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Monday, September 28, 2015

Making Time for Scrapbooking

"I don't have time to scrapbook!"

"I will work on my children's photo albums when they go off to college."

"I wish I could find someone that would just make my scrapbooks for me."

"Where do you find the time?"

As a Creative Memories consultant for 13 years, I have heard these phrases more than a few times in my life. I am sure exercise instructors, nutritionists and school program directors in search of volunteers hear similar stories when they are trying to find people to join their programs or take leadership positions in their organizations. The truth of the matter is that life is busy, but whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the CEO of your own household, there are ways to prioritize and simplify, and your health and your memories will thank you for it! To find the time to make scrapbooks, you have to make a conscious effort to MAKE the time, and this takes a little bit of planning and goal setting. I would like to talk a little bit about what I mean and I hope that I can help you to shorten your list of excuses and lengthen your list of accomplishments. Whether your goal is to get those pictures off of your phone or camera and into a scrapbook or to make healthier choices with regard to physical activity or items in your grocery cart, I KNOW you can do it!

So, let's take some steps to prioritize and simplify - sounds easy enough. Where do you start?

First, ask yourself if you are overcommitted. Are you shouldering too many responsibilities? Do you feel like you have more to do than there are hours in the day? Do you wish you had more help? Well, join the club. WE ALL DO! While no one's life is identical to that of their neighbor, we really are not that different from one another, and we all have different stressors in our lives. Maybe you have sporting events/practices EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK. Maybe it is a 60 hour a week career that keeps you hopping. Maybe it is being a single parent. Life is hard but we MUST make the time for what matters.

When it comes down to priorities, God and my family come first with me, but preserving memories is a close third because I know that I take these pictures for a reason. I want to remember this life, and I want my children to remember all the things we've done together. Even before I had children I treasured my memories because this was MY LIFE!  Picture albums made me happy when I felt sad and made me happier when I felt glad. They are therapeutic in longer lasting ways than a visit to a spa or a shopping excursion could ever be, and it also makes people feel good when you show them their place in your life's story! Photo albums aren't just for the past or the future, they also enhance the PRESENT! Can the laundry wait one more day? Can you simplify dinner plans for the week? Could you sign the kids up for fewer activities and choose instead to have an extra night at home? All of these are MAJOR decisions that you may not be okay with, but I bet if you thought about it you could come up with at least ONE way to simplify.

Jessica N. Turner wrote a book this year entitled The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You.  Chances are, no matter how crazy we think our own lives are, there is some "fringe hour" in our day that we could use in some way or another. Ms. Turner brings a devotional with her to read - she said she often arrives 5 minutes early to an appointment so she can sit in her car and read just a little bit of it. The point is, you don't need large blocks of time to make time for yourself. Similar to the author, I bring a journal and journal cards with me in my purse and from time to time I will write in them during my lunch break, or while waiting for an appointment. While I am not scrapbooking, I am setting myself up TO scrapbook. Activities like these are what I like to call "pre-scrapbooking!" I also have a Forever app on my phone that with a touch of a button I can click on to upload my phone photos. I have done this in the elevator on the way up to my office. It's those minutes to ourselves that we didn't even realize we had. Use your "fringe hours" wisely and you will be surprised.

The second thing to think about is our "guilty pleasures." I am a  nightowl who stays up late because I have a VERY full time job and I desperately need the evenings to get things done, but no matter how efficiently I try to use my "fringe" hours (that is, the tiny slivers of time when I am not at work and my children are sleeping) I still feel very frustrated some days. I try to use my time well, but I always feel as if there is more that I want or need to do. So what happened? Well, we all have our "guilty pleasures." In this case, I am referring to time wasters. We all have them. Ask yourself what is yours? Mine is definitely scrolling through Facebook. I just love it, I have to say it! I love to post my own photos, see other people's photos, read their stories, learn new scrapbooking techniques, communicate with other individuals with Creative Memories businesses such as my own, etc...But I bet if I made a conscious effort to step away from the computer I would get a LOT more done in an evening.

What is your "time waster?" Is it reality TV shows? Watching hour after hour of recorded movies? Magazines? Is there anything you might put away for an hour to instead devote to organizing your pictures, uploading them to a photo developing service, or even starting that album you've always dreamed of?

Let's make a promise that at least one, maybe two, or (gasp!) three nights this week we are going to try to step away from whatever it is that's frittering away our fringe hours. Instead, find a table, grab a stack of photos, a pen, a tape runner, and a Creative Memories Fast2Fabulous album and see what you can accomplish in that hour instead! It works for me! I have two busy boys, a high pressure career, and a thriving scrapbooking business of my own with customers to take care of, but I don't let that get in my way of telling my life's stories with love! Am I completely caught up? No way! But every day I am making progress towards that goal.

Remember those quotes at the beginning of my post? Let's draw a line through those and make this our new motto:

"An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox" - Lao Tzu

Remember scrapbooks don't have to be fancy, they just need to be finished! Your own handwriting and stories are the best because they will mean the most over time, and the sooner the better while the memories are fresh in your mind. Whether you do them on your own at your dining room table or set one day a month aside to attend a workshop with other "scrapbookers" I believe that you can DO THIS!

Hope you will reach out to me or your own Creative Memories consultant to ask for help in finding the tools and the events to help you reach your goals. It's so important and we are here for you!

Preserving the past, but also enhancing the present!

Fun with my customers!

Years of scrapbooks - my pride and joy! 
Memories over the years, always fun to take down and peruse


  1. I agree, preserving memories is very important. We all make time for the things are the most important to us. Thanks for the post.

    1. Thanks Sarah! We all make choices and we can't do it all but I'll choose preserving memories over chores every time :)