the true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life. ~william morris
a couple of weeks ago, i participated in ali edwards’ ‘week in the life‘ scrapbooking project.
now before you say it….i know…i needed another project to do like i a need a hole in my head. but because i was in the midst of my blog hiatus, i had a little bit of extra time. and really…i just wanted to do it. i felt a strong urge to do this. so i listened to gut which is almost always right. and i’m so glad i did.
week in the life is exactly what it sounds like…a week devoted to taking pictures of our life – the good, the bad, the ugly. and after nearly three years of daily photographing, i’m pretty good about having my camera ready to go all the time. taking pictures is the easy part for me. the really time consuming part was putting it together in an album.
i had actually purchased the ‘week in the life’ album kit last fall, but i got busy and ended up not using it. so that’s what i used instead of buying new supplies.
i wanted to start with some kind of title page. and this is where it almost all fell apart for me….because i didn’t have a recent picture of the three of us together… i kept thinking, how can i get a picture of all three of us together if all three of us are hardly ever together? and furthermore, how do i make a photo album about a week in my life when one very huge part of my life lives two hours away? i got so hung up on that.
truth be told, i think i’ve been a little hung up on that for most of the summer. but that’s another story for another day.
here’s the thing…that’s not who we are anymore. the three of us are profoundly connected, but just not always together. and this project is about capturing life as it is right now. not how it used to be, not how i wish it was. but real life, right now. and real life right now is having a daughter who has graduated from college and is living in a different city.
drying my hair one morning, it sort of came together for me. how i needed to refocus my album from how family used to look, to how family looks now. and that is a family of three smart, driven, hard-working, dynamic individuals. and that is a good thing. hence a title page of three separate photos with a little bit of personal info about each of us.
without really trying, this notion of connection became the focus of my album…how do we as a family stay connected to each other? and on a personal level, how do i stay connected to who and what is important in my life?
newsflash…the same way i always have before…by paying attention.
in terms of making the album, i didn’t do anything special. with the exception of a little patterned paper and a few random embellishments, i used what came with the kit.
of the my favorite parts of the album has turned out to be including little pictures and stories that kelsey texted me that week.
i love it that she shares bits and pieces of her life with me that way and it seemed only natural to include that in my album.
as i started putting the album together, there were a few things that sort of stood out to me. some general observations about life right now. and the first thing is this….
tripp and i look tired. i’m not super crazy about having my taken picture on the best of days, but after work…. turning the camera on myself at the sink doing dishes was a real eye-opener. hello bags and dark circles.
and then there’s this picture of tripp that just melted my heart.
he had gone upstairs and to lie down and watch the news….wasn’t long before he was asleep.
tripp and i both comment that we feel tired, but seeing it here in this album really hits home. i know alot of it has to do with getting up early to exercise, plus we both have fairly stressful, high-pressure jobs. but still…i think this sort of begs a closer look.
anyway, the second observation i was that our life is very quiet.
once again, it’s just an observation…it’s neither good nor bad….i just never noticed it in pictures quite like this. and it makes me wonder what happened to liveliness in our life.
now i know there’s probably some poor momma out there with six kids hiding in her bathroom just dying for two minutes of quiet and solitude. and i get it…i totally remember those days…even with just one child…it can be overwhelming.
but yet, children just have this inherent aliveness. they are full of wonder and excitement and stories. i remember kelsey was always super chatty…she loved talking about her day and her friends. and then there was the music and the singing. the “can i have a friend over?” the spongebob and gilmore girls. the in and out…slamming doors. all the coming and going around the house. children ooze aliveness. and i miss that.
clearly i’m having a bit of an empty-nest flare up. which always takes me by surprise because honestly i thought i was past all of this. and please don’t get me wrong…i wouldn’t trade my current relationship with my girl for anything….i just miss having her youthful spirit at home. so the question i’m asking myself is how can tripp and i infuse more of this type of energy on our own.
so finally, the last observation really didn’t come as much of a surprise…and that is how we are surrounded by so much beauty. even with all of its messes and frustrations…life is beautiful. and seeing it like this in an album brought about a renewed sense of gratitude for it all.
instead of posting a long series of photos, i created a little video of my album if you’re interested in seeing the whole thing.
i’m so glad that i took the time to do this project. and i’m so, so grateful for the mindfulness and clarity that it brought back into my life. thanks for letting me share it with you.