To many baby boomers in Singapore, we have the experience of growing up in a third-world country and retiring in a first-world country. We had few photos when we were young, and we over-compensated that by having a lot of pictures of our children and vacation. These are common phenomena for us who enjoy photography and travel. Hence we ended up with tons of photos and albums and memorabilia bursting at the seams. As part of legacy planning, what do we want to do with our sentimental and precious photos? They take up a lot of physical storage, yet we cannot imagine our children will bring them along after we pass on. I know some seniors have taken the drastic measure of stopping taking pictures!
What is the solution? We can create an electronic scrapbook to distill and choose to keep what is most significant. We can stitch it into a slideshow to entertain our family. This act of decluttering is an integral part of the pursuit of mindfulness and happiness. The essence of decluttering – less is more.
I have a preconceived notion that scrapbooking may be more popular for ladies. To my pleasant surprise, some gentlemen signed up for my class. One gentleman has lots of travel photos that he would like to organise and embed into his travel journal. Another grandfather would like to organise the many photos he received of his beloved first grandson living oversea. I am pleased to have a pair of grandfather and grandson with a combined age is 100 years old. It is inter-generation bonding time for them before the grandson goes for his national service enlistment.
Besides collages making, the learners stitched the collages into a slideshow to tell their stories. I was heartened that they found the experience entertaining, enjoyable and beneficial. A multi-sensory approach made more meaningful with photos, hand-made collages and music that evoke emotional connection and remembrance of fond memories. No wonder one of the participants said good moments can be stored for more than a lifetime.
Here are some practical use suggested by the learners based on what they had learned in class:
- Send my happenings to my sisters and relatives overseas
- Store all my hard copies of photos on digital slides
- Create a slideshow to entertain family members at our gatherings
- Send a Christmas card by creating a personalised collage
- Applying a moment for a lifetime and more
- Organise photos for lasting memories can be done after any meaningful activity
- Create photo collages of treasured memories to remember my loved ones.
I have learned a lot from the participants. I love to use this platform to get like-minded people together to work on their collages and slideshow projects as they ploughed through those photo albums (hard or soft copies). Elizabeth Gilbert’s adventure was captured in her book Eat, Pray and Love; the community can focus on the Journey of Learn, Live and Share. The best is yet to be, do tune in to my blog post on this website for more!