Here's to welcoming a new year with open arms and a fresh perspective.
I'm totally a fan of pretty much everything about going into a new year. There is a shift and a release that I swear I feel in my bones as the calendar moves from December to January. I love this time of year and totally try to ride that "fresh start" wave as long as I can.
Since November of 2002 I've been telling stories using photos and words and paper and printers and embellishments and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. Over the years I've used a variety of different vehicles to get my stories told: 12x12 albums, 8.5x11 albums, 8x8 albums, 6x8 albums, handmade mini books, digital photo books, etc. I've had seasons where I was totally into one method or another and dry spells where it was tough to get any stories told.
For me now, memory keeping is a lifestyle as well as a way that I support my family. It's a part of who I am and what I do and how I live. It informs choices I make and it gives me the awesome opportunity to continually be looking through the lens of story as I experience my life.
I fee like I take a lot less photos than I did early on but I haven't gone back and actually counted anything up to know if that's true. It might just be that my attitude towards it is more relaxed as I've come to learn that I have no intention or interest in documenting everything (little or even big) in our lives.
When I first started memory keeping digital photography was just starting it's rise and I still took rolls of film to be developed. These days I use my phone for most of my photos and find myself pretty darn satisfied with that set up for everyday life documentation.
All this to say, as with so many things in life, there are seasons in memory keeping. I am so, so thankful that it is still such a big part of my life. The stories I've told have helped me make sense of so many different experiences and they have helped me both celebrate and heal.
As I enter into my memory keeping adventures for 2018 I don't have any plans to shake anything up too much. I find comfort in repetition and in finding new grooves/small adjustments to the projects I've enjoyed for a number of years now.
Here's a look at my memory keeping plans for 2018:
- Weekly Project Life® in the same size (12x12) and format as I've been doing - using products from my shop along with past Story Kits™ and Stories By The Month™ products. I still adore this project. For me it's the most open-ended of all the projects I do and I enjoy the time I spend working on it. I still have some weeks from the last few months of 2017 to finish up and you can see more about that here.
- Week In The Life™ in the spring - most likely either April or May (this depends on when the supplies are in the warehouse and we are able to start shipping them to you). This is a deep dive project into seven days in your regular life.
- Three Day In The Life™ projects that will end up in my Project Life® album (that worked really well for me this last year). The first one of these will likely be happening in February or March if I remember right. I really enjoyed the different angles we used in 2017 for each of those documentation days so we will be coming up with some similar ideas for 2018.
- 3-4 layouts per month using my Story Kit™/Story Stamp™ themes/products. These layouts have ended up being a combination of stories that either end up in my annual 12x12 album or in the kids 6x8 albums. I have really enjoyed just letting the story themes dictate the traditional scrapbook layouts I've been creating the last few years. It's manageable and I feel like I'm getting to tell the kinds of stories I want to tell with greater focus. In 2017 I started 6x8 albums for each of the kids and have been adding stories to them using the Story Themes. I plan to post more about those albums sometime soon outside of the Story Classroom.
- Monthly One Little Word® reflections in my One Little Word® 6x8 album. This is a project that doesn't take a lot of time to complete each month but has definitely been super meaningful for me as I go through the phases of my life.
- December Daily® in December. I can't imagine my December without working on this project.
Am I forgetting anything? Ha. It's a lot.
Please remember that this is my job along with something I truly enjoy and am passionate about. As always I encourage you to find your own enough (read more about that here: Establishing Your Own Enough In Memory Keeping) and figure out what makes the most sense for you. In order to figure that out you have to try some stuff.
As I work through my own projects and share them here this year my goal continues to be to document what's real - the ups and the downs - and inspire you to get the stories of your own life told in a way that is meaningful to you.
Thank you for being part of this community whether you simply watch from the sidelines or actively engage in all these crazy memory keeping projects. I hope that 2018 is a year where you find a storytelling groove for yourself that makes sense for you in this season of your life.
I'd love to invite you to share your own memory keeping plans in the comments below (or link to a blog post if you are writing them out and sharing them that way). Are you trying something new this year by switching sizes or embarking on a new project? What's your current favorite way to document your memories? Are you letting go of something this year to make room for something else?
Let's tell stories together.