Monday, September 28, 2015

Shifting Focus

Lately, I've been doing a lot of thinking about scrapbooking, specifically how many projects I have going, how much scrapbooking I want to do, how much actually gets done.

Lately, doing all that thinking, I have been overwhelmed.

When I first began scrapbooking, preserving the memories of both my weddings (to the same wonderful man, long story) was at the top of my priorities list. That was about ten years ago, and I have completed maybe three or four pages related to the first wedding. The project that has always been important to me, the memories I started scrapbooking to preserve, keep being set aside for other projects.

At the same time, I feel overwhelmed by the volume of everyday scrapbooking I'm trying to do. As of this writing, I've just begun pages about April of 2014, and I'm about one fifth done with scrapbooking a long-awaited vacation my husband and I took to Florida in the summer of 2014. At the beginning of 2015, I planned to give Project Life a try, and I don't think I completed more than a few spreads, although part of the reason for that is how difficult a year it's been, and the fact that I've had to talk myself into scrapbooking it at all.

I have several projects in various states of completion, including projects from classes I took as many as three years ago. There are mini-books, too, that I've planned, started, not finished.

So, yeah. Completely overwhelmed.

I feel stalled. I feel like scrapbooking has become something to "get done," rather than something to enjoy doing. As I've been writing about in the past few blog posts, I created a stamping challenge for September, not only to get more of the great stamps I have used, but also to reinvigorate my scrapbooking process since I really love to include stamping on scrapbook pages. Instead of inspiring me, it's mostly made me feel pressure to create, and that increases the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Not what I want in a hobby, the activity that's supposed to be a haven from all the stress and turbulence life happens to bring.

I've also been thinking a lot about the stories I actually want to tell, not only about my wedding(s), but about the relationship that led up to that (those) wonderful day(s). How I met the man I chose, how we fell in love, the challenges and triumphs we've encountered along the way, the story of us and why it's my favorite story EVER. Classes I've taken from Noell Hyman and Shimelle Laine have inspired me to dig deeper when it comes to storytelling with paper and photos, and it feels like that's not happening the way I'm currently doing things. I feel like I'm rushing through the process to get to the completed product, and there's nothing whatsoever wrong with that kind of scrapbooking, except it is not fulfilling me. I feel like I'm creating a glorified, multi-volume photo album that's not as meaningful as I want it to be.

Four months ago, I signed up for the monthly stamp subscription from Ali Edwards, which comes with monthly content, and I've often thought, while watching her videos for each month, this is the kind of storytelling about myself and my life I want to do. This!

The details of daily life matter, and I want those captured, but I need to find some kind of balance so that everything else doesn't get lost in the shuffle of trying to keep up with the timeline of the now. I also really want to tell stories about then, the past, my childhood, my parents, especially now that they're both gone, my teenage years, early adulthood, the choices I made and why I made them.

I want to curate the stories I tell with more selection and concentration, a lot less urgency to get the story told, quickly-quickly-quickly because there's just too much to DO to spend time on this ONE story!

That is not all.

These thoughts are rolling around in my head, so I'm sharing them here. I'm not sure just yet what steps I'm going to take to shift my focus, but it's coming. Hopefully soon.

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