Archive | June 27, 2005

Respecting MYSELF: Fighting the guilt in changing times…

I have to admit that despite my professional experience and lofty career goals, I am a very ordinary and typical scrapper in one very emotional way: I sometimes fight my guilt over the time I spend at my work by salving that wound with the reminder that “well, I’m creating a record of her life to leave my daughter at least while I work.” But lately, a change in page topics that are appealing to publications and that are inspiring me have conspired to take that guilt-fighting weapon away from me.

Magazines and other publishing outlets are increasingly looking for broader page topics than just “babies, kids and vacations.” As the scrapbook market expands beyond the moms scrapping about their children, designers are finding a lot of success scrapping about other topics. We are even encouraged, shockingly for mothers who are often forced to make ourselves our last priority, to make books all about US. But when you are doing that it is harder to hide behind saying “but at least I’m creating a book that will be an heirloom for my child.” I have resisted embarking on those kinds of projects despite the trend for that reason. “I have boxes of pictures of my daughter to scrap,” I tell myself. “I don’t have time to scrap about myself.”

And then I got inspired with an idea for the Basic Grey album contest, and an idea for the CKU layout contest in Orlando in a couple of weeks. And I told myself that “well, I will do those projects because they are trendy and will have a better chance of being noticed and so I’ll do it for professional reasons.” And so I timidly embarked on this alien territory (at least since my daughter’s birth, when time has become such an issue) of scrapbooking about myself. And I discovered that I am enjoying it – and doing really good quality work I think! Oh no, what if I like this too much?

And then I came to a realization while I was working on my CKU layout. I realized that I was putting something on that page that my daughter would probably never know about me otherwise. I was giving her the chance to get to know something about her mother that probably would remain undiscovered by her if not recorded in this way. So while the page is not actually about her, it is still a gift and a legacy to her from me.

Now, most of the time I do respect myself and my goals and have no problem justifying the time and effort I put into building my career…but at my weak moments it’s still nice to have that “legacy to my child” arguement to fall back on. It’s nice to think that I can scrapbook sometimes about myself and still be leaving something of value to her. And it’s nice to know my professional work can serve a dual purpose in my personal life as well.