Over the years I've been a painter, a knitter, a quilter and held many other creative hobbyist titles. I've always been game to try to new crafts, but the fascination fades and I eventually move on.
I've been scrapbooking for five years now and memory keeper is a title that feels like a favorite cashmere sweater - I can't fathom taking it off. I'm hooked on, fascinated with and engaged by this hobby-that-is-more-than-a-hobby. And I'm not talking about business here, I'm talking about everyday life.
The level of personal connection between the artist and her work is perhaps deeper in scrapbooking than it is in so many creative arts. I see this as the key to why so many of you, like me, come into our community and don't want to leave. Memory keeping becomes engrained in our lives, so much that I believe it's a lifestyle all its own. Our eyes are trained to look for great light and watch for moments-in-the-making. We're more likely to know where our camera is than our car keys. Your family tells others that you're a scrapbooker, but "not one of those weird ones", because they get it.
The thing is, it's so easy today to become disconnected and lose focus on what we hold dear and the lifestyles we want to cultivate.
Here are five simple ways to embrace the memory keeper's lifestyle in a meaningful way.
1. Wear Your PrideOne of my most treasured pendants (from Lisa Leonard) is of a hand-stamped camera, because it honors the specific lens through which I view world.
2. Keep Your MemoriesDon't forget to include images of memory keeping in your albums or your "social scrapbooking" activities like posting to Instagram.
3. ParticipateThe easiest way to feel more connected to the community at-large is participating in an in-person or online event with other memory keepers.
4. Celebrate YouThe happiest memory keepers take time to document themselves as part of the story and accept that imperfection is what makes the world beautiful.
5. Live FirstAbove all, the memory keeper's lifestyle is one that recognizes that moments pass by in an instant. Live life first and then take the time to document and celebrate all that you have.
How do you celebrate memory keeping in your everyday life? Please share your perspective with a comment.
Jennifer S. Wilson is a memory keeping educator who believes anyone can find time to create more. Her next book, Everyday Storyteller 2, arrives in May.