Saturday May 24, 2008

I’ve had a small number of hobbies over the years, including collecting bears in various forms and a more recent hobby of blogging. The first one, ceramic and stuffed bear collecting, has always been something fun and consistent I could do over the years. Each stuffed bear had its own name and with that name comes memories of how I got the bear, etc. The ceramic bears have been given to me to represent various important parts of my life, including graduation and even living in Oklahoma.
Here’s a few representatives that I still have of both collections:

Anyone reading this knows I love to blog. I actually used to think blogs were egotistical and lame but I got started doing this one on Xanga to keep people updated on my plans to have gastric-bypass surgery. The blog has continued to provide family and friends updates on life since the surgery. When I joined MySpace, I didn’t want to have two blogs but then I started dabbling over there. Now I do a lot of blogging on MySpace and simply copy it over to Xanga (why write it twice?).

Blogging really improved my life in a lot of ways. For one thing, it allows me to be creative. But it also allows me an outlet for dealing with a lot of life’s issues. It’s been a primary way for me to work through a lot that I’ve been learning in therapy. It’s also improved my writing ability, I think.

In the last few years, I’ve started on a new hobby and for me, it’s been just as good an outlet as the blogging, just in a different way. Scrapbooking allows me to reflect on my past and celebrate the present as I look forward to the future. It allows me to be creative in a way that I normally wouldn’t consider trying. I’m not the artsy type so at first I really balked at trying this new hobby. But once I got started with my friend Valerie, I was hooked.

I’ve done several small projects for friends or family and I’ve completed one scrapbook for myself, which was about my trip two summers ago to Chicago and Atlanta. I’ve also go an ongoing project regarding my gastric bypass surgery. I’ve been able to record my progress, celebrate my success and even acknowledge my struggles. Having this scrapbook has also helped me create better personal boundaries for myself. Lots of people like to ask about the surgery and by having the scrapbook, I can determine what is OK to share and what I really just don’t want to share. If it’s in the scrapbook, it’s OK.

I’ve also recently started a new project that will take an incredibly long time but it is not what I consider an “ongoing” project. It’s about my first 30 years and it includes HUNDREDS of pictures from my childhood that I copied from my mom’s picture supply. So far I’ve only got three pages done…

My page about my school I attended K-8:

This double page layout is about birthdays in my life. For those who know me, you know my birthday is like a national holiday to me!

Another project I’ll be starting in a few months is my wedding scrapbook. That’s right, I’m going to scrapbook my wedding album instead of just the traditional wedding picture album! I’m really excited, I’ve already bought the album and some of the paper from Creative Memories.

I can’t wait to show all these projects to you!

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