I started scrapbooking a short time after my girls were born, but in reality, I’ve always been a memory keeper. My college picture albums included captions, detailed notes on who was in each picture, and other memorabilia. I’ve always loved pulling the story together. It’s one of the reasons that I’m interested in blogging. It’s another way of tracking memories and telling stories.
As life has gotten busier, it has been harder to find time to do paper scrapbooking. In an effort to incorporate more creativity into my life, I started participating in the One Little Word® project by Ali Edwards one of my absolute favorite Memory Keepers. I have been following Ali since I started with scrapbooking, and her book was one of the first ones I bought on the topic, A Designer’s Eye for Scrapbooking. Her style is visually beautiful and has just the right balance of clean lines and artistic touches.
Her business has evolved, and she has moved into even more areas of memory keeping. She offers a variety of interesting classes but the one that caught my eye was the One Little Word® project. The basic premise is that you select a word to guide you for the year. There are prompts that Ali designs each month that help you focus on your word and make your word present in your life. The prompts vary but usually have an artistic or journaling component.
I have participated in One Little Word® for the last two years and am starting my third year now. I love the project, but in terms of connecting with my word, it has been a mixed experience. The first year was amazing and one where I really connected with my word, but last year was more of a struggle to stay with it for the entire year.
Year One | Embrace
I fully connected with my word the first year of the project and was able to incorporate it into multiple areas of my life. At the end of the year, we spend time reflecting on what we want to remember about our word and a couple of my reflections still ring true:
I want to remember how much fun it was to work on this project and take time each month for self-reflection.
I want to remember the importance of stepping back and seeing where you are in your life to be sure your actions are aligned to your goals. This project helped achieve that for me.
Year Two | Adventure
While this word seemed like a good choice especially as I had two adventure trips planned for the beginning of the year, I found it more of a struggle to incorporate it into my life each day. The interesting thing is that while I struggled with the word, when I did my final recap, I had actually accomplished many adventurous things during the year both large and small. I really had brought the word into my life even if it didn’t seem like I was connected to it at the time.
Year Three | Learn
I am not sure if it bodes well or not, but it took me some time to pick my word this year and I’m still not sure I have made the right decision. I knew that my focus for this year would be getting my blog off the ground which would require me to learn many new things, and I had already set a personal goal to learn more professional skills in the coming year so between the two it seems like learn would be a good fit. I have started the project and am going to track the monthly prompts digitally this year. While I have done some digital memory keeping, it has been mainly around creating travel books. I have much to “learn” in the digital area and figured I should be living my word.
|One Little Word® Inspiration|
|Embrace||“To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another that is surely the basic instinct – crying out: High tide! Time to move into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is.” Barbara Kingsolver|
|Adventure||“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” Helen Keller|
|Learn||“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss|
|Website||Ali Edwards One Little Word®|