Thursday, January 14, 2010

:::Becky Higgins -- Project Life:::

Last year I pre-ordered Becky Higgins' Project Life kit. It finally arrived in the mail last week, and I finally got around to putting it together on Tuesday night -- all of the 'Week of...' cards plus the hundreds of daily journaling cards are now tucked safely into their pockets. I've been taking pictures since the 1st, and I can't wait to get my first two weeks into the album. I'm loving this project. Wouldn't you love to look back on a daily account of any given year in your life? I wish I could, not to necessarily to see what emotional state I was in, or even to know what my thoughts were, but to see the cohesive picture of what my life was.

I've written in a daily journal for years, but rarely did I write about the tiny details of what seemed completely mundane at the time. In my journal I wrote mostly about my trials, worries, concerns, and also my successes and accomplishments. I wish I could sneak a peek way back then (wink) and see even the silliest of things, like what common household items looked like, the packaging on food items, what the fashions were, what my daily schedule amounted to, what was routine for me, how much I was paying for things, etc. But, most importantly, I wish I could see how the little pieces of the everyday came together into the bigger steps that I took in life. That's something that I don't always get with journaling. This project is so casual, so simple, yet so encompassing of the pieces that life is made of.

Yes, I absolutely know that there is a value to recording the emotional/spiritual/intellectual part of our lives, but I also know that the daily things have value as well. I would l-o-v-e to look through an album like this of a year in my mom's life. It would put a wonderful frame of reference around all of the bigger stories of her life.

And I love the idea of keeping a visual and written track record of where I've been in my life. For one thing, I'm a visual person. Often times pictures mean much more to me than words do.

Another benefit of this daily endeavor is that I know it will reveal some kind of method to the madness in all the seemingly random things that I do with my life. So many times I feel like I'm just floating around life without any specific path. Even if I looked back at everything that I've done or reread all of my journals, I don't think I'd be able to see all of the micro patterns amidst all of the macro happenings. Again, I think this is a shortcoming of traditional journaling. Even when done on an everyday basis, there is the tendency to only record the bigger things that stick out most in your mind at the end of the day. With Project Life the focus is more on taking little snippets of a day, not summarizing everything that happened in the full 24 hours. Of course, Project Life is also flexible enough to encompass the big moments as well. Really, it works any which way.

As you can see, I'm very excited. Even if you don't buy Becky's kit, I think we should all do something like this. The stuff that we do everyday matters to Heavenly Father, and it matters to our children, nieces, nephews, parents, siblings, spouses, grandparents, friends, etc. None of my siblings live in the same state as my parents, and I know that my mom would get such a kick out of reading and seeing the day-to-day happenings of our lives, not just the things that we tell her on the phone at night, but the reference points that anchor our lives throughout the day.

Like I said, I started taking pictures on the 1st, but I think I might start my album sometime around the 5th or 6th instead. I don't want to feel that the story I'm telling has to be neatly wrapped up and begun afresh at the end and beginning of each year. Becky's no-stress attitude towards Project Life has made me feel like however I approach this project, I've done it the right way. I've been very impressed by her attitude, and her motivation has really hit home with me.

For blogging purposes, I'll probably share some pages as I go along. I should mention that you don't have to do any traditional scrapbooking with this project, so it's perfect for someone like me who has never made a scrapbook page in her life. All of the cards and papers come pre-designed and pre-cut, and the kit also comes with a day of the week stamp, stickers, page protectors, and monthly divider tabs for what I think is a very reasonable price. Becky is about to role out a digital version of the kit that will function somewhat like a Blurb book, so that's something that might be of interest as well.

Yikes, this was a long post! I'm just so excited about doing this for myself, and I know I'm going to love the process. I know it's important for us to record our lives on many different levels, and I really feel that this album of a year approach is one of many great ways to do so.


emilysuze said...

Sounds like so much fun! I remember in a family history class I took at the Y that our professor stressed the importance of including the every day bits which sounds like what you're doing with this project. Can't wait to see snippets of your life!

michelle said...

I love your thoughts on self-discovery here and agree that it would be a huge treasure to have something like this for my mother or grandmother. We should probably all record these kinds of everyday tidbits!

mom said...

I have some old letters Gramma Sarah wrote and some from Aunt Lois. They are treasures! I love knowing she had baked bread that day or talked to Suzie or what my uncle was doing at school or that my cousin won his basketball game yesterday. They go on for pages. Blogging is great, but somehow holding that letter in my hands and running your fingers over the actual print, brings me closer to them. I fear that is what we are losing.

Jill said...

I can't wait to see the pages you make for this project!!