When Is an Excuse a Good Excuse?

When Is an Excuse a Good Excuse?

First of all, let’s get this out of the way. This is not about letting you (and me!) off the hook and letting your excuses control your life. Not at all.

This is about when life throws you curve balls while you’re standing hip deep in muck with your hands full of very expensive family heirloom china. (Did I mix enough metaphors for you there?)

This is about the reasons and times when you choose not to scrapbook. (Operative word there-choose! Very important.)

There have been times when I haven’t scrapbooked. Wanted to, but just couldn’t get myself on the horse.

(Warning! Personal stories ahead!) 😉

When I first started scrapbooking, my output was very limited because I was very unsure of myself. I wasn’t sure about how to go about telling the stories I wanted to tell. I also felt like I was missing something as far as design goes. You’d think as a productive rubber stamper I’d have had the design thing covered, but something about the size difference threw me off.

Not being one to let that stop me, since I really did want to scrapbook, I set about finding things to help with journaling and design.

I took classes at the local scrapbook store. I looked at all the scrapbook magazines I could find out there, and chose one to subscribe to. I read books. (The best intro to scrapbooking tome was from Memory Makers–Scrapbook Fundamentals. Hard to find now.)

The local classes weren’t very helpful, since all the instructor did was read from a book, but they did help me realize that journaling is just writing. I write all the time. Why was I making it harder on myself? Why did I think there was something special or different about it? Still don’t know the answer to that one.

The magazines were wonderfully helpful however. I subscribed to Simple Scrapbooks, and never looked back. I’d occasionally buy another magazine, but Simple was where my heart lay. And it was full of ideas! Design ideas. Story ideas. Album ideas.

And then through Simple, I learned about Stacy Julian’s brain child: Big Picture Classes. And then found out one of my favorite contributors to Simple, Cathy Zielske, was going to be teaching a class all about design. I signed right up.

After that, I was making pages like crazy. I signed up for Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories class, because that was the next problem I had run into while taking CZ’s class– never having the photo I wanted easily accessible.

So that’s one way I solve my excuses. If I don’t know how to do something, I do research, and take classes, and immerse myself in a subject. I call it batch processing my life. You should have seen me on my Doctor Who binge.

The next big excuse that stopped me right in my tracks was the death of my mother-in-law. Besides the obvious emotional upheaval, I also struggled with a lot of guilt at the time, because I had scrapped so few pages about her. This was one of those times where I gave myself permission to just not scrap for awhile, to let the raw edges of grief desensitize. One of the first pages I made when I slowly began to scrapbook again was a layout about my mother-in-law.

adventure  || noexcusescrapbooking.com


Afterwards, my scrapbooking pace slowly increased again, until I found Lain Ehmann’s Layout a Day Challenge group. With that, there was no stopping me. Right up until I played assistant to Lain’s MotherLOAD challenge, I finished every single challenge, with at least a page every day.

Of course, there came times each month where I would be tired or sick or just not motivated to make a page. Every time that happened, I tough talked myself into making a page. After all, the reason I didn’t want to scrap that day was basically because I just plain didn’t want to. I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty lame excuse for me to use. So I’d make a page. Everyday. For a month. Repeatedly. And I loved it.

sick & tired || noexcusescrapbooking.com

Not going to let a little thing like being sick stop me!

Nowadays, I don’t make myself finish a page everyday during a challenge. I KNOW I can do it, but really don’t feel the need to. I don’t have anything left to prove, at least not to myself.

Those are some of the excuses I’ve used and surmounted in my scrappy life.

Now it’s your turn. What are your excuses? Do you let them stop you? How do you keep scrapping?


7 Responses »

  1. Heather, so many people fall in the same trap you were in. They let their lack of know-how and experience stop them in their tracks. Instead of pushing through, they just stop. There are all kinds of resources to help with basic scrapbooking techniques and ideas. I’m so glad you persevered!

    • Thanks Kristie! I’ve never let a little thing like lack of knowledge stop me. I’m a researcher at heart.

  2. I am like you in so many ways. Love the “batch processing” thing – I do that too! When I don’t know enough about something, I immerse myself in it in every way possible. I also took Cathy Z.’s design class and Stacy J.’s LOM class. Those both helped move my scrapbooking forward by great strides.

    But my excuses? I’m tired, I’ve got this or that or the other to do first, the list can go on and on. The way I work against them is to keep on top of printing my photos, and always having a stash kit made up and ready to go.

  3. Thanks for sharing! My biggest excuse is time…making time, not taking time, no time… that’s why I love LOAD, because it sets me a goal and a deadline!

    • Yep Libby, that’s the cool thing about LOAD. Suddenly scrapbooking earns a place on your to-do list. I wonder why we have to be participating in a challenge or class for scrapbooking to make it onto the to-do list.

What do you think?