The 100 Day Project

Week 1 of #VeraDocumentsLife

It’s Day 9 of #the100dayproject and Hallelujah! I am still on track.

What I’m Liking

  • Printing photos – I’ve decided that I actually love my Canon Selphy printer. It’s not the best quality, but it definitely gets the job done.
  • Recalling stories – Thanks to my Passion Planner for making this task a bit easier.
  • Alphabet stickers! – Really, letter stickers are all the embellishment I need. But I am loving chipboard elements and vinyl stickers too.
  • The Project Life App
    • This is where I check if the photos I have are good to print (the app alerts you if the resolution is too low for a 4×6 print (or a 12×12 if that’s the template you’re using)).
    • I also use this to collage two photos into a 4×6 print, to be cut after printing and inserted in the 3×4 pockets of my pages.
    • The free form text tool for adding words to my photos. The app allows the addition of .ttf font files and already I am thinking of downloading other font types for future use (that can easily go crazy).
  • This daily creative activity inspires even more creativity.
    • I organized my small stash of alphabet stickers and other embellishments!
    • I am also already wondering about the other albums I want to work on – what form they will be in (printing pages or bound photo albums).
    • Coming up with ways I can add more stories into my pages even when I don’t have the photos to go with them.

What I Don’t Like So Much

  • Some days I spend more than an hour working on this project – I love every second of it and wish I could do it all day – ha! But I am trying to be more conscious of NOT spending TOO MUCH TIME on this. The only way to sustain this for the full 100 days (and beyond – for future projects) is to NOT think it requires much effort and time (and money).

Finding Joy

I can’t think of anything else, really, that I don’t like about doing this project. The truth is, I am enjoying it. And I am finding joy. It also inspires me to live a life worthy of those pages I make.

Last weekend, the husband and I explored the streets of Binondo to sample good food. We made new memories. It would have been easier to stay at home the entire weekend – eat, sleep, Netflix, repeat – and that would have been okay too. But actively documenting our lives through photos and stories moved us to do more.

I have yet to be caught up with this year’s book, when I do, it will only take once a week to stay current. I will then have the rest of the 100 days to work on my other albums. Can’t wait.

#the100dayproject – Vera Documents Life!

For the third year in a row, I am signed up for The 100 Day Project. Check out the link to find out more, I hope you decide to join in or follow along.

Beginning April 2, I shall be embarking on a journey of a hundred days of memory keeping.

Memory what? Memory Keeping!

Are you familiar with Timehop? Or the Memories app on Facebook? It shows you something from your feed from the same day of each year in the past, for as far back as when you joined Facebook. It could be one of your own posts, or one you were tagged in. Honestly, love that feature!

It’s an automated way of showing us what we were doing, thinking, or even found interesting in the past. We have no control over what shows up though; sometimes even stuff we didn’t mean to memorialize just come up. Truly, it digs up stuff we forgot we ever posted about.

Still, it’s a pretty nifty app, don’t you think? There are times when it shows a past aspiration, a dream project, or even just something I said wanted to do or a place I wanted to visit. Sometimes that reminder is enough to push me into action (in case I didn’t take action before). Sometimes it’s a strong reminder of what I had already forgotten.

What if the app is discontinued? What if Facebook shuts down or you lose access to your account?

I have just been notified of my 10 years on Facebook. If I get locked out of my account, how will I get back those 10 years’ worth of posts, albums, memories?

Memory Keeping is anything you do to document your current life or past experiences, so it can later on be reviewed and/or enjoyed. It could be your way of telling your story and making your mark. It can be a piece of family history that gets passed on from generation to generation.

Many of us treat our social media feeds as the sole avenue for memory keeping. We setup albums of our most memorable occasions and experiences. When we’ve reached milestones, we mark the occasion by posting about it.

That’s all good, but if it’s the only way we preserve our memories, what happens when those sites go away? Have we learned anything from the demise of Multiply and Friendster? Is there another way we’re documenting our lives?

We take loads of photos everyday but apart from uploading to social media, most of the time those photos are just left sitting in your phone albums, or on computed hard drives. Who sees them? Don’t wait for first-hand experience when technology fails. I have lost plenty of photos due to computers crashing or hard drives failing. Sayang naman those photos.

This project is my way of preserving those memories and turning them into something tangible that we can enjoy now, and for years and years to come.

Project Goals

For many years I told myself I will be printing my photos and creating Project Life albums to record our life. I’ve amassed a lot of supplies and spent a lot of money towards this intention. So far though, I have one photobook for a day tour of a local museum, another one documenting my first ever 5k run with my girlfriends, and a 30 Days of Thankful album. I’ve got a few weeks’ documented for 2015, maybe 2 or 3 spreads from other years.

Here are some of my Memory Keeping goals:

  • Make a photobook of our Bangkok 2017 trip.
  • Make a photobook of our Taiwan 2018 trip.
  • Do a 2018 Yearbook.
  • Start and get caught up on our 2019 Yearbook.
  • Do something with our Wedding photos
  • Make a photobook of our Palawan 2018 trip, or include pages of it in our 2018 yearbook.
  • Track older photos and figure out a central storage (could be cloud-based) that will allow me to easily get them into books and printed.

