Now, before I lose the male readers of this column, I assure you that this article is not about paper choices, sticker options and page designs. Sure, those things are all a part of the big picture (pun intended), but I think it is more. And it is the "more" that I think I have missed more than anything.
To me, scrapbooking is about relationships. I started scrapbooking when I was in MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), and I went into it kicking and screaming. I loved the look of the pages, but I wasn't about to put the time or the money into such a project. It wasn't until as a leadership team, it was decided that we would hold a class for those who were interested in learning to scrapbook. Being the good rule follower that I am, and wanting to show support for the leadership team, I attended the class. My pages, although I was proud of them at the time, were horrible, but I was hooked.
We had craft nights about every month where several of us would get together and work on our albums, get fresh ideas and share in each others lives through pictures and conversation. It was likened to the quilting bees of old, and that analogy resonated with me. There were a lot of stories shared in those get-togethers and a lot of memories made.
As our children grew, those early get-togethers turned into play dates for the parents and eventually a get together one day a week while the kids were in school. There were 3 of us in that initial weekly group, and we knew each other better than we knew ourselves at times. Over time the composition and dynamics of the group changed, but the depth of the relationships remained. There were some deep wounds and shared sorrows, but we all grew through the experiences we shared.
Unfortunately, as time went on, our schedules got busier. The kids got involved in sports, and we all became working moms with different schedules to work around. We couldn't squeeze in those weekly get-togethers, but we assured each other we would still get together monthly and catch up. But we didn't.
Don't get me wrong, I still count each of the women that I built a relationship among my friends - some among my closest friends. But there was an intimacy in those deep relationships that is hard to nurture in infrequent get-togethers.
My mantra the last few weeks has been that I miss my friends. And, it's true. Whether it is my scrapbooking buddies, or friends who have moved away or even friends that I see everyday in passing, I miss the peace that comes with just being able to have a conversation - to share a laugh - to be a part of their lives for just a minute.
I guess, like scrapbooking, it comes down to priorities. I think it may be time to re-examine mine.