Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Where Puzzle Pieces Come From

WOW!!!  What a response to my last blog!!!

I would like to sincerely THANK ALL who commented, called, texted, and emailed regarding that post!  Especially those of you who said that I was also an important puzzle piece in their life! 

So, exactly where do puzzle pieces come from?   Well, the goal of my last post was to have you all realize how important everyone (each a puzzle piece) and every experience (more puzzle pieces) is--not how important *I* am! LOL!!! I was merely trying to illustrate what I meant by giving you an example of that in MY life.

I do want you all to know and understand that every person whom I have ever met throughout the course of MY life--be it in the health care industry (30 years) or in our scrapbooking business (5 years), or anywhere in-between--each one has taught me something in some way or given credence to other ideas or judgements I may have been in the process of forming.  And THAT is why I feel documenting our lives in scrapbooking so important!  Every person makes a differnce in their own way, and every experience--regardless of what it is--helps us become who we are. THAT is why I believe scrapbooking is so important!

Rascal Flatts summed it up very well in their song (Bless the Broken Road): "Every long lost dream led me to where you are; Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars, Pointing me on my way into your loving arms.  This much I know is true:  That God blessed the broken road That led me straight to you..."

Please take some time over the next few days to think about where you are in your life right now, who you REALLY are, and the people and experiences that helped get you to that point.  I'm certain you'll find there are many, many people out there who have helped you to become YOU, and when you realize who they are--do what my sister did--TELL THEM!!!  Remember, most people are eager to point out any flaws, yet extremely hesitant to give someone credit for something good or nice or positive.  We have more than enough chaos and sadness in the world right now, so lets start looking for that silver lining when the clouds come.  I believe God is in control of our Life and where we are on the Road, and He will always lead us to something better, if we keep the Faith.  I hope you can find that Faith in yourself, and Believe, also.
Now, in Michael Jackson's own words: "I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror; I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways.  And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer--If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place, Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change!"

Please at least journal your thoughts or make a few layouts (or just a big collage) of all the people and events that have helped you to become YOU.  Take time for YOURSELF for a change, and scrapbook YOURSELF.  We are so much in the habit of scrapbooking our families, friends, pets, hobbies, and very few of us scrapbook and document OUR OWN LIVES.  Change that!!!  When you are long gone and your scrapbooks are still around, the people who look through them are going to wonder whom they were created by, and what type of person they were. What were some of the events and experiences in the scrapbooker's life?  Give them that, and they will truly have a treasure.  As will you!

The person who taught me the most about what scrapbooking really is and is meant to do, is Marlane Mayo.  She was an SDU Teacher of mine and Emery's at The Scrapbook Nook in Metairie way back when... and when The Nook closed, I asked her to come teach for us at Scrappersaurus.  She taught me--through working with her and through a close friendship--immeasureable "little" things that helped me to become a better crafter, a better teacher, a better retailer, and a much better person.  She explained to me that people always asked her, "Marlane, why do YOU scrapbook?  You don't have any children?!"  And she told me her reply was always the same, that when she was older and possibly in a nursing home, she wanted to have documentation of what she did and who she knew and where she went during her (younger, active) life.  She wanted to be able to relive those times and remember all her accomplishments, whatever they may have been.  That's what it's really all about, now, isn't it?

Have an awesome day!

Until next time, happy scrapping and stamping!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

YOU are the Puzzle Piece!!!

Hello All!

I want to tell you why I feel scrapbooking is so important, to everybody. I believe that each person's experiences shape who they are and who they become. I believe that through scrapbooking, we get to write our own sort of "history book", and show what things have helped us to get to the place where we are now. And EVERY experience helps shape us. Just as every person with whom we come in contact. Let me explain what I mean, in MY personal experience with this:

The other day I found a single jigsaw puzzle piece in a parking lot when I went to the grocery. It kind of stood out, bright blue against the black asphalt, and I bent over to pick it up. I found it sort of mystical to come across one single puzzle piece... I've always described my life as a puzzle-piece sort of life, made up of bits and pieces here and there. And I think I have finally come to the realization that it's ALL about pieces. Our lives are made up of so many little pieces, and each one, however frustrating or ecstatic, is an important piece in the BIG PICTURE called our "Life". Imagine for a moment, that you are sitting down putting together a jigsaw puzzle, and that it is one of those puzzles that you have to try each piece here and there, and then put off to the side for a bit until you can figure out where it really goes. When you find where that piece goes, you're elated! Finally, you put all the pieces together, only to realize that there is ONE piece missing! You cannot complete your puzzle now, all because of ONE piece missing!!! Well, I want to tell you, WE are ALL one piece to the big jigsaw puzzle of Life, and regardless of how insignificant we may feel at times, we ARE in fact, indispensible. We ALL make up the big picture of Life. And today I received confirmation of that, most unexpectedly!

My sister called me this afternoon and told me she had been chatting with a friend earlier, and that her friend told her she thought my sister had very strong roots in and tendencies for advocacy--for all sorts of things. My sister now lives in Minneapolis and is a Rape Crisis Counselor, and while living here in New Orleans, she was a nurse in the CARE Center (Children At Risk Evaluation Center) where she worked with children who had been molested and abused. She was also a volunteer with New Orleans Cares, at the Homeless Center and Food Bank, and did Graveyard Restoration for the Indigent. To sum it up, she cares A LOT, and she gives A LOT. Well, of course, *I* knew all of this already, but what she told me next really took me off guard. She said that growing up (she is 8 years younger than I am) and seeing me rearing my son (Emery) and fighting for rights for people with disabilities and helping people overcome obstacles of many kinds, and NEVER giving up, helped HER to become the same way, and to help her to grow into the person she is today. I was totally, TOTALLY humbled and stunned. She asked me if I was aware of just how many lives I had touched. Of course, you know me, I began to cry, overcome with emotion. No, I was NOT aware of anything of that sort! I had absolutely no idea that me, in my own little way, had provided the one puzzle piece in her life that helped her to form HER big picture, and in turn be a puzzle piece herself in other peoples' lives, in THEIR big pictures.

I truly don't consider myself all that great for what I did. AT ALL!!! I thought I was just being a regular mom, trying to help my child who had been born with limited abilities to live as "normal" a life as I could. I DEFINITELY didn't see myself as any sort of role model! But she felt I was, and she gave ME the credit!!!

Please know that whomever you are, whatever you do, YOU ARE IMPORTANT in this big picture called "LIFE". YOU ARE THE PUZZLE PIECE that completes someone else's life, even if you don't know it! EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US MAKES A DIFFERENCE!!!

At this difficult time (poor economy, Gulf coast disaster, troops still overseas, etc.), I wish you ALL happiness, wealth, prosperity, and most of all, I wish you all the understanding that YOU are important, even when you don't realize it.
Until next time, happy scrapping and stamping!