Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Thinking about simple things.....

Whenever I come back from hearing a great speaker or having a great conversation with someone, it gets my brain ticking. To me, a great conversation is not necessarily a "yes" conversation, I find, the best kind of conversations are ones where there are differences of opinions and different methods and even giant differences in philosophy. But for me, there are ties between people that can be greater than their similarities. An underlying character of "goodness" and "niceness" always helps. So...where am I going with this? While in Buffalo, I attended two of Stacy Julian's "classes" and I really like her philosophy / her ideas. The first time I heard her was in Phoenix at Creative Escape ( a scrapbooking thing with Heidi Swapp) and I was so taken aback by her views. It clicked with me. It made me think about what she was saying. This time, I was less in awe with her words...but it was her personality, her general happiness and somewhat dorkiness that was charming and that which made me again think. {OK, for those reading who don't scrapbook, I hope you still find something among these words and letters that makes you think too.} The one thing that I'm not sure I am in agreement with her is the"more" to scrapbooking. I'm not sure if I'm onboard, if I will allow myself to agree with it and to throw my arms around it. And yet, there are amazing women who are scrapbooking superstars and I admire them because they are MORE than just scrapbooking. They stand for more. Not so much like they are an artist or a celebrity, but they represent a new "breed" of people. Generally happy, lucky, readers, life oberservers, moment capturers, they make the everyday important. But perhaps they are the new artist, the new historians and librarians. Who is to know the mark that they will leave behind...it certainly will be a well preserved record with all that acid free paper and journaling ( LOL). But really, I'm serious...scrapbooking for serious? I know for myself, I do agree with Stacy Julian in that since I have started to scrapbook, it has changed me and how I view life. Maybe grabbing the camera to capture a precious moment of simplicity and everydayness seems silly, but I do notice more because of it. It's a way to slow down, take in beauty and life around and really immerse yourself in it. I have only been scrapbooking (and collecting product LOL) for a good 3 years, and especially since moving back to Ontario (where these is more rush, and bustle, and stuff), I have questioned my scrapbooking. I have been on the fence of taking a break...and wondering what it will mean? I know that I will never stop, or stop loving it, but at the same time, I'm needing more of something to keep going. I'm searching...or maybe I'm just about to change.

During Stacy Julian's Scrap Happy class, she talks about things that one can do to be happy. To scrapbook more "simply" and take shortcuts or whatever you need to do to make scrapbook simpler and less stressful was a wonderful message. I'm sure I'd heard it before, but it was what I took back this time. Why is it that we always try to make things more difficult in life. There are all kinds of short cuts, ways to make our life easier - and thus happier but we choose not to embrace them. Or we use them and offer an explanation. (Oh, I bought a pre-made meal, but my son hasn't been eating and it's her favorite.) What is wrong with us? OK - what is wrong with me? Maybe it is a personality thing, to need to actually do it all, be it all and be stubborn about it in order to feel the accomplishment.

So within 5 days, I realized that I need to let go, or try to let go and allow myself to do things simpler, to make things easier for myself and to not feel guilty about it or judge myself. I love the fact that Stacy Julian scraps in 30 mins and doesn't think she's a scrapbooking guru / designer. I love her philosophy of scrapbooking, not chronologically, and also capturing the everyday, as itsn't it true...life isn't about the next national holiday or party. They are markers of time, but it's the in between that we should pay more attention about. Isn't it? That's when every little bit can add up and make a difference. On the weekend, we went to my father in law's retirement party and it was just lovely and in keeping with this subject...simple. The event had been catered from top to bottom, very a la MIL's style and for the first time I appreciated her for that quality. The acceptance and understanding that somethings are either done better by other people or can be done by experts and other to make life less stressful suddenly appeals to me a bit more.

There is of course a fine line between keeping it simple and reducing stress in your life (and be happy) and keeping it simple by not doing it altogether. I think in the later, that might actually make more stress.

So, that's the end of my brain dump. Hope you lasted though it and it makes some sense. Thanks for listening. It's nice to get up on a little box and just let it out...

1 comment:

Christy said...

Keep writing Jenn- I enjoyed reading about "where your head is". I wonder if we can broach this subject at our retreat? It might make for some interesting conversations!