gratitude, week 5 of Project Real Life

Sorry, I’ve lost track of what week of the year it is. And this project is a week behind. So it might be my layout for week 45. Not that anyone is keeping track!

This week (a couple of Thursdays ago) we were looking at “living in gratitude” which is a very American concept for me. I didn’t grow up hearing about thanksgiving or gratitude, and I think the British tendency is to complain a bit and then look at other people and say “well, at least my life isn’t as bad as that!” You might notice the difference if you watch UK vs US soap operas. The UK ones are usually quite bleak, often featuring very ordinary flawed characters with plenty to complain about. US soaps, though full of drama, tend to feature glamorous people living pretty fantastical lives with problems that are quite outlandish (secret twin brothers, amnesia, that sort of thing). Most US TV feels very aspirational to me. But anyway, I learned from an awesome anthropology book about English culture that it’s very important not to be too earnest, and declaring how thankful you are for the blessings in your life is very earnest!

But I’m an American now, so here’s my page of thankful-for:

It’s none too deep or earnest!

You might notice that the list matches up with the photos if you “read” the photos left to right, two comments per photo. All but one of the pictures are instagrams. The pile of books is representative of piles of books in general – I used an older photo because the books were pretty and most of the books in the pile turned out to be really good.

I am so pleased with how the election TV picture came out. I had just read on facebook that things had come out the way I wanted, so I switched channels and went to take a photo. But there’s a funny thing with instagram – it takes a picture and then the picture changes very slightly to a split second before (or after?) the original image you took. Well, with the TV being moving pictures, this meant that the first shot I took was fine, then it changed to distorted and strange. So I tried again, and this time the ticker at the top showed the magic number 274 (Ohio had just been called for the incumbent) and the bottom showed “Barack Obama Elected” and the shot came out just perfect! hurrah!

Anyway, this layout was made in the week of the election and I was mostly just grateful for the damn thing being over. Not as much as those poor people in Swing State Hell but a lot. Good god, this country needs a 6 week election period like sensible countries have! Even if the 2 year election is really good for small TV stations in swing states (I heard they banked so many advertising dollars that they were able to buy new weather equipment and other fancy stuff!) About half of the country is really bummed right now, but it’s nice to be on the winning side for a change. Almost everything I voted for made it through, unlike most elections where I feel like my vote is the kiss of death for an initiative.

Washington state passed a marriage equality law! (too close, but we got a majority). Washington state decriminalized marijuana! (but it’s still illegal at a federal level).

Anyway… I made the template for this layout by myself. I followed video instructions from the ever-awesome Cathy Zielske. The green card is from Project Real Life, and I pulled the green from that into a line, trying to draw the green into another part of the layout. I wish I had used a photo with the same green color in it to pull the layout together, but never mind. The American Typewriter font was on my computer I think, and the script font that says “thankful for” is “CK Becky” – a free download of Becky Higgins’ handwriting that I found on the web somewhere.

Now I have to figure out week 6, “find balance in routines”… that might be a wordy one. The suggested photos are all of daily routines, but I’m going to look through my instagrams and see what I have already to represent our routines. I guess I could set up a tripod and snap a picture of me sitting on the couch web surfing with the pug curled up under the quilt next to me and label that morning routine, afternoon routine, evening routine, weekend routine (add hubby to the picture), and title it “what I should be doing less of!”

Happy week 46 of 2012.




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