You know Pam from the television show, The Office? I saw her face in an issue of O Magazine once, and since The Office is one of the only TV shows I watch, I had to find out what the actress, Jenna Fischer, had to say to O readers. Surprisingly, what she said applies directly to us as scrapbookers.
Jenna had the same teenage angst most teens feel toward their parents. One day, while fishing through a drawer that contained memorabilia from her childhood, she found an old datebook her parents kept while she was a baby. Periodically, they would write a quick note on a particular day about what she was doing, or how they were dealing with the struggles and wonder of a having new child.
This is how those simple notes affected Jenna…
As I read, I realized for the first time ever that my parents were human beings. It had honestly never dawned on me that the people responsible for incarcerating me in my bedroom, who forced me into the manual labor of taking out the garbage, had once been two kids who were overwhelmed and excited about having their first baby. And they adored me. To see that kind of humanness in them at a time when I felt so disconnected from them was deeply affecting. I could have hugged them immediately, told them how much I loved them. But I didn’t. In my own subtle, teenage way, I just…appreciated them more.
I have kept the datebook in that drawer ever since, as a reminder of how much my parents did for me, how much they love me, how much I love them.
This article moved me — so much so that I’m writing to you about it three years later! What is it about her story that causes me to recall it again and again? It’s so human. We all relate to it. I found five tips from Jenna’s experience — and from her own way of telling the story — that you and I can use as scrapbookers to encourage a similar result of mutual understanding and compassion between ourselves and the people we scrapbook about.
- Talk to your subject, instead of about your subject. Example: “You always wanted me to hold you facing outward so you could see all the action that was going on,” instead of, “Trinity always wanted me to hold her facing outward so she could see all the action that was going on.”
- Be real. Be honest. Share some of your struggles.
- Sometimes it’s better to let your family members come across your messages to them on their own. You don’t have to show them every page you make right away. They’ll find it later. You also don’t always have to see their responses, or be assured of your impact on them.
- Simplicity in communication is beautiful.
- Writing something down — no matter how small or mundane — is better than not writing anything at all.
And if I can add my own tip — one that is totally unrelated to the article — it would be this: spend a meal passing the camera around and make embarrassing faces when it’s on you. Your kids will love you for that, both now and in the future.
Weekly Paperclipping Roundup
- Tattered Angels Product Giveaway!
- Paperclipping Video Tutorial – Easy Altered Backgrounds
- the Paperclipping Roundtable – The Great Design Team Conspiracy
- the Paperclipping Digi Show – Conquer The Photobook
- the Monthly Challenge – Put your new Paperclipping skills to use!
Save The Date
- The Paperclipping Festival – June 22nd! Members should have received their second email regarding how to participate. If you’re a member, and you’re not getting these, please email me. (If you’re not a member, you can learn about a membership here.)
- Paperclipping Live! – Don’t forget to come scrapbook with us every Tuesday night at 6:30 pm PST!
How To Navigate Around the Changes to the Paperclipping Website
You probably noticed some things are in different places all of a sudden (And we’re not done making changes). You might be wondering how you can make sure you’ll see everything. Here’s the scoop…
The homepage (what you see when you go to www.paperclipping.com) only houses recent video tutorials.
The blog is where you’ll find all of the posts, including…
- Video Tutorials
- Digi Show
- Monthly Challenge Highlights
- anything else we want to share
You can find the blog and see everything by clicking on the link that says “blog” in the navigation bar at the top of the homepage (or any page).
You can also subscribe to the feed by clicking the RSS link in the upper left-hand corner of the site, or the RSS button inside your browser. If you were already subscribed to the old feed before we posted this newsletter you will only get the videos. To get everything, please resubscribe now.
Thanks to everyone who actively participates. You’ve shown us a need to grow and expand all that we’re doing. Many thanks to our members who make all that growth possible!