Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Project Life Alternative

TITLE PAGELike many scrappers, I started the year out with enthusiasm for Project Life (or P365...whichever you prefer). I was thoughtfully taking a daily photo and regularly transferring them into my well organized Project Life laptop folders. That lasted 3 weeks. Boy was I proud of my stick-to-it-ness. I felt like super-mom!

Life started to get busy again. I started the Valentine's album for my hubby. My kid had his medication adjusted and my hubby started having seizures more frequently. The cat started protesting the stress by peeing on the floor. As you can imagine, I started completely spacing the daily photo taking task I'd assigned myself.  I forgave myself for it... a lot.

After Valentine's Day, I realized or maybe accepted that, while some people have the mad skills for the full on Project Life, I don't. I want to, but I have other things that absolutely come first before scrapping. Because of my full plate I have to choose what stories are important to tell. I have to choose which scrapping projects are most important to me. That choice was fairly easy: The Grow with Love Series for the big and little guy in my life and preserving my dad's baby book. Oh, and probably something for my in-law's 50th wedding anniversary in June. Project Life was the very last thing on my list.

I LOVE the idea of Project Life, which is telling the stories of our everyday. Telling the stories that get lost when we scrap birthdays, holidays and big life events. To know a person, you really need to hear the story about the time they watched all 145 episodes of The Office on Netflix in three days or how every other night their husband makes a Ben and Jerry's run (my favorite flavor is vanilla). The small tid bits, like how I always drive on particular road because of it's huge willow trees and fallen down red barn, make me happy. We all have a public presence that is made up of our private, behind closed door selves. Project Life is about taking that private self and putting it out into the world for posterity... or at least for your family history.

I have been thinking about my scrapping goals lately.  When you are faced with the whole life-death thing, you think silly things: like what you want your step-children and your child to know about their dad. I find these things are very mundane-- like how my husband organizes the DVDs in alphabetical order. It's part of who he is... and the kiddo and I un-arrange them because that's who we are. The main bullet point being that's the importance of project life: The whole is a sum of its parts. I decided I needed to come up with a way to tell those stories while working on my other projects.

So, I've decided to a lighter version of Project Life...   For me, the structure of the project is supposed to keep you focused and motivated. If I left it up when I had time or when the story crossed my mind I would never, ever get it done. I know me, I know my faults and limitations. I need a guide for the journey or else I get lost.  In bed last night (I was obviously awake. I have a bad habit of staying awake long enough to make sure my husband doesn't die in his sleep) the format hit me. Instead of having the photo inspire the scrapping, why not have the words be the prompt? Why not create the words in alphabetical order? There are 26 words in our alphabet... so why not tell 26 stories?

I'll call it Project Life-A-Bet. Each week, I'll scrap a letter of the alphabet. I wrote down the words I will be using and will share them with you. If you want to do something like this I don't think you should necessarily use my words, but surely they can be a guide if you like. "A" will obviously be my first page, for which I've picked the word "Aroma". Smell is one of the most powerful senses. I know what my kid smells like, I know what my hubby smells like, my cats, my mom and dad, my mother-in-laws house, what the seasons smell like, what my hometown smelled like... smell is an integral part of our memories. There are whole industries dedicated to aromas... I will be scrapping the aromas that define my life.

After that will be "B", so on and so forth. Feel free to join me in this project (and share your ideas and layouts). I'd love to know how you make Project Life fit into your busy world! Have you come up with an alternative that works for you?

P.S. Tomorrow is a new Digi Files!! I'm so excited!!

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