For many of us, memories remind ourselves of how and where

we spent our time on this earth. They include a series of stepping stones along life's road

that reflect lessons learned, personal growth and relationship-bonding that shall never

leave our souls. By capturing every precious moment, we recollect more clearly on how

our lives have changed over the decades. Such special keepsakes include photographs,

letters, cards and travel souvenirs. Individually, each one of these objects impact us in a

special way. Major events such as graduation, marriage, childbirth, and holiday

celebrations are moments worth capturing. Even small things like collecting autumn

leaves and glimpsing at a rainbow are events that can melt our hearts.

Several years ago, I began the process of creating personal scrapbooks detailing

major and minor events of my life. In these overstuffed volumes, I have collected

everything from wedding napkins and invitations to theater ticket stubs and travel

brochures. It is my way of fully appreciating every good moment that has come my way.

For example, I have top favorite music lists from the mid-1980’s, Chinese cookie

fortunes, favorite cartoon strips, theater and cultural programs, as well as various

newspaper clippings of interest. I have even taken the extra step of marking precise

dates on each memento so that I can relive each nostalgic moment.

Creating a scrapbook is a continuous project as we enter different stages of our

lives. The pages of your book can center on family events, phases of friendship, and

milestones that have been reached. Include anything that touches your heart in some

magical way. A scrapbook should be a reflection of who you are personally. For

example, you may want to showcase childhood accomplishments like academic

achievements and term papers or vocational keepsakes such as corporate newsletters

and company awards. Another big area to look into would be favorite pastimes. Let's

say that you are a lover of poetry. Whether you compose it or simply enjoy reading

poetry, you can include your own literary pieces as well as works by famous writers. If

you are a cooking connoisseur, you could photocopy recipes of your favorite meals to

demonstrate your cuisine tastes.

Whether you have flowing or variegated themes, colors and designs is up to you.

There are no set rules on how to create a personal scrapbook. So before you decide to

discard that next cookie fortune or musical program, remember that down the road, it

could become a valuable sentimental piece. I can attest to this fact. If it weren't for my

years of scrapping, I would have a huge gap of chronicled memories and my life would

feel one-dimensional without them.

Of course, there are some moments that don't require a keepsake as a stimulus

for recollection. Yet, there's something wonderful about the sight of a friend's

home-made Valentine card that seems to warm my soul. Or the family photo collage that

brings us closer together. There are numerous things to collect for your personal

scrapbook without any limits on what to include. You can custom-design the book to fit

what ever suits your fancy. Whether your style is simple or elaborate is up to you. Be an

artist and have fun with this ongoing project. They also make great gifts for loved ones

and friends because they are so unique and personal. You never know who might

stumble upon your treasured keepsake. It may even become a family heirloom some


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