From May 7th to 13th, Ali Edwards is once again doing her 7-day documentary project Week In The Life™ (WITL). This will be my first time participating, and since she’s been at it since 2005, I’m a little late to the party, but as I always say: rather late that never, right? (Okay, I don’t always say that, but I do believe no matter when you start documenting your story, you’re never too late, so there.)
The heart of WITL is one that resonates with my own feelings about Your Story:
[Week In The Life is about] valuing your own story. If you do the same thing everyday, awesome. Document that. If you are super busy, document that. Document whatever your life looks like right now and really own that story. One of the reasons I love doing this project each year is it’s often a great time to take stock in how I’m living my life right now. Your story is important even if to no one else but you. (Ali Edwards)
A week-long project like this is quite an undertaking, but I joined the WITL Facebook Group and those fellow WITLers are really active and supportive. Ali also has an amazing collection of WITL posts and resources on her site, so I spent a lot of time reading through everything, and watching every past WITL album walk-through video I could find.
This project is all about documenting a slice of life right now, and it can be as simple or detailed as you want it to be. I quickly realized that, unlike Ali and most of the other people who do WITL, I don’t do Project Life the rest of the time, so the “slice of life” I want this project to record will have to be much more comprehensive than someone who does other memory keeping projects that can fill those story gaps.
So, to prepare for this year’s WITL, I did the following:
- I spent the last 2 days just thinking about what I want to record with this project, what it is I want to remember about this time of our life, and all the different ways I can go about recording it.
- I took Ali’s free daily worksheet and adapted it by adding a bunch of extra questions/prompts (see below for detail), and recreating it in a Google Doc (so I can fill it out on my phone).
- Since I’m doing a digital album that I’ll print out as an A4 photo book, I prepared a digital template where I can drop my photos in as the week progresses. I can’t do my journaling on the day like Ali, because my words need to simmer and mature a bit, but I can do that with the photos.
- And, last but not least, a very important thing I did to prepare was to browse all the #weekinthelife posts on Instagram, and subscribe to #aeweekinthelife as well as to a few crafters who post drool worthy, inspirational pics.
Since I know you’re just dying to know what I added to the daily sheet, here’s a short rundown:
- I added a questionnaire that each person in the household will fill out (one for the kids and one for the adults).
- I added house-focused prompts, since we’re in the process of selling our house—a house both our kids grew up in and we originally thought we’d live in for a very long time—so it’s a very important part of our current memory that I want to preserve.
- I added “doing” prompts that I will fill in as the week progresses (like “reading”, “watching”, “eating”, “listening”, “playing”, “making”…) Most of those I’ll only fill in once, but if it’s appropriate I’d do it a few times (like with “reading”, which can change on a whim with my kids).
Something else I’m adding to the album is a short summary of each person that will go at the start of the album, since this album will be all about our family.
Finally, I am consciously and meticulously going to include my husband in there. He never speaks about himself ever, so this will be one of the only ways anyone will ever get a glimpse into his psyche (to learn his favorite color, or what he loves to watch on TV, or what his favorite anything is…) and I imagine that one day my children will thank me for it. I’m curious about some of his answers myself, TBH 🙂