So far this month, we’ve taken a hard look at the expectations and dreams we have for our lives, our homes, our families, our careers, our friends. We’ve held them up to the light of reality – in its beauty and its challenges – and we’ve discussed ways to let go of those fairy tales in exchange for real life.

Today’s topic isn’t quite so serious.

Think back to your childhood. What did you like to do most? What was your favorite toy or game? What would you have spent all your time doing, if only school and chores and parents, man didn’t get in the way?

Many of us haven’t done those things, enjoyed those past-times in years. Though we hold so tightly to the activities we love as children, we often let them go too easily when we get older. We don’t have enough time, enough talent, enough money to keep up with our hobbies, the things that bring us such joy.

I’ve written about my own regrets over giving up music. And if you’ve been here long, you’ve seen my not-so-internal debate over what my love of reading looks like as an adult. (Exhibit A: the classics vs. the young adult novels)

[Spoiler alert: the YA novels, mysteries and historical fiction win every time.]

But one hobby love I haven’t talked about much lately is scrapbooking. When I first started scrapbooking in 2001, I was so ambitious. A brand-new working adult with lots of free time, I had big plans to put every picture I’d ever taken into a scrapbook. I organized my photos into envelopes then stacked them, chronologically, in a shoebox.

I had big scrappy plans.

Of course, I kept taking new photos – because my life NEEDED to be documented (with cute paper, rounded corners and tiny little stickers, of course). So those old photos stayed in their envelopes, which were certainly not acid-free.

Then I had a baby and scrapbooking my own life came to a halt. My past? My vacations? My dinner parties and baby showers and weekend getaways? Not important. I HAD TOO MANY PHOTOS OF MY ADORABLE BABY TO EVEN CONSIDER TAPING PICTURES WITHOUT HER SWEET FACE OR TOES OR KNUCKLES IN THEM!

Then I went back to work. Then I quit my job. Then I got another job in an office. Then I got a job working from home. And a bunch of other stuff happened – but a lot of scrapbooking did NOT.

I still love paper (OH, HOW I LOVE PRETTY PAPER), and even more than that, I love getting together with my scrapbooking friends on a Saturday to get our craft on. Except . . . the last couple of times I was able to meet up with my friends for a craft day, I didn’t even scrapbook.

What I did instead was buy some photo albums and stuck my high school and college photos in them. I made a few notes on these cute little cards that fit in slots next to the pictures, tossed a bunch of lousy pictures I couldn’t remember why I was keeping, and called it good.

It might seem silly to you that I have a dream for great scrapbooking accomplishments (a shelf full of beautifully matching albums, protected with acid-free everything and page protectors, holding every photo I’ve ever taken, of course!), but I bet most of us have at least one hobby-related fairy tale. Maybe you’ve dreamed someday you’ll…

…join the choir at church
…take that art class at the community college
…learn to play the guitar
…turn your love of snapping pictures into a photography business
…play league softball
…perform with that dance troupe
…try out for the community theater musical

And maybe it hasn’t happened yet. Or maybe you tried and it didn’t turn out like you hoped. I have to ask: what do you do now?

Will you give up, push that dream into a corner with old yearbooks, stuffed animals and other childhood fantasies? Do you pretend like it didn’t matter that much anyway?

Or will you try again? Or adjust that dream to fit with your reality (like simpler scrapbooking in place of the more complicated version with die cuts and layered papers and seven different tools for one layout)?

I’ve kept my piano and hope to take lessons again when Annalyn does (probably next year).
Every once in a while, I force myself to pick up a classic to balance out the fluff I love reading.

And I go to every craft day I can, even if I spend the day shoving oddly shaped and occasionally sticky pictures into simple photo albums, catching up with my friends and taking advantage of the snack table.

Do you have any hobbies? How do you make time for them in your real life?

{Photo by shimelle}

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