Monday, February 22, 2010

Make Time for Projects

I'm terrible about putting pictures in albums and frames. Like, bad mom kinda bad. My son is 15 months old, and up until last weekend, I did not have one-single-photo-album put together of my child. I know.

My husband was so baffled by this, he finally said to me at the beginning of this year, "Honey, i would really like to have just one album that has all his pictures in it instead of this mess of photos jammed into a magazine rack." We won't even go down the path of why this is was of course directed at me since it's of course the mom's job to organize her baby's photos, buy appropriately cute albums, and place the pictures in them. We'll tackle that in another post :)

So, back to the issue at hand...cultivating some sort of memory-honoring act that showcases the enormously important year we just had with the coolest and most baffling person I've ever known - my son. Many people are really good at this. Every time I go to my friend Lora's house, she has new pictures spattered around her house in more frames than you can count. The WEEK after her son's first birthday, she was taking advantage of a Snapfish deal for photo books. Dear God!

Not only was I prompted by my husband's gentle request for us to maybe, perhaps, someday get an album put together with pictures of our son, but I also had started reading Gretchen Rubin's "Happiness Project," which truly pushed me over the edge to finally get this done. If you don't know anything about the book, basically, she's trying to find ways to get the most out of her life and essentially be the happiest she can be. In this quest, one of her challenges is to "Make Time for Projects." She essentially admits that she too is not good at keepsaking, so she decides to put more effort into it, realizing that completing the project brings a great sense of pride and (you guessed it) happiness.

Ugh, alright already!! What I knew about myself is that I would never, ever, ever actually complete a real scrapbook, which would probably be the ultimate "ode to baby." So, I did what I knew would get done - I went to Target (the holiest of all holy places) and bought two adorable albums that held plenty of pictures so that I would have room for the gallons of them I had sitting around. Well!!! From the time I went to Target to the time I put the last picture in the second album, I had spent a total of 7 HOURS ON THIS PROJECT!

In the middle of the first one, I realized that I was missing pictures, so I went online to see how many were loaded but not ordered, and I found 111 - ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN - pictures that needed to be ordered and shipped to my house. Have I mentioned that I'm not very good at this? So, I had to wait a whole other week before I received the pics and sorted through all of them to make sure they were chronological. Finally, I was done. And pretty much, I made my case right there as to why I should make this a priority a little more often.

Was I happier? Absolutely. Not only did I have this warm and fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach as these pictures brought back the sweet, irresistible, frustrating, and amazing memories of the last 15 months, it warmed my heart to watch my husband go through the albums for the first time. We reminisced about the good times and not-so-good times, and since then, I've gone through the albums about four times - it makes me happy every time I do it.

Huh! Alright Gretchen, you got me. I'm pickin' up what you're puttin' down. I'll "Make Time for Projects" as much as I possibly can.


  1. Erica!!! Rayna is about to turn TWO and I have not. one. album! Can you believe that? That should give you some happiness right there :) I'm just not much of a picture person. We don't take too many, develop even less, and then they get scattered all around.
    But this is a great post, I'm glad to see you are still reading the Happiness Project and getting something out of it. I'm really horrible at making time for projects and I need to start doing it soon!

  2. It's always a struggle when there are so many other important things we have to cram in our day! Thanks for your thoughts Bay :)

  3. I know! I was very good with my first child, but then, once the second came along (and money was tighter for a plethora of reasons), I've gotten BAD. I have a bajillion photos loaded at Shutterfly that I need to order. Over a year behind in the ordering...