Project Life – Just getting started

I love Project Life by Becky Higgins– the idea is so cool and the execution even cooler. The process engineer in me just loves the whole thing conceptually. I actually saw this at the beginning of the year but I was worried about taking the plunge with all the supplies and instead purchased a Smashbook. The Smashbook is OK but it’s such an in-between size, I don’t think I ever quite knew what to do with it other than to use the pages as a repository for cards and a place to stick tickets to shows etc. It’s a good idea but after doing Project Life the last few weeks, I think PL is so much better. To avoid prematurely buying a lot of stuff with no guarantee that I’d use it, I printed out some free 3×4 cards a few weeks ago (I learned about them from this blog) before I bought any supplies “officially.” After about two weeks, I was hooked.

The whole concept behind Project Life a beautiful metaphor about appreciating your life. I love how the process to create Project Life is a form of emergence – each journal card or image stands alone but together, they make up more than their individual parts. Some days I’m less creative and a card may look more boring and other days I go nuts. In toto, it’s all the ups and downs of every day that make my life, which as a whole is pretty great even though I may forget it sometimes. More than anything, It’s really helped me appreciate little things in my day-to-day lief. I also love how it relieves me of any internal pressure I may feel to perfectly capture something like I feel with scrapbooking and card-making. I really enjoy scrapbooking and cardmaking; however the difference with Project Life is that rather than trying to capture and elevate an event or a moment, I am creating a story about the rhythm and essence of my every day life. My husband said that it will be so cool for our kids one day to see how we passed everyday/every few days and PL lets me organize my moments in a beautiful way that I can do just that. I’m probably thinking too much into it, but I really love the symbolism of the whole process.

So… I bought the plastic pockets, a cloth album. I also got plastic pockets for my finished 12×12 scrapbook pages, which had just been in a protected pile in the corner of my craft room. Seeing everything come together in the plastic pockets in the album was amazing. This is like a real hobby for me. I’m making a serious commitment to this art – I feel so joyful when I go into my craft room with a blank slate and let the textures and colors tell me what they want to be. I’ve been stocking up a storm, as well as taking inventory and organizing what I already have. I need to keep this as hassle-free and creativity-focused as I can. (I have both a lot more and a lot less than I thought – supplies will definitely need to be another post.) It’s so interesting how I’ve taken to this “frivolous activity” because I’ve always been so loathe to spend on things without a “real” return – as in “anything that doesn’t make one more money or education.” (This is the first time I’ve ever really “invested” in a hobby – not interest, which George Carlin distinguished from hobbies because interests are FREE.) But I decided at 30 to give myself permission to just enjoy more things outside of the more disciplined spheres of my life. I’m taking the plunge and it feels pretty good so far. And I get to buy and use gadgets too!

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