So, my daughter has been a competitive gymnast for many years now. She started out in rec (THAT’S HOW THEY GET YOU), and then suddenly she was moving up to a higher class, and then there was an invitation to try out for pre-team, and then she moved up to team and competitions became a thing…It’s been a ride, that’s for sure. But, after 8 years of gymnastics, and more hours in the gym than I can even TRY to count, she’s decided to hang up her leos and move on. She made optionals, which was a goal for her. She’s traveled, she’s got more damn medals than she knows what to do with…but her love and passion just aren’t there anymore. So, after this season is over, she’ll be finding other things to do.
Being the loving mother that I am (natch), and knowing how much she has struggled with this decision (over MONTHS, and much of it not sleeping well), I wanted to put together a book of memories for her. Shutterfly has always been our choice in the past, and they do a great job, so that’s where I headed. I like that I can personalize it (you don’t have to), which is what I wanted for something like this. (No, they’re not paying me. They don’t know I exist, except for when *I* pay *them*.)
AND THEN REALITY SET IN.
It took me – literally – AN ENTIRE DAY to go through all the pictures from the last 8 years. AND DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY HANDSTAND PICTURES I HAVE – from literally every single place she’s ever been? Then I had to organize them. I’m doing the book by year, so that made sense – so I had to divide the pics into folders by year. Add a few more folders for special spreads like camps, travel competitions, special people, etc. Then simply start putting pics into the book. Right?
I cannot count how many hours I have been working on this book so far. Seriously. And I’m only up to 2017 thus far. Between design, words, the right pictures, the backgrounds, any embellishments…it’s not a short-term project. And State is in less than 2 weeks, which is when I was hoping to have it mostly put together. Plus, I work, husband travels, I babysit, AND IT’S A SEKRIT PROJEKT so I can’t work on it when she’s around. I literally had to force myself to sit down and work on it today because, gah. It’s a lot.
Don’t get me wrong – I cannot wait to be able to give this to her. I respect and honor the size of commitment she made to her gymnastics – 20+ hours in the gym a week is A LOT. Getting up and getting literally scored by strangers is A LOT. Doing back handsprings and such on something *4 INCHES WIDE* and not falling off is…well…insane, but also A LOT. I’m proud of her, and this is one way to honor all of that. But maybe I could have done, say, a smaller book for each year? Instead, as is my wont, I have gone full-on BALLS TO THE WALL CREATIVE, and I may finish the thing in 2021. (Kidding. It *will* be done on time if it kills me. Which it may. Never say never.)
Surely I cannot be the only one out there that does this sort of thing? Gets an idea and just absolutely RUNS with it before realizing the scope of the idea, and the time involved? Enthusiasm is something I have in spades. Sense of time? Notsomuch. I’d be curious to hear from all of you – what stories do you have about projects that went awry in one way or another? I could use the reassurance 😉