May 16, 2016

Week in the Life

Last week I participated in "Week in the Life", a project developed by Ali Edwards that helps me capture the everyday moments of life over a seven-day period. 
I have successfully completed WITL twice before: in 2008 and 2010. I attempted it last year but abandoned it a little over midway through after I took only a couple of photos on one of the days and then sort of lost momentum. I was determined that this year would be different and here's why...
WITL is really the only short-term project I do that gives an overall view of our life. My scrapbook pages generally focus on one person, place, or thing at a time and you'd have to look at an awful lot of my layouts to get the complete picture.

WITL is a project that also gives me ideas for other stories I want to tell. When I look at some of the photos I took last week, I've made some wonderful discoveries, including the story about how I spend my leisure time has changed over the years, the story of a little post-it note reminder that has been on every one of our calendars for the past four years, and the story of the items I keep both in the console of my car and my cup-holder.
WITL makes me appreciate the ordinary, the routine, the usual. And it helps me to see that what is ordinary, routine and usual right now may not be so next year or ten years from now. When I completed WITL previously, both our daughters were in high school; now the oldest has embarked on a teaching career and the youngest just graduated from college. Our family dynamic is completely different than it was back then.
WITL has improved my photography a bit. I put more thought into what I photographed and I tried to capture things from a different angle or perspective. And when I look at my photos, I clearly see what is important to me. In addition to family members, I have many photos of my garden and nature, our kitchen, and the sights on my daily walks.
Time for a little true confession here: WITL also encouraged me to do a little more than I might otherwise have during that week. I'm not saying that I went overboard trying to make my life look more interesting than usual but I did make a couple of little changes. For example, I'd gotten lax about my daily walks but the thought of taking my camera along with me on my miles around my neighborhood got me back on track.
WITL fell at a perfect time for me this year - the week ended on my daughter's commencement weekend. My photos and stories are a combination of the usual and the special.
During WITL, I learned that it's ok not to capture every single moment. Since this project is spread out over a week, I have a nice mix of photos and stories. It's not about one particular moment but about the sum of the moments over seven days. Every day brought a new start and new stories.
And continuing with that thought of focusing on the big picture, I've decided that I will go back and complete last year's WITL with the photos/notes I have and won't worry that I didn't initially complete the project. I have more than enough to document most of that week and that's what is important to me. An abbreviated look at that time of my life is still worthwhile and will be interesting to me as the years pass.

Most of all, WITL has emphasized to me that my story really does matter and I need to be the one to tell it.
*All digital word art on my photos was designed by Ali Edwards. You can find most of these items in her shop and can read her perspective on WITL on her website.


  1. Love this Susan! Especially love that photo of the graduates. :)

  2. I may have to do this again and take up your challenge to finish the one I did some years past (the photos are in an album of sorts & my notes are with it - I hope!)
    Love how your photos look with Ali word art, especially the little posies on the windowsill & the dogwoods... tfs