Catching up on Weekly Memory Keeping
Well, it's been a year, and we are only halfway.
Here in Sydney we are experiencing a cluster of Covid cases after months of being relatively on top of this virus. I'm right in the thick of it (geographically) and back to working from home and barely leaving the house. I guess this is life now. I guess this is life always - ups and downs.
Even though I've had more time to scrapbook, I've had less motivation, energy, stories and photos. Those things are kind of integral to this hobby. So I've found myself making less pages and falling behind in my weekly digital memory planning project (which is my version of Project Life for this year).
Generally, I subscribe to the "there's no behind in scrapbooking" point of view. But when you have committed to a weekly project, a few weeks behind can quickly become a month or more. Then it's really hard to get back on track (for me at least).
On 8 July, I went into my digital files to see where I was at and found that my last spread was in May. Oops. The thought of catching up was just ugh. I haven't been taking notes or journaling. I'm barely taking photos. I knew it was going to be hard. I even contemplated just getting May and June done and being satisfied with a January-June book, chalking the failure up to the crapshow of 2020.
But I'm no quitter (which is not always a positive, trust me). So I made a deal with myself that I would try and catch up over the next three weeks and then try and stay current as best I can. It's three weeks later and I've managed to get the backlog done, I just have the most current two weeks to do.
Here are some tips and ideas that helped me.
1. MAKE A LIST
I sat down with my paper diary and wrote a list of weeks I needed to document. I love crossing my weeks off as I finish them off.
2. START WITH THE MOST RECENT WEEK
This is a good way to get back in the groove because the stories and activities are more current and fresh in your mind. Weekly memory keeping works best for me when I'm working on it in real-ish time. Making a spread on Sunday for that week is much easier than going back to a random week in May and having to recreate everything from photos and sparse notes in my diary. Side note - write it down. You won't remember that you binge watched that show on the June long weekend. I'm inconsistent with this and need to do better.
3. CHEAT YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS
Instead of starting with a blank slate each week I decided I would go back to earlier weeks and just re-use the spreads as a base. That meant keeping the colour scheme, some of the cards and embellishments. When I make my book, Week 5 and Week 26 are going to be spread far apart so I have no problem having some repeating elements, especially if it will help me get the job done quickly. Embellishing and decorating takes a lot of time and taking away some of the decision-making helps speed things up.
4. SORT YOUR PHOTOS
I use Lightroom so it's easy for me just to bring up a single week's photos to look at. Again, narrowing choices gets things moving.
5. PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION
Don't spend too much time agonising over photos, especially when you don't have many for the week. If you took seven photos on Monday and none on Wednesday, its OK to spread them out over the week (the only time I don't like to do this is if the photo is very specific to a date). If you have spare photos from a previous week it's OK to use them if they aren't date specific (I have lots of photos of things around our house that could go anywhere).
Enlarging photos is a great trick to fill out a spread. One week's spread could just be one amazing photo and that would look awesome. Or just be fine with having white space/empty spots in your project. This also goes for journaling - sometimes I don't have anything to say and that's OK. Real diaries and planners have blank spaces all the time. You can also fill blank spots or pockets with patterned paper, stamps, words, movie/TV posters, book covers. I've made a whole page with just TV shows that we've recently watched.
My weekly planner template (HERE) has a space for what we ate for dinner each day. This is something that I cannot piece together later - I can barely remember what I ate for dinner last night. So if I don't have it written down in my diary, I am just leaving that area blank. It's not worth stressing over and becoming a roadblock. I love to include it when I can, but it's OK if that's not every week (another plug for writing things down for later).
6. WOULD ANYONE EVEN NOTICE IF YOU SKIPPED A WEEK?
Going back through my files, I noticed I had totally skipped Week 14. I might go back later and try and fill it in, but more than likely I will just leave it out. I have had trouble completing one of my recent weeks (barely any photos or stories) so that might be another gap. I'm OK with this. I'm OK with having 50 weeks documented instead of 52. Don't let a week that's really not coming together block you from getting the rest done. You won't get in trouble for leaving out a week and really, would anyone (besides you) notice?
One thing that keeps me going is knowing that I will treasure this finished project in years to come. I'm also really aware that by the half-way point of any project, the honeymoon period is very much over for me. Every time. It's just part of the process and I know if I can just push through, I can get it finished and even find joy in the project again.