As you know, we’re on vacation. And if you know me, you know that means I’m taking tons of pictures to fill tons of scrapbooks. It is in keeping with my plan to minimize, after all–replacing “stuff” with experiences and gifts with adventures. Why make a memory if you can’t record the memory to remember later? In fact, did you know that Mark Twain was an avid scrapbooker, in addition to being a writer and adventurer? True Story.
And really, what adventurer and writer doesn’t want to put pictures to the story and tie it all together? I mean, if you could have seen my husband, the Leisure Specialist, capsize his kayak in six inches of water yesterday, you would be laughing way harder than you are right now.
Here’s the dilemma though. Did you know that the scrapbooking industry is a $2.55 BILLION dollar industry? And did you know that I think I might actually have about $1 billion of said supplies in my closets, cupboards, and counters at home? While I used to enjoy a cozy Sunday afternoon at home with my photos and stickers and papers spread all over the table while my husband watched football and my kids ran in circles around me while I zoned out into pure memory-saving bliss, I’m slowly being consumed by all of the materials and supplies necessary to perfect my craft. It takes longer to assemble a page now because I’ve got so many options to choose from. I can’t find the stickers I’m looking for, because they’re buried in a bin of decorative elements. The supplies take up a ridiculous amount of space in my house, and the cost is a different story entirely. I’ve even become a scrapbook consultant to receive a discount on the products. Yet, each time I drag out the projects and set up camp at the dining room table, I’m quickly overwhelmed by the mess … and then I think about how far behind I am … and how infrequently I actually drag the mess out, so then I feel like I need to complete an entire album in a day, and the marathon begins … by the end of the day, my back is aching and my hand is cramped, and my neck is stiff, and I’m still only 4 pages in …
This fun, fulfilling hobby has slowly become a task. A burden, if you will. It’s a good thing I’ve recently discovered digital scrapbooking … where I can adjust my photos online, fix the red-eye, crop the images, make myself thinner, modify the background, adjust the contrast, and arrange the photos for print and assembly by a professional publisher. (Did I say make myself thinner? Certainly I didn’t mean that. I meant “digitally enhance” my photos.) Then, the books arrive to sit on my shelf and gather dust just like the ones that consume literally days of my life to produce. Same result. Less time, mess, and “stuff” to manage.
So, when I get home, my plan is to finish up with my traditional supplies (we’re not about wasting here, are we?), and then make the switch to digital for good. The beauty of this concept is that for each adventure or experience, I can document history to capture the memories.
And, since I *always* practice what I preach … by way of gift giving, when I ask friends and relatives not to buy more “stuff” for my children, I’ll be able to repay the favor … giving small photo books of our shared adventures instead of random “stuff” that will one day end up in a landfill. Trip to the coast with friends? Photo book. Wine tasting tour in the desert? Photo book. Rock jumping at the lake with the kids? Photo book.
Spoiler alert, I know … so for those of you wondering what you might be getting for Christmas this year … smile for the camera.