Monday, April 26, 2010

A Week in the Life

Last week, I took part in a journaling project called "A Week in the Life", which my Remains of the Day classmate Lorraine read about on the blog of a woman named Ali Edwards. Lorraine decided to join in and told me and our other Toronto ROD buddy Diane and we both jumped in as well. You can read Ali's original posting on the subject here: Or you can read Ali's current blog to see the journal she has put together, which she'll be blogging about this week: As far as I can tell from the number of comments on one of Ali's postings last week, at least 4,500 people around the world took part in this project last week - it's cool to know that I was one of them!

The basic premise is that for one week, you keep track of the everyday details of your life by writing down what happens and taking photos to record some of those moments. It doesn't have to be fancy, it doesn't have to be extraordinary, it is just your life during that one particular week. The good, the bad and in some cases, like the picture I took of myself with bed head one morning, the really scary!

Ali's suggestion was to use an 8.5 x 11 inch 3 ring binder and I liked that idea. It's simple and easy to put together. I'm pretty new to the whole journaling/scrapbooking game so my pages are pretty simply put together and not too complex. I used regular lined 3 hole punched paper to do my writing on. I carried the paper to work with me and left it out on my desk to remind me to add things from time to time. At home, I left it on top of the bookcase in my front hall and wrote things down when I was walking by that spot (which is pretty often, the way my apartment is laid out). On Monday, I wrote 4 pages, both sides of 2 pieces of paper. Every other day, I only wrote one page but usually covered both sides. Sunday, my quietest day, I only wrote on one side of the page. I think I wrote more on Monday because it was the first day, as I was describing things for the first time. For example, my morning routine is pretty much the same most days, so I only wrote it out in detail on Monday.

I carried my camera with me everywhere I went and took lots of photos. It was interesting to see that some days I took more pictures than others. 65 on Monday, only 13 on Tuesday (I really don't know why so few this day), 34 on Wed, 53 on Thursday, 32 on Friday, 51 on Saturday and 24 on Sunday. Some of the shots felt kind of goofy - did I really need to take a picture of what I ate for breakfast that day? Then again, why not? Not every picture will make it into the final album but it's fun to look through them all on my computer.

For now, here's a look at a couple of the pages I put together from last Monday:

For each day of the week, I will have one 8.5 x 11 inch photo as the "cover page". For Monday, I used a photo that I took in the cemetery I visited that day, the anniversary of my dad's death. I really love the look of this page - it's a beautiful headstone and I glued on some funky pre-cut letters in a haphazard fashion.

Every day will also have two pages (one insert, front and back) consisting of what is in reality a page typically used for displaying a baseball card collection. It has 9 pockets on each side which hold either wallet-sized photos or whatever else you want to put in them - in my case, things like receipts and tags I made out of file cards cut in half (= the exact size of the pocket) describing the photos or showing my horoscope for the day, the current price of gas, the date from a calendar, that sort of thing.

Some examples of other things I collected for each day are copies of various emails I received, items I picked up or found on my daily travels, like the "inventory required" tag I found on the floor when I went grocery shopping (it's the perfect size for one of the pockets!) or the flattened button I found in a parking lot, business cards, that sort of thing. I also kept the front section of the newspaper one day as a historical record. I'll tuck that into a large page protector or a envelope with holes punched in the side.

A year from now, when I do this again, it will be interesting to see what has changed in my life and what hasn't. It was a lot of fun doing this project, paying attention to my every day surroundings more closely, trying not to take things for granted. It will be great to have this record to show what this week was like in 2010 and compare it to life in 2011 and beyond.

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