Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Some people call it scrapper's block. Some call it being tired. I call it a time when I feel overwhelmed by the "Scrapbooking and Homemaking Shoulds." (You should get published! You should start a business scrapping for others! You should start a website and sell your designs! You should teach this to others! You should do a certain number of layouts each month! You should set up a photography studio in your home to get really good pictures of the kids! You should organize your house so that you can have more time to scrap! You should send layouts to your mom so she can enjoy your kids! You should make wall canvases for all your kids! You should make your relatives mini albums! You should make Christmas cards for eveyone you know! You should have framed photos of your kids on the wall for decoration. Your home should be clutter-free so you will be more creative. You should study graphic design in case you ever need to support your kids. You should get up from the computer and work on remodeling your house. This is so serious. The voice inside goes on and on....) This used to be a hobby that was relaxing for me. It kept me tied to this life during my years of depression when everything else seemed to overwhelm me. Now, somehow, it has lost its qualities as a hobby and has become a venture, a pursuit, or a duty. Well, I am officially declaring to the world that I am taking back my hobby as my own! I will do exactly what I want with it, when I want to do it. It is MINE!
I am tired of feeling like I am up against a wall when I look at my kits and my photos. I have so many words I would like to say, so many moments I want to capture. But when I look at the magazines and the galleries, I get overwhelmed by how many layouts I have NOT done. I open a magazine and start beating myself up because I haven�t followed through on submitting my layouts (what layouts? LOL!) for publication. I look around my studio and feel bad because it is full of paper supplies that I am not using right now. How has this become a guilt-ridden burden? Why am I trying to "prove" my self-worth this way? This is crazy! God already loves me the way that I am so I don't know why I think I would be better if I were all these other things.
I don't want to make money at it. I don't really want to scrapbook for others. I don't want to sell my kits. I don't want to run a website. I don't want to be "well-known" by the scrapbooking community. I don't care to be published or to win contests. I don't want to create artistic masterpieces that inspire others. I don't want to record every bit of my children's lives so they never forget. I don't want to make fru-fru layouts that overpower the photos. I don't want to make layouts that others will like. I don't want to try to please anyone but me! I don't want to do this for everyone else. I don't want to worry about what others will think of my style. I want to do it for ME! I want to play again with no ultimate purpose other than to have fun. I want to express parts of myself that get overlooked in a busy life with four kids.
I have been very hurt this year. My paper scrapbooking store where I worked and that I loved dearly closed with very little notice. I miss teaching classes. I miss spending every Friday night chatting with other women about life and creative things. I miss encouraging others to "let go" and try something new. I miss showing them ways to make it easier and simpler. I miss the one place I had in life where people met me in my element and knew me for who I am and not who I am "supposed" to be as a preacher's wife, mother or whatever else they decide I am supposed to be. I miss seeing all the papers and setting up the crop room so others could enjoy their weekly get-away.
This has been a hard year for me. I lost my shop, my best friend, and found out we will be moving this summer. It is a time when I should be pampering myself and all I seem to do is push myself more and more. Now my hips are hurting again and what I am going to be able to do with the remodel and the move is very unclear. So I am going to follow my own instruction for a while. I am going to "let go" of everything that I think SHOULD be and focus on just what I want it to be. I need that right now. I need to be FREE!
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