I have no illusions of completing ALL of this in 100 days, but if I do, wouldn’t that be ever so SPECTACULAR? My goals for these hundred days though, would be:

  • To get started!
  • To do SOMETHING Memory Keeping related each and every day
    • Go through course/s in the BH CLassroom (I purchased the Photo Tips + Workflow class while it was on sale, but it’s still available on full price right now. Also thinking about getting the Yearbook class, on its final 20% off sale TODAY!)
    • Select + edit photos
    • Print photos
    • Work on Journalling
    • Put pages together
  • Use my existing supplies!
  • Share my progress.

#the100DayProject Inspiration

On Instagram, I follow the #the100dayproject to be inspired by others who are creating something every single day. When you do that it can be easy to feel intimidated about how beautiful others’ work can be, or how much progress they are making. Instead, I choose the inspiration that comes out of their accomplishments.

Here are some accounts or hashtags to checkout, and hopefully they move you to do your own #100dayproject:

#the100dayproject

Amanda of mooandboohandmade

Elise Joy (she’s so amazing, really a creativity/productivity peg!)

I’ll re-share others also on my Instagram in the coming days. 🙂

You can do any of the following to follow and support me as I document life:

  • Follow me on Instagram: http://instagram.com/verabear
  • Follow #veradocumentslife
  • I will figure out a way to share the URL of my blog’s Facebook page, haha 🙂

I hope you follow along and tag us if you decide to do your own 100 day project!

Fit 2019 – February Check-in

Stitches & Words | Fit 2019 - February Check-in

What FIT means for me

This year, I have resolved to once again take charge of my health and wellness – to be FIT! I did a pretty good job of it for a good part of 2017 through the early parts of 2018, and it has meant a lot of good things for me, including but not limited to:

  • Better-fitting into clothes that made me feel really confident
  • Being able to walk straight (instead of crooked), a bit faster and for longer distances too
  • Going up the steps without losing breath too quickly or having to rest every now and again
  • Having regular menstrual periods (maybe not regular, but definitely better than before)
  • Generally feeling better!
  • Losing 40 pounds!

Getting to my healthiest self felt so good, losing the weight was really just icing on the cake. Fit is about these things and more – not so much about the weight or how I look.

My health & wellness ‘secret’ sauce

Getting healthier wasn’t an overnight success. This was achieved by taking it one step a time, day after day after day. Making better food choices, taking the right supplementation, and also choosing to lace up and follow a workout 3 to 5 times a week. It also meant keeping junk food and too much sweets off of our grocery cart.

I also had a great support system who cheered me through it all. My husband was a big part of it – working out with me sometimes, trying to cook more of the stuff on my list of foods to enjoy, and switching to black rice with me for good.

I guess it’s not such a secret after all. It’s true what they all say: proper diet and exercise is really all that it takes. Let’s just say I had good advise on what that actually meant. And that’s why losing the weight was such a positive and healthy experience for me instead of being a painful or stressful one. And I know it could be like that.

Falling off the ‘wagon’

In the last quarter of 2018, I allowed myself to slip up on one too many of the good habits I developed for over a year. I had let myself indulge on food that I thought made me happy but really only made me feel overstuffed in the end; my workouts were too spread out, until I just stopped exercising altogether. When at work, I sat around too much instead of finding opportunities to walk around.

Before the year ended, I had felt stuff that signalled my brain that I was in a state of emergency!

  • I felt bloated
  • I found myself walking awkwardly, and breathing heavily far too soon
  • Sometimes I would feel pain on my lower back – maybe from too much sitting around, or perhaps for the weight I had gained back
  • And then stepping on the scale confirmed what I had suspected all along: I had gained over 10 pounds throughout the holidays.

This made me feel really bad. Lucky for me, I already know what it takes to get back on track. I have the solution! I just needed to put it in action.

Game Changer

Stitches & Words | Fit 2019 - February Check-in

In January, I set up my Passion Planner to help me outline my wellness goals, list actionable steps to take and track them. Hitting my health goals is my Game Changer.

I feel it is so because so much ties back to being truly well and healthy: it means having the energy to do so much more. To be well lends to doing well. It means being better, so I can do better.

So I am making self-care a priority. I do this out of love for myself, not out of a need for punishment. I have no desire to lose weight FAST so I am not going to be pressured in to doing heavier and more challenging workouts when I am not ready for them. I know that those could potentially make me burn more, but I also learned from experience that too much exercise is a lot like too much stress – it tends to harm me.

Celebrating Each Success

This is not to say that everything has been smooth-sailing so far. In truth, I have only met my goal of exercising 5x a week twice last month. There was a week I exercised only twice. For a few days last month I bled too heavily so I prioritised getting ample rest over working out.

That is something I’ve also been working on: rest. I have sleep apnea and have trouble going to bed, I am training myself to sleep better, otherwise, I will not exercise when sleep deprived.

So I’m not the model for a strict routine, but I am still winning at this game. And I intend to keep on winning.

I had junk food one week, and finished up a whole bag of chocolate chip cookies on my own on another. But I’d been pretty consistent with watching my portions, and having veggies with my meals.

