Project Life 2015 - Week 29

Project Life in your twenties - memory keeping without kids

At the end of this week, I wondered, not for the first time, what on earth I was going to put in my Project Life layout. Had I actually done anything this week worth documenting? Being in your twenties, with no children, it's so easy to undervalue the everyday experiences that you have. After all, there are only so many pictures of your morning cup of coffee you can include in one album! (Even if it is your absolute favourite mug and coffee feels like an extremely crucial part of your life these days - how would you ever get through the day without your morning latte?!) And nobody really wants to look back on photographs of you going to bed early after a long day at work or grabbing a pizza on a Friday night (which you will probably eat in your pyjamas, in bed, too). Without first steps to record, football matches/ballet performances and trips to the beach/zoo/theme park it can feel like life is lacking 'special' moments.

If you're like me, and have a dog (or cat), you might find your pages dominated by pictures of your fur-baby. Your dog sleeping, playing with his toys, being cuddled by his 'mummy' or 'daddy'... The other weekend, Adam and I borrowed a padding pool from the in laws FOR OUR DOG. You can find the pictures here. It might seem crazy but we were bored, Baxter was bored and it was warm outside, so why not?

You might be wondering why two young, fun twenty-somethings aren't out at concerts, holidaying in Ibiza and roughing it at music festivals (insert other fun things young people do here). Surely we should be out having the time of our lives, responsibility-free, right? Well, the truth is, we're saving for a wedding. And we have a mortage. And, to tell the truth, we're just past it. We've long moved from 'post-uni' into a stage I like to call 'pre-children.' In other words, we are well past the stage where we enjoyed drinking all night and crashing on a friends sofa (or more often, floor) and we prefer quiet nights in with friends, a curry, and the comfort of our own bed. And this isn't nearly as exciting to photograph as the alcohol-fuelled nights of clubbing you experienced, and practically lived for, only four or five years ago.

You might be thinking this is completely to do with being in a couple, and maybe it is. If I was single I'd probably be up for weekends away, crashing wherever my head landed and I'd definitely be doing a lot of travelling. I probably wouldn't have gotten my teaching qualification, though, and I'd more than likely still be living with my parents. I'd never have had the ambition to become a teacher because it was Adam, our house and our future that inspired me to work towards a career and a job that would earn me enough money to pay the bills and eventually, someday, have a family. It does mean that our lives have been a little bit ordinary the last couple of years though. Trying to progress in your career is hard work and owning a house is more expensive than you imagined it would be before you started out. Not to mention the amount of housework you have to do! Saving for a wedding is also very costly, even when you are very resourceful and crafty. This all leaves you with little time and energy, not to mention that fact that Adam's arthritis really limits us in what we can do as getting around is so difficult for him these days.

So what sort of things do I document? And is it really worth me recording our lives at all? Before I started my first Project Life album, in May 2014, I thought about putting it off until my life was a little more exciting, or even until I'd had kids. I'm so glad that I didn't! In years to come, I'll be able to look back over my twenty-something albums and be reminded of what it was like to be me at this stage in my life. It might not seem exciting now, but I know my life will change so much over the next few years, life today will probably seem completely alien to me in the future in the same way that my late teens seem strange to me now.  I'll probably have forgotten all of the hours Adam and I spend in bed, watching YouTube videos and talking happy nonsense to each other. I'll probably forget what it was like to be a trainee teacher, what our house looked like before we decorated and the songs that we listened to on the radio. It will probably be hard to imagine that on the morning after my hen party (this morning) we laid in bed till 9:30, undisturbed, our friends brought a McDonalds breakfast over and then we curled up on the sofa on our respective devices (windows surface for him; ipad mini for me). Then we took Baxter over to the in laws, sat in their garden in the sun, came home for reheated Dominos pizza and then took some photographs for my latest blog post. Sounds pretty great now, doesn't it? I can't be sad about living our quiet life on days like today.

So what do I photograph? Everything. I capture it all. Not everything gets included in my album (like I said, no one wants to see that many pictures of my favourite mug) but I capture as many of our everyday moments as I can. Sometimes Adam doesn't understand it, but occasionally he'll ask to see my album and we'll look at our latest photographs together. I love those moments. Talking about things that we've done, about the little moments in our lives, with big smiles on our faces makes them feel important. I hope that my albums make us smile just as much in years to come and are something that can be enjoyed by our families too. We may not have kids yet, and may not make the effort to do exciting things that we would do if we had kids, but life is still pretty cool right now and we have a lot to be thankful for. There's a lot about these days that I want to remember.

Being a childless, twenty-something year old Project Lifer means:

  • Lots of photographs of your dog - and proud. I love that furry little bugger!
  • Selfies. Because it's still (just about) socially acceptable for you to turn your camera on yourself and snap away. Even in public places. #dontcare
  • Photographs that your friends took on your phone when you left in on the table and went to the toilet (see pictures of my daft friends below). 
  • Pictures of your favourite stuff. You don't ever want to forget the day that you bought that handbag! And you'll probably never spend that much on a bag again, maybe...
  • Craft projects. Is it sad to craft about crafting? We don't care. We're passionate about what we do and don't want to forget those happy hours spent at our craft desk. 
  • Photographs of you lounging around the house or in bed - because you don't have children to wake you up and the crack of dawn. Oh what a shame. 
  • Your dinner. Because you're proud of your cooking expertise/ the cooking expertise of the chef at Nandos. 
  • Your gadgets. Technology is continually changing so don't be ashamed that half of the photographs you have of yourself show you on your phone or your laptop. Make these things a feature of your album. What's up to date now will be cool and retro in ten or twenty years time. 
  • Pictures of your family. You may not have your own little family unit yet, but still make sure you capture your loved ones as much as you can. You'll regret it if you don't.

These are my reasons for doing Project Life. What are yours? How does it work for you in the stage of life that you're in? Comment below, I'd love to hear from you. :)


  1. This was really interesting to read :) I would love to do Project Life about my life at present (I also live the "pre-children" life), but I take too many photos and fear I would fill up albums much to quickly considering that I live in a one bedroom apartment. The small apartment is actually the reason why I take so many photos - my boyfriend and I get too restless staying home much during our spare time so we're out on trips and little outings quite often. A yearly photobook takes up so much less space. I wanted to jump on the PL bandwagon though so I scrapbooked the first 20 years of my life in three 12x12 albums earlier this year. I plan to pick it up again when I have children and want to include more memorabilia. With any luck I will live in a house by then so space won't be an issue any longer :P

    1. Hi Diana! Glad this was of interest to you! I find the living together, pre-children stage quite a strange one to scrapbook. I'm glad that I do, though! If you have so many pictures but little space, maybe you should try digital scrapbooking? The Becky Higgins app is an easy way to do it. That way, when you have more space, you could print everything off in one go. I'm sure these in between years will be interesting to you and family in the future (even if they don't seem to be the most important/interesting years now). Scrapbooking twenty years in one go must have been quite a project! I'd love to see pictures if you have it on social media x