On Being “Behind”

2004 Scrapbook Title Page by Natalie Parker

I’m a chronological scrapbooker.

Then that means I’m always “behind,” right?  Right.  And I’m okay with that.

Scrapbooking is a hobby.  It is not meant to cause stress.*  Period.

I actually find hindsight useful.  Yes, there is something interesting about capturing things as they happen.  I really value the perspective that I gain with time.  I  add details to pages I wouldn’t be able to without hindsight.

Perspective also helps me let go of excess ephemera.  If I scrapbooked my wedding within the first year, it would be twice as large and I wouldn’t have been able to part with the excess stuff I was saving.

Context is also a big deal to me.  The events in my life don’t happen in a vacuum.  I like being able to see everything from one year together — everything in life informs everything else.

Yes, I do want to make a dent in my scrapbooking so the number of years of lag time I have isn’t quite as large.  It’s really about space though.  Mr. P would like to see fewer boxes in the closet.

Some people report changing away from chronological scrapbooking so they don’t have that nagging feeling of being behind.  I’m embracing it.  I love going through a mini time capsule for a year years after it happens.  It’s so much fun!

This is what works for me.  Do what works for you!

*Except when I have an episode with my photo printer.  That is indeed stress-inducing. 

8 thoughts on “On Being “Behind”

  1. I too am a chronological scrapbooker – though I will do a large event, like a family wedding or a long vacation in separate albums – and am behind as well. I don’t mind either, also, in part, because of the retrospective that time gives me. In 2 recent instances it’s allowed me to comment on what were the last pictures of family members who’ve Graduated to Heaven between the time the photos were taken and my scrapbooking efforts. And I also allow it let me be more selective of my photos. Especially these days with random photos I can upload to FB and share but in retrospect, may not be something I scrap about.

    • Exactly. The hindsight with respect to lost loved ones is invaluable. I did a special layout in my wedding scrapbook highlighting a photo that I would never had done without hindsight.

  2. I just recently started scrapbooking my wedding photos – for 35 years ago! The quality of color pictures taken in the ’70s was terrible so I am able to scan and digitally correct the photos with today’s technology. There is such pleasure in creating this memory book from an “old, married woman’s” perspective!

  3. I agree. I recall doing one page in particular about a playdate/going away party. By the time I scrapbooked the layout, several of the families had moved away. The page I made later is different than if I had made it right away. I think that putting some distance between the moment and when it is scrapbooked provides important context that is otherwise lost.

    Also, if I’m not behind, then I’m caught up. If I’m caught up, I have nothing to scrapbook or I have to work to drum up something to scrapbook.

  4. I absolutely love your scrapbook layouts. I’ve visited your blog before but I don’t think I’ve commented. Every time you write about your scrapbooking philosophy, I just want to say “amen sister.” It is nice to find a kindred spirit in that respect!

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