Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Project Life Week Fourteen, just keep swimming

I think the most memorable part of Finding Nemo was Dori's positive attitude of "just keep swimming." I remind myself of this all. the. time.

I am so very happy that I decided to jump into Project Life this year. Seeing the big fat book brings me great joy. I know with certainty that we will cherish this project for years to come.

How do I know? In the last week I have found Garrett turning the pages of my scrapbooks & Mitch has spent time going back through the blog. Both have expressed they appreciate having these moments documented.

The time I take to capture our lives, no matter how complete or not is valued by my family.

You may have guessed it by the lack of project life posts lately but I'm "behind", very behind in pulling together all the bits I've saved, all the pictures I've taken into my book. Today I'm going to share week fourteen, I last showed you week eight and we are currently living week eighteen. Yes, you read that right. I'm all out of order right now. Can you stand it? :)

Today's post is more than a look at my week, it's a peek into how my Library of Memories philosophy is influencing Project Life. But first, a look at Week Fourteen because you deserve a picture at this point.



A few weeks ago I started to panic that I was so behind on my project life because:

1) I was disappointed I was not accomplishing this/following through (what do you mean I'm not Super Woman?)

2) Garrett kept asking me what week were on in my project of life (lay on the self imposed guilt that I was not living up to his excitement)

3) I knew that Mitch was really looking forward to having the year captured in this way (lay on more self imposed guilt that I would be letting him down)

and then I realized all of the above wasn't about the ziploc bags labeled for each week where I was collecting printed pictures, gathering memorabilia & throwing journaling cards. The guilt was really about moving all this into the album because that was the pretty little package I wanted to present our life in.

Once I realized this, I put into practice some self love and let it go.

Lisa had mentioned a while ago that she gathered her little bits in 8.5x11 page protectors and tucked it into the week for when she was ready to work with it.

Absolute brillance, however I am biased because I adore everything Lisa does. She is a mama of three boys, has some mad scrapping/sewing skills and entertains me with her Twitter feed. I pretty much think she rocks. I digress.

Here is what six weeks looks like after I stamped the dates on my lead 4x6 card and emptied my ziploc bags into the 8.5x11 page protectors.

project life in progress

After I did this, I told myself if this is all these six weeks every come to be, that is good enough. I was moving on. To make myself believe it, I started on week fourteen, pictured above. It was very important for me to complete that week, to have that in the pretty little package because it was the week we lost Dexter. I needed, in a bad way, to have that part of life there to provide closure.

After I finished week fourteen, I started slowly, in 10-15 minute increments, emptying the 8.5x11 protectors by slipping pictures into slots & trimming down memorabilia. This is what several of my weeks look like now as a result of a few minutes here, a few minutes there.

If this is all these weeks end up being this is good enough. I have jumped back into the process and am enjoying working on this project instead of feeling the guilt, instead of giving up.


I seriously doubt Mitch or Garrett will ever tell me it's not good enough. I imagine they would just flip through the pages smiling to themselves because what is captured here is enough for them to reflect on this year and that my friends is good enough for me.

The time I take to capture our lives, no matter how complete or not is valued by my family.

If any of this sounds familiar or strikes a chord, I challenge you to jump back in with this week & let go of the weeks you have missed.

The important thing is that if this is still something you want to do but have stopped because you are "behind" don't let that stop you now. There are still 8 months of life just begging to be celebrated. The absence of a few months doesn't cancel out all that you have already captured & what is left to be lived.

If you stopped capturing then pick up with this week and start again. How about inserting a layout between the weeks documenting the gap & how you started again. That is definitely real life.

Or, if you've been taking pictures then slip them in & let that be good enough. As a stash buster you could fill the journaling spots with patterned paper and then let it go.

The time we take to capture our lives, no matter how complete or not is valued by those who love us.

If you are not familiar with Library of Memories I suggest you check out Stacy Julian's workshop, Finding Photo Freedom. I will not be coaching this year but instead participating as an alumni & would love to have you in class with me.

I'll be back tomorrow with a layout. As usual for more pictures of week fourteen click on the link below the banner at top.



Stephanie Reid said...

I'm in the same situation! I'm behind on actually putting the pictures in the book. I like your idea of just putting in paper in the journaling spots. I think I'll get it out tonight :)

Fun Mama - Deanna said...

What a great explanation of LOM, and of letting go. I did not really have any interest in Project Life before this year, but now I'm fascinating. I'm considering doing the digi version because it seems like I could do that easier than paper right now. Good for you for finding a way to make this process work for you and for encouraging others to make it work too.

Laura said...

I found out about Project life when my son was 6 weeks old. It was probably another 6 weeks before I decided to order the kit, and over a week before it came. Needless to say, I started the PL album already WAY behind. But I'm glad to report that I've caught up to his 14 week of life. I organize the photos first, pick the ones that are easier to journal about and only print out a week or two at a time. Very Do-able! Loving this project and hoping my son and our family will enjoy looking back at his first year.

Nicol said...

Thank you so much for this timely post! I too am feeling weighed down by being "behind". I've already switched to a more weekly layout rather than specifically a photo per day. Your ideas are great and will really help relive some of the stress i'm feeling. You're right, no one will care if it's not exactly perfect! Just that our lives are documented.

Angela Weisenburger said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I, too, am about 6 weeks behind because we moved into our new house and have been BUSY finishing the basement. I just today got an area set up where I feel like I can work on my PL and this post was just the inspiration to get all (or at least most) of the past 6 weeks together and continue this amazing product. Again, thanks!!

lisa truesdell said...

lovelovelove this post. and i'm glad i could help. and i'm glad you wrote this, because i'm 2 weeks behind and needing the reminder!!!! THANK YOU!

Angela said...

Great post, thanks for sharing such great ideas.


The Bashams said...

I just wanted to tell you that as a fellow Project Life'r I am inspired by your album this year. I too am including lots of "other stuff" and even have a Netflix mailer too. Mine is getting so thick.
I too am in the Dallas area and just wanted to send you a quick note to tell you I love your blog.
Have a great day!

Arlene said...

I just have to tell you that your blog is out of this world inspiring! I am your newest follower and I am so glad I found you. I am doing PL as well and I found your blog and I was looking for inspiration...I don't need to search anymore! Love it...

sarahjane said...

My Project Life album has a few holes to fill in weeks 16 and 17. On Sunday night of week 18, I went to the hospital to deliver son #2. Sadly, I hadn't gotten back to the album, but am thankful that my camera downloads pics into folders by date so, it seems easy enough to play "catch-up". My PL album and blog have been neglected since welcoming our baby into our house; my older son JUST turned two a month ago so we are VERY BUSY and SLEEP still is the most important thing in our house. Love your outlook... just keep swimming! (AND like the idea of gathering items for the week and saving them until you get back to it.)

sandy k said...

I keep a journal and a box with everything in it to put in the pages, I am almost to the end of my fr=irst year but have only put together 4 months, I love the idea and will do it again next year! I wish this was around when my children were little, they are now 19 and 21. Can't wait to do this when my grandchildren arrive. This is a wonderful life project!