| Written by Ronnie |
Since May 2012, I have been documenting our family life week by week in the form of life albums. Whilst I wholeheartedly believe that everybody needs to do what works for them, I have a feeling that weekly documentation is rather underrated these days. So today, in addition to sharing our Week Three pages and spreads, I thought I'd argue my case for the weekly documentation of life and why I think it's actually a pretty great way to go. (You can click on each image for a larger version.)
1) It's more flexible than daily documentation
I think that 365 day projects are great. Katherine's, for example, is one that I love. However, I know that for myself, I cannot honestly commit to taking a photo every single day. With four little boys, life is simply too unpredictable. This is why weekly documentation works wonders for me. I don't have to stress about picking up my camera every day. I am free to take photos on days where it's meaningful to do so and to not even think about photography on other days. Even if I haven't taken any photos from Monday to Friday, I can 'make up' for it on the weekend and take a few more photos.
2) It's less overwhelming than monthly documentation
As some of you might know, I also have life albums for each one of our boys and for those albums, I update them on a monthly basis. There's no doubt about it. Weekly documentation is much easier than monthly documentation. And the main reason for this is because it's much less overwhelming. When you only have a week's worth of photos to sort through and choose from, you're much more inclined to actually sit down and get it done.
From my own personal experience, I always know that I can get my weekly pages done in less than two hours, so every week, I just sit down and do it because I know that I can. However, when it comes to updating the boys' albums, I have to psyche myself up so much more to get into the right headspace. And even then, because I'm feeling overwhelmed by all the photos I have to sort through and all the different bits and pieces I have to complete, my mind inevitably tricks me into thinking that it's too hard and that "I just need to take a small break by going on Facebook and Instagram." Thus I end up procrastinating and the whole process just drags outs. Of course, there are things to you can do combat this (breaking down the big job into smaller parts is definitely one of them), but it doesn't change the fact that weekly documentation is quite straightforward and easy compared to documenting a longer period of time in one go.
3) It allows you to journal and write about stuff while it's still fresh.
Even if you're not someone who journals on the go, the weekly documentation of life approach allows you to look back over each week and write up stuff that happened while it's still relatively fresh in your memory. These days, even though I keep a concise written record of every day, I still find myself elaborating on particular things that happened (or special moments that are worth noting) when I'm in the process of putting together my weekly layouts. Usually, this is prompted by photos that speak to me, and it's easy enough to do because the details are usually still fresh in my memory.
4) It allows you to appreciate just how special every week actually is.
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your life is too mundane to warrant being documented on a weekly basis. Let me assure you that our family life is probably as ordinary as it gets. Yet, when I look back on our life albums and flip through every week of our family's life since May 2012, it truly hits me just how special and blessed every week has been in these last three years. Even during the weeks when we were struggling, there was always something to be thankful for - an unexpected cuddle, a comforting meal, a beautiful sunset, the morning light, a gift from a friend, dinner out at our favourite cafe. Yes, even during those crappy weeks, the richness of life shines through. Life may seem 'ordinary' and 'mundane' while we live it week by week, but when it is captured through heartfelt words and honest images, it is anything but.
5) It allows you to transform a weekly habit into a keepsake you will treasure forever.
This, I think, is the clinching argument for the weekly documentation of life. By simply committing to a couple of hours each week to working on your life album, you will end up with the most precious album that covers 52 weeks of the year, and you can do it with minimal stress. By turning this into a weekly habit, you will end up with a keepsake that you will treasure forever without even having to think about it.
So whilst I know that there is no one way to do memory keeping, these are five reasons which I think make weekly documentation worth thinking about. I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Please feel free to leave a link to your latest life album layouts if you’d like to share.
- Digital templates used: Signature Card Set (Rockwell Edition)
- Physical supplies used: Becky Higgins Design A page protector; Kirkland Signature professional glossy photo paper
- Printer used: Canon MG6360 Pixma