Preparing for Day in the Life | Part 1

Monday, March 7, 2016

For those of you who are participating in Ali Edward's Day in the Life at the end of March, I thought it may be a good thing to share some thoughts I've been having on preparing for this day.

Why prepare? Why not just snap away during the day?

Well, 3 years in on this project, I know that the day can arrive and even with the best intentions, can slip away and be over before you've captured the true essence of your day. If you're going to record this day so someone can look back at a specific moment in time, then why not set out with some clear intentions? If you have the opportunity to start with the end in mind, you can focus on more specific things and feel more accomplished at the end of the day.

Apart from the obvious documenting of your daily routine; it may be an opportunity to think a bit wider and look at other things which may be interesting to look back on.

Have you ever observed what your family find interesting in your photos or albums? Often it's the nostalgia. Not just remembering the moment, but the feeling of the moment. What captures that feeling or emotion comes from a number of things - the scene, the occasion, the people, the weather and so on. These are all things you can capture in your photos or journaling.

Today I want to talk about communication. How do you communicate daily with your partner, family, the wider family, your friends and work mates?

Where do conversations take place in your home? Do you talk around the table over dinner? Sadly, that doesn't happen as often as I'd like in my house these days due to the busy work schedules and teens with their own agendas. In saying that, we do talk a lot and I'd like to be able to write about this on the day.

One of the only times I use the landline these days (other than those pesky survey type calls), is to speak to my parents or parents-in-law. Neither set are good with mobile phones and other technology. I use my mobile to text or phone my husband and children when we're apart. My daughter speaks to her friends via Snapchat. That's something we'll look back on in 5 or 10 years and giggle about - much like landlines. Those things will be superseded by better technology, for sure.

Think about how you could record this in your pages.  You can simply narrate in journaling form or you could screenshot a text and print out. You could also add a photo of devices or list what each member of the family has and uses. It's surprising when you do this, just how much technology is a major part of our lives. Ask each of the family what they'd grab first if they had to evacuate the house! For my family, where they'd once have named favourite toys, now it would be their technology - their new form of toys.

I know my children get a kick out of reading snippets of what I've recorded about them, especially things they may have said. These things can really sum up their personalities and age at the time.

The second point I wanted you to think about regarding communication - how are you going to record your Day in the Life journaling?
Digital stamps from Big Picture Classes shop
Of course you don't have to write anything. A photo story of the day is fine on it's own. However, if you intend to write about your day, there are lots of ways to go about it. Here are a few ideas:

1. Write in first person in present tense. I've always admired this beautiful style of journaling by Ronnie at Life Captured. I always form a visual picture when I read her narrations and I'm sure that in the future her children will be magically carried back to that special nostalgic place when they read her stories.
I think this will be my choice on the day and I'll make notes as the day goes by and write my journaling in the evening while it's all fresh in my mind (or straight into a document as the day goes by, time permitting). I'll be writing about my day, from my perspective. I am the story teller.

2.  A written summary of the day, in past tense.

3. Notes and times on photos.

4.  Journaling cards to slip in pockets beside photos.

5. An hourly sentence or thought.

6. Have each member of the family write a 3x4 card about the highlight or summary of their day.

It doesn't need to be elaborate and it doesn't matter if you think you're no good at writing. Remember, this is your story. Your family will appreciate that you made the effort to record a snapshot in time involving them. Heck, they may even be surprised at what you get done in a day. Kids think food and clean laundry appears magically!

It's not only that. Life changes very quickly. It feels like a short time ago that my children were at primary school and I was taxi mum. I still am to a degree, but this is my youngest's last year of school and she's about to get her Driver's Licence. It's a funny feeling. On one hand I feel happy that 'taxi mum' time is almost over, but on the other I feel nostalgic about the times past - when conversations took place in the car on the way to school or activities. And that doesn't even begin to sum up my feelings as my children become independent adults!

As one chapter closes and yet a new one begins, it's all important to record all the details of a Day in the Life. 

My next post will be about photo ideas for Day in the Life.

Here's how I recorded the day last year. And I always like the simplicity of my 2013 pages.


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