questions to ask, which seems inevitably to bring up many MORE interesting topics and tales. I may be getting to know people I've always wondered about, or simply finding out the secrets of people I've always thought I knew! My life is enriched in these ways before I ever sit down to scrapbook a page.

Fourth: the exercise for my brain! A creative soul in my youth, it seems my diversions have decreased as my working life takes over more and more of my time. Creating a scrapbook page for me is like solving an invisible puzzle. I devise different layouts in my mind: What about this color scheme? What about these shapes? This is the perfect title, now how to convey it? I'll try this, I'll try that. This isn't right, that isn't right....aha! Meanwhile, I've spent some enjoyable period of time EXPLORING mentally. Short of giving up my current occupation and becoming a great ARTIST of some sort, my life would not have included this kind of play, and I truly appreciate it.

Fifth: the opportunity to investigate my history, and that of my ancestors. Some of them are certainly no longer around, but this doesn't make them less important. If they had not existed, there would be no me at all! Who were they, what did they do, where did they live, when and why did these things happen? It is a daunting task to be sure, trying to map out the life of a family, but it never fails to be an adventure. Who knew your great great uncle invented the Frisbee (your favorite toy when you were ten)? And who ever would've known, had you not been given the chance to pore over those decrepit documents your aunt found in the attic while searching for family photos for your new "hobby"? I think you'll agree, the import of these finds is often far greater than it's given credit for.

So there you have it. I could (obviously) go on and on, but I'll spare you this time. Just promise me this: the next time you sit down to your scrapbooking, consider the positives it brings to YOUR life. I'll bet I just got you started!

Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: Your site is the greatest!, by Kathy W.

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