Apologies to those who are here today expecting to see some new layouts about all things school-related. After some internal debate, I decided to switch gears today, because yesterday morning I received the most devastating of news: a member of the Air Force community that I currently belong to—a mother (my age!) with two small children—died suddenly in her sleep on Monday night.
The details of this tragedy do not belong here in this forum we share. After a great deal of soul-searching yesterday, I decided the reminder does. It is too important to ignore—for me, and for you. The reminder, of course, begins with that message we all hear from time to time: what we do as scrapbookers is valuable. It is not frivolous or silly to spend time documenting the stories of our lives, and the documentation we create—digital, paper, on a blog or in a journal—is a priceless gift to ourselves and our loved ones.
That isn't all, though. Scrapbookers spend a lot of time behind the camera. The pictures we take are priceless, but is time to stop ignoring our own absence in photographs. It is not OK to look through nine months of photographs as I did yesterday and find less then ten of me pictured with one or more of my children. It is not OK to find less than three of me pictured with my own parents. It is not OK for me, and it is not OK for them. We all know that photographs are magic, and sometimes, suddenly, that magic can be a connection a thousand times—no, a million times—more important than it was the day before.
Are you familiar with Aleida's Challenge? If not, you can read about it by clicking here. Even if you don't join the challenge group at Flickr, I'd love for each of us here to take up the challenge today on our own and include ourselves in a photo with our children, our nieces, our nephews, our grandchildren. Hand over the camera to someone else, set it on the kitchen counter and use the self-timer feature, use your computer's camera, hold it up at arms-length—it doesn't matter. Offer to take a picture for a friend or co-worker, or the stranger fumbling with her camera at the zoo. The act of clicking that shutter will serve as a reminder that our presence in the photograph with our loved ones is more than important, it's imperative.
I'll be back with my regularly scheduled program on Friday after tomorrow's giveaway. Thank you for reading today.