Preventing Overwhelm: Go with the flow of life

Seasons and stages

17072014_1GowiththeFlowofLifeIn the past year I have been in the most productive and prolific season of my scrapbooking life, I’ve done more scrapbooking in this past month than I’ve managed to do some years as a scrapbooker. This is huge. I finally feel as if I’ve come into my own as a scrapbooker because I am fuelling my passion and finding balance with my other commitments. In the past week however my scrappy process has been a bit less intense and a little lower on the list and that’s why I thought now would be the perfect time to share some of my tips for preventing overwhelm in your scrapbooking.

If there is one thing I could say to preventing overwhelm it’s to ‘go-with-the-flow-of-life’, so what does that mean exactly – it means working with the seasons of your life not against them.  Those seasons of life may be; where you’re at in terms of ‘life stages’, literal seasons of the year (we are farmers after-all), or seasons of inspiration.

As far as ‘life stages’ goes in my current season of life I’m knee-deep in parenting small children. We’re over the babies & sleepless nights portion for now (until such time as we’re ready to add to the brood). My boys are a little more independent and able to entertain each other for small windows of time, but save for the occasional nap require a lot of my time and energy for most of the day. We also run our own business, this past week has been our holiday season here on the farm. Our cows are dried off in preparation for calving season which means we’re not milking at the moment and get to enjoy our annual sleep-in (Yay for holidays!), but when calving season starts it’ll be all hands on deck and crazy busy around here. As far as inspiration well it’s coming at me from all directions it seems.

17072014_2GowiththeFlowofLifeI need to be able to fit my scrapbooking around all these other things in my life. Which means I scrapbook in short spurts through the day and after the kids have gone to bed. We have slower seasons and peak seasons of work where I can do more scrapbooking or where I may not even see my scraproom unless I’m well prepared. We don’t live too close to stores so I purchase supplies very occasionally when I make the trip into town and I generally scrap alone at home and find community online with other scrappers.

This is a lot different to how my scrapping process looked when I was working, or in university or in the early years of our courting/married life. When I was working full-time, I had a 9-5 job and so scrapbooking time was reserved for weekends and weeknights. I lived alone so had no other distractions in house but I had a fairly active social life and balanced scrapping with commitments at church or with friends and other groups I was a part of. I attended crops often and socialised with other scrapbookers. I also had a disposable income that was spent mostly on scrappin’ supplies and I am yet to tap the bottom of that particular well of stash. When I was in uni, I studied in a creative field so much my creative energy went towards assignments and although I had considerably more free time, I was also far more inclined to waste it surfing the internet or doing something that required no brain power – like watching tellie. I also had very little income so had to get creative with scrap supplies or dig into my abundance of older stuff. Scrapbooking was factored into my weekly routine but I have fewer layouts from that time period because my creative focus was generally elsewhere, but they do have a more artistic bent because I was sourcing inspiration from unusual places.17072014_4GowiththeFlowofLifeBringing other people into my life changed my scrappy focus again. During our courting, my free time was spent obviously with the gorgeous fella who’s now my one and only, but I had time outside of work and at my own house to concentrate on scrapbooking. Early married life meant a change in routine and location, and a surprise honeymoon baby but my husband worked long days and when I wasn’t busy packing or exhausted from growing a baby I had plenty of time in the middle of the day to get my scrap on. With a newborn scrapbooking had to compete with adjusting to being responsible for a tiny human and the desperate need for sleep.

My scrapbooking has had to evolve with each life stage. Every change has affected when I could scrapbook, how much I could spend on scrapbooking, what I scrapbooked about, even where I scrapbooked. Creative energies have ebbed and flowed and focus has either been able to go towards scrapbooking or other pursuits like studying, building relationships, or work. Therefore it is natural that each life stage has meant a change in the frequency and output of layouts and tweaking the way and manner in which I scrapbooked. By allowing that ebb and flow and going with my present ability, desire and access to scrapbooking I have been able to consistently make scrapbooking part of my life no matter what else was going on. One thing that certainly hasn’t changed is the amount of ideas that keep coming and my love and passion for this great craft. Fighting against my current abilities and tendencies only meant frustration. As important as scrapbooking is to me it had to take a back seat at times.

Let’s start a conversation. How have different life stages affected your own scrapbooking?

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One thought on “Preventing Overwhelm: Go with the flow of life

  1. Pingback: Preventing Overwhelm: Go with the flow of life | live. create. love it.

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