Discovering What Matters Most to You

Have you ever found yourself wishing you could just get “caught up” with your scrapbooking?  Getting caught up would mean that everything you wanted to scrapbook from the past would be done, what a great feeling!  Maybe, you’ve found yourself unable to finish a layout because you are paralyzed while trying to make it look “perfect.”  Who wouldn’t want their pages to be the best looking pages they could be?  As scrapbookers, we are constantly faced with this common struggle.  Should we focus on getting “caught up” with our scrapbooking or should we focus on making the best looking pages?

Getting caught up would feel so good.

Isn’t that truly the best feeling?  It’s always so satisfying to get to a point when you have nothing else you “have” to do.  I always feel that way about my to do lists, it’s always such a great feeling when I am able to cross everything off the list.  Isn’t the same true when you have all the layouts you needed to do done?  The feeling of accomplishment from having all your older memories scrapbooked would be fantastic, right?  Sometimes.  The thing about “finishing” my to do list, is that there is always more to add to the list, more to get done.  Wouldn’t the same be true for scrapbooking?  If you got ALL the layouts you wanted done, wouldn’t you just find more you wanted to do?  Are you ever really done?

Pretty pages are nice too.

Who doesn’t like a nice looking layout?  I mean, do people really sit there and think, “Man, I want this to be the worst looking layout I’ve done.”?  The answer is no (I hope).  However, sometimes, making a pretty page can go too far.  I’ve been at a point where I’ve been unable to complete the layout because I wanted it to look “perfect.”  It’s so easy to get obsessed with the idea of “perfection,” and in a hobby where we are sharing our creating endeavors, it’s easy to get caught up in that idea.

The problem is this.

Each situation has its flaws.  In trying to get caught up, speed may become the most important thing to you, and the focus is less on how the layout looks or even what it’s about.  In trying to make pretty pages, you could be working forever and lose the meaning of the layout.  It’s hard to figure out which means more to you as a scrapbooker.  For myself, I would love to be “caught up” with my scrapbooking, but at the same time I always want to have nice looking scrapbooking layouts.  So which do I favor, speed or beauty?  Try putting yourself into one of the categories.  I am sure you have had experiences in both.

There is an answer though.

Read back through that last paragraph.  In both situations, the memory and the story behind the layout suffers.  Funnily enough, that is the last thing that I would want to sacrifice as a scrapbooker.  I started scrapbooking to preserve the memories of my family, both the momentous occasions and the everyday life.  If I get caught up in speed or beauty, I have lost the focus on what matters most to me.  It’s so easy to get off track, too.

So what matters most to you?

The key is to identifying what matters most to you, and going with it.  For me, I need to remember that the focus needs to be on the memory, the story and not on what product I used or how fast I got the layout done.  When I do that, I know that I am creating layouts that I can be proud of, no matter how fast they got done or how pretty they are.  Think about your own scrapbooking.  What matters most to you?  That should be your focus.


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6 Responses to Discovering What Matters Most to You

  1. such a great reminder Aaron!!!

  2. Georgia Whalen says:

    GREAT post!  The memory is what matters most to me as well.  I constantly struggle to balance speed vs design.  I am trying to learn to strike a balance.  As a empty nester who only started scrapbooking a few years ago, getting caught up is a long way off.  It is also even more important because I want to leave organized memories for my family to enjoy for generations.  I try to end up with a page that displays the memory, but is attractive enough that I won’t hate it and want to redo it!

  3. Tiff Scraps says:

    What matters most to me is having fun with my hobby.  Sometimes that means focus on the story.  Sometimes that means just make a pretty page.  Sometimes that means give it a break for a while.  I do try to have more story layouts than decoration layouts.

    I know what you mean about the making pretty pages … it’s so easy to get caught up in the gallery praise and gso’s.  They make you feel so good, but then can be disappointing when you DON”T get any.

  4. This is a fantastic post! I’ve never been plagued with the catching up scenario, but I did spend lots of time focusing on the beauty bit. But I came to realise that it’s the story that matters most to me, and guess what? Now I am making some of the best pages I have ever made!

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