I celebrate every win, because each one counts, and is an inspiration to win more.

If you’re also taking steps to care for your health better this year, feel free to share your progress. Specially if you need some cheering on. I know how it feels to do everything and not see the weight go right away. I want to be there for you to tell you to hang in there, and keep going! Cheers to achieving our health and wellness goals for 2019!

The #100DayProject 2018: A Recap

A hundred days have come and gone!

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100 days!! @elleluna sent me a text the other day with the news that there are now over ONE MILLION posts with the hashtag #the100dayproject. Think about that for a second. That’s a million posts but really it’s millions of moments in which people chose to make something. To be an active participant in a world of passive scrolling. That’s radical. Wherever you’re at, keep going. You did it, you’re doing it. And it’s time to celebrate! If you’re interested in hosting one of the global meetups in your home town, click the link in my bio. We’ll share more here and in the newsletter soon. Thank you for being part of this wild art experiment, whether you participated or you cheered us on. We love this community so much. Thank you.

A post shared by lindsay jean (@lindsayjeanthomson) on

A recap of #verawritesfor100days:

  • Publishing 24 posts
  • Having a list of topics I could still explore and write about in the future.
  • Accumulating drafts on specific topics I thought I wanted to write about, but may not live to see the light of day (the drafts I mean, may not get published at all).
  • Realizing that I still loved to write, even when I sometimes feel like I don’t have the words.
  • Feeling good about Likes on Facebook, and even better about actual Comments!
  • Coming to terms with having very little readers, and STILL continuing to write.

So I didn’t make it to 100 blog posts in 100 days, but I choose to consider this project a success. I have no intention to catch up or to make it up to 100 posts because in the process of getting those 24 out, I feel like I have already learned and gained so much.

This project has meant more than just actual blogging or writing.

  • I’ve unfollowed profiles on Instagram to make space for those I followed for their 100 day projects. Because I realized that I wanted to be inspired enough to take action instead of allowing myself to look at a feed, compare my life to that feed, and feel bad about my non-IG worthiness.
  • I also unfollowed profiles whose posts I don’t really engage with – those I just scroll through, not even bothering to read the caption.
  • My hands have been really productive, and that has been so good for my sanity. I typed, I crocheted, I’ve knit. I even completed two projects on my sewing machine (which I haven’t shared yet)!
  • I read eight books.
  • I had anxiety over work, and I have worked through it.

I had a piano teacher in high school that said that my hands were good at making things. I didn’t believe her because she was referring to my attempt at hand-lettering on my folder of sheet music. I didn’t believe her because I had classmates who were better than me at that kind of thing. But now I appreciate what she said – because I do good and beautiful work with my hands.

Over the last 100 days, I have re-connected with myself. It has been a journey finding my way back, and and adventure setting a course to take in the days to come.

Midyear Musings

Another month done. Halfway through 2018. Six more months and it would be just another year gone by.

How much have we accomplished thus far? Is life all about the passage of time, or about how much we do or make in a given amount of time?

Do you measure life by how you feel?

If we want happiness – how does happy feel like? Stop for a moment and think about this: how do you want to feel? Whatever that it is – do what you need to do to feel that way.

Many times, I catch myself thinking about how much time I have wasted. It’s as if I look back at days, weeks, and months, only to realize that I’ve only been going through the motions but not really being fully alive.

But I don’t really think that’s 100% true. I think what’s true is that my idea of living constantly changes. Sometimes I want more, and other times, it is enough to simply exist.

And always, these ideas are influenced by what or who is around me. My husband is prone to saying that social media is evil – and he has a point. How many times have I looked at my social media feeds and come out feeling bad that I didn’t do this, or I haven’t been there, or my house doesn’t look like that? So many times.

But it isn’t social media‘s fault. I realized that I’ve allowed myself to compare my life with an idea of someone else‘s life based only on carefully curated photos. I judged myself.

It took some introspection, some inspiration, and some deep conversations with like-minded people, plus the husband, for me to come to terms with the reality of the choices we make in life. Because ultimately, that is why we are where we are in this season of our lives. It’s about the choices we make. It’s about what we prioritize.

That’s how I managed to stick to the habits I learned when I gave my health a reboot. That’s how I’m finding time to spend with the people I want to surround myself with. It’s also how I’ve managed to complete 8 crochet projects so far this year, and read 16 books! It’s also how we’ve now managed to travel to two countries in less than a year’s time vs ZERO travel in so many years.

Life is all about what we make space and time for. When we look at it that way, I think, it opens us up to nearly limitless possibilities.

This is not to say that I’m living the life. I am also a work in progress. I know that I am still making bad choices, and my daily actions still don’t reflect my vision for the future I want to have. I am inspired – but more often, as it appears, not inspired enough to take real action. Understanding that, I am less frustrated by how much I haven’t yet achieved.

Inspiration. Choice. These are the precious first few steps, but they are not enough to make our dreams a reality. That requires consistent and focused action. That’s why I share this note to the world, not to preach, but really to remind myself to

Choose your vision. Get up. Show up. Do the work. Make it happen.

24/100

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