Friday, 23 October 2015

Scrapbooking for Self Esteem

Hold on, I'll be right with you. Just as soon as I've cleared a space: enough of a flat surface on which to balance my laptop and rest my weary arms. That's the thing about tidying up: if you do it on a big enough scale, it has to - unavoidably, no getting away from it - has to get worse before it gets better.

But, there are bonuses and little rays of light as you go. I've found funny cards from friends tucked away for a day just like today, and an extra torch - bonus! it actually works! - and a roll of wrapping paper and a birthday card ready to use. But, best of all, I found this:


Yellowing and creased now, it was at the very back of a pinboard we haven't even had on the walls for years. I cut it out of a magazine when our two were tiny: Esteem Boosters for Girls and Boys. I cut it out and I stuck it to the pinboard and I gave it my best shot.

And then the reminder got lost along the way: covered up with postcards and invitations and notes about that dentist's appointment.

But, wait. Look. Right at the top there. What's first on the list? Tell her stories about her own childhood. Use photo albums.

Scrapbook, in other words. Keeping a record and talking about it is top of the list of esteem building tips.

We are doing good work. I don't usually like referring to scrapbooking as "work". For me it'll never be that: but what other way is there to say it? The task we have set ourselves is an important one. It can be all about pretty papers and collections of photographs and simple creative pleasure...

...but it can be about so much more. We can take all of those other things from it, for sure. But think instead for a minute about what we can give. Recording the stories is only the beginning. If we can bring those stories out again, unfold them, smooth them out and give them the right shape as we talk, like a map, in a way, we are showing the way, giving good direction. Maybe not today, or tomoorow, or even in this generation. Let's keep scrapbooking.


25 comments:

Louise H said...

What a lovely story Sian, thank you for sharing it. My daughter is the one who likes to look through the scrapbooks, and often she remembers different things to me, or sees it from another point of view. I am now trying to get her to add her thoughts to my pages.

Linda said...

Great post Sian! YAY! for scrapbooking! I really hope that one day my children will be interested in my albums.

Ladkyis said...

My father always told me that memories have to be made, they don't just happen. I realise now that he meant that stories must be told and retold. The stories reinforce the memories and your children grow up grounded in their family stories. What we do is the icing on that cake. We give our families the pictorial evidence - sometimes they would rather we didn't (remind me to blog the picture of my two boys streaking across the lawn when their age was still in single figures) but the most important thing is that we give them the triggers for the memories.

Jo said...

What a great find, it's one of the things I love about having a good clear out! Scrapbooking forever :)

Maggie said...

As you know Sian I am not a scrap booker but I am an avid photographer and have their lives in photos and other bits and pieces I have kept. They may not necessarily want it today but they may do one day. I have done some work on my family tree and where did I find the clues to start me off? In my aunts and great aunts scrap book and photo albums.
I think those tips for self esteem are all worthy. They cannot grow up and become independent without self esteem. The diary makes me smile. I don't read their Facebook etc even when they do leave themselves logged in but why do they think they can stand over my shoulder and read every word I am typing? Not that I have anything worth hiding these days!

smcl said...

Yesssss! Great post!

I saved a similar article from way back when, way before I started scrapbooking.

Sandra said...

A lovely post for sure. This is the joy that clearing out brings ... Happy finds and things that really make you smile and remember. A bit like Scrapbooking really xxx

Karen said...

Fabulous post! It's why I scrapbook although neither of my adult children show a lot of interest in them. I hope that will change eventually, especially since I'm recording their children's lives as well!

Ruth said...

You've got it bang on with this post! And I think Ladkyis summed up what I planned to say perfectly!

Barbara Eads said...

I totally agree---we need to record the stories of our lives for posterity. As I head to Italy in the spring with my six sisters---what I wouldn't give to be able to talk to deceased family members about how the lived and grew up there. We'll be visiting their birthplace, but sadly with no stories to go along. Yes, we must keep up the good "work!"

I Will Bloom said...

Oh Sian, what important points you make. This is why I scrapbook, most definitely. My littles - at least once a week - pull one or more albums out and ask for stories (I think that's so wonderful!). Would *love* to see the whole list (if you'd have a moment to send it across)...fascinating! (And how great you uncovered it again in your archaeological field trip -(tidying!).....!)

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

This is timely and hits the nail on the head as always, Sian. My boy is home for reading week and we spent a very entertaining hour going through a photo album that he pulled off the shelf earlier.

Lizzy Hill said...

And a big AMEN to that !!!!!

Jennifer Shaw said...

So very true. Great post and yay to a tidy desk!

Gail said...

That's quite the find you came across! I can see where that would definitely help with self esteem. Coming from a family of no scrapbooks, no labeled photos (what there were of them) it makes me smile. It has given me an idea for a post on why I scrapbook seeing as we don't have children.

I Will Bloom said...

Sian....haven't logged in to OT and can't do so til Monday...just to say that I hope she enjoyed herself on Thursday evening!!!

Patio Postcards said...

Your children are very lucky as are many of the other commentators, to have both the written word & photos of their lives. A gift to the future.

Susanne said...

Well said, a welcome reminder of our opportunity and our obligation.

Maria Ontiveros said...

I love this post! We definitely are a family of story tellers, sometimes to excess if you ask Henry! I really,really need to do some cleaning up.
I love your observation that things get messier before they get cleaner. . . too, too true.
Rinda

505whimsygirl said...

Hi Sian,
What a great list to re-discover. As soon as we start looking at our craft, no matter what it is, as work we lose the fun of it. The idea of making something and enjoying the process.

Thanks for reminding me to keep it fun!

Hugs,
Kay

alexa said...

How fascinating that it has been hidden there for so long, Sian, but somewhere your lovely young people have been imbued and supported by it - and both of you. I love your post: the stories we tell really shape us ...

Missus Wookie said...

What a great find - and a reminder of those things that help shape us and our parenting/living until they are absorbed into ourselves. Hard to untangle such things.

Glad you are doing well on the sorting and clearing. I've been enjoying a cleaner/clearer bathroom but still have a bag to get to the charity shop.

Julia said...

Amen sister!

alexandra s.m. said...

A very moving post to which I can related 100%
Your DD is a Beauty!
Thank You for that beautiful post.

alexandra s.m. said...

(so sorry Sian, the above comment was meant to appear below your Monday post)

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