NOTE FROM LAIN: This is the second in a two-part series on “Scrapbooking: How Much Is Enough?”
So knowing we can’t scrapbook all our photos, the next natural question is,
So What Do I Scrapbook?
Good question! Obviously, we need a way to triage our efforts.
On the battlefield, triage referred to the process of dividing up the wounded into three categories: Those who would likely die no matter what, those who would likely live even with minimal medical attention, and those who could go either way. Medical personnel would focus on the third group since their efforts would do little to change the outcome of the first two categories.
So how does that apply to scrapbooking? Well, let me tell you how I do it…
I scrapbook to tell stories. So when I look through my photos, I’m matching stories to pictures. What does this photo make me think of? Is there a memory here that needs to be recorded?
There are the moments in our lives that I will most definitely remember… like I’ll know that we had Christmas in 1998, and that my mom passed away in March of 2012, and that I got married. In triage terms, these memories and stories go in the “definitely survive” category.
Then there are moments and memories that aren’t worth recording, either because there is no real story attached or because I just don’t care enough (that may sound harsh, but I don’t really care that I wiped my nose at 11:30 am on Wednesday, March 13… even if I have a photo of it!). In this category go the duplicates, too… the forty-eleven photos of Ben standing at home plate, waiting for a pitch, or standing on second base, not looking at the camera. If there’s not a larger story to hook them to, I’m sort of like Noah. I’ll keep a pair, and toss the rest. There’s just not enough room on the ark to hold them all! So these photos and moments go in the “definitely not going to make it” triage group.
But then there are the little whispers of stories that hide behind the big memories. Like the fact that I changed into sneakers after my wedding ceremony so I could dance with abandon, or that my mom handmade every one of the red felt stockings that lined my parents’ mantlepiece every Christmas. These are memories that may be ingrained in my brain, but I want to pass them on, or they may be fleeting thoughts and remembrances that would be lost even to me, were I not to capture them.
THAT is where I spend my scrapbooking time.
The first category of stories and events that will definitely survive? Often a photo is enough to jog the story. I might spend some time scrapbooking those photos just because it’s fun to go back and relive the big times, and also because immersing myself in that time and place through photos can remind me of those ephemeral stories.
The second category, the ones that deserve to die? I don’t spend any time here. There’s just no payoff for me. I even toss photographs (cringe, cringe) that I don’t have an emotional connection to, that don’t “mean” anything, or that are duplicates of other stories I’ve already captured.
But the third category? Ahhh! I feel like a lepidopterist with my butterfly net, chasing after elusive memories and dreams, hoping to have them hold still long enough so I can sketch them in my nature journal. And each one I capture adds another brilliant jewel to my collection.
All this being said, your motivations for scrapbooking may be entirely different than mine. If that’s the case, Hurrah! Spend some time thinking about why YOU scrapbook and which photos and stories fall into which bucket. And share your discoveries below. I’d love to hear what you think!