Alternately titled: The Post Where I Milk This Week in the Life Project for All It’s Worth
First of all, a huge thanks to those of you who followed my insane Week in the Life project like a reality TV show. I know I’m not quite as interesting (and by interesting I mean a train-wreck) as the Bachelorette but then again, I don’t really want to be. But you guys kept me pressing on when I wanted to just go to sleep before 10 instead of staying up to post. Thanks for the sleep deprivation, ya’ll. Really.
Nevertheless, I got so many comments from you guys- some of you were inspired, some of you were just plain curious and some of you got the shakes just THINKING about trying it.
Regardless of whether or not you ever attempt a Week in the Life project for yourself, life is just too short to not capture the everyday.
Here are seven tips to get you started whenever the hell you feel like it:
1. Think back… way back.
It’s often we capture birthdays, vacations and other big events but we forget to document what our life was like 90% of the time. As I mentioned before, what about the daily lifewould you have liked to see from your mother, your father, your grandmother? Wouldn’t it be cool to see your mother vacuuming with that old Electrolux? Or your father having a tea party with you and your favorite dolls? Or to know how your mom felt at the end of the day (probably a lot like you feel)? Or to see a receipt from the grocery store- milk cost WHAT? By thinking of what you’d be interested in, it’s easy to figure out what to capture in your own life.
2. Start small.
I got a lot of comments that people didn’t know if they could do it for a week. Who says you have to? Maybe try a day or even a morning or afternoon routine. Document in pictures and writing what a typical dinnertime in your household was like, or how you typically spend the weekend.
3. Pictures don’t need to be perfect. The picture quality isn’t what’s important… it’s the story the photo tells. I kept a lot of the blurry ones, the ones where the background was blown out, etc. because they told my story the best. We don’t lead lives that mirror a professional magazine shoot (or at least I don’t). The photos should be the same way. It should be raw, be real and be true to your life.
4. Write it down.
Keep notepads around the house so you can write down the funny things your kids say or other things you want to remember. Baby brain DOES last forever so trust me you won’t remember every cute thing your daughter said. I also use MacJournal to record milestones, blog ideas and other things I need to write down. (I found LifeJournal as an alternative for PC users but can’t vouch for it since I’m a Mac-girl.)
5. Get yourself in some pictures.
Nuh-uh-uh! Stop the protesting. Years from now, your kids won’t care that you hated taking pics because you thought you were fat, you hated your outfit, your hair was frizzy, etc. Hand over your camera and ask someone to take a picture of you. Use the self-timer. WHATEVER it takes. Your children will appreciate it one day. Maybe even you too.
6. You don’t need to be a fanatic.
Regardless of how you choose to document your life, or a piece of your life, you don’t need to overwhelm yourself (like I did in the beginning of the week). If you go to the pool every weekend, just capture ONE weekend. You don’t need to do them all. And if you run out of steam, just try again another day. It shouldn’t be stressful.
7. Embrace the imperfections.
This and #1 are the most important. When I was taking pictures, I mentally smacked my hand a few times. I wanted to clean up the background- the laundry piled up, the toys strewn all over the floor, the bed not made. But that’s not MY life. I never frickin’ make up my bed (although I wish I did) and well, I have two kids under 4 so my house is in constant chaos. You don’t need to impress anyone… or yourself. Document life AS IT IS- the perfect parts, the not-so-perfect parts and the ZOMG-I’m-kinda-embarrassed-by-this parts.
[warning: I’m going to sound like a commercial]. If you want to see the master of the Week in the Life project, and where I got the inspiration from, visit Ali Edwards’ WITL page.
What do I do now? Go back to my regular posts and slowly work this week’s collection of notes, photos and memorabilia into a scrapbook to keep for years and years. Hopefully my kids will appreciate it… one day.