On September 4, 2013 I turned 60. To celebrate, I reserved passage on a hot air balloon ride, since I felt it would be fun and symbolic at the same time. I plan to soar in my sixties, so why not jump start my new decade by soaring via hot air balloon?
Along the way I learned 10 lessons that apply to scrapbooking. See if you agree with my ruminations:
• Don’t be afraid to try the unknown. I had never been ballooning before, so I was naturally concerned about safety in the air and safety while landing. Would my balloon capsize upon touching ground again? I needn’t have worried. The pilot had 30 years of experience, and our flight was flawless.
Similarly, digital scrapbooking can be intimidating at first. You may be nervous about learning a new technique or posting your first page in the gallery, but if you’ll just do it, you’ll find that it isn’t so bad. In fact, it can be downright encouraging to get a comment or two on your page in the gallery!
• Encourage or challenge a friend. I wasn’t thinking about a balloon ride until my friend suggested it. The first time she said something, I pretty much dismissed it in my mind, but the second time she mentioned it, I decided it was something we could do together.
Maybe you can be the one who encourages someone else to try digital scrapbooking or take a class. They’ll thank you for it!
• Pair up with a friend. If you’ve never done something before, doing it with a friend will help insure that it actually gets done, because you’ll motivate each other.
This is true in just about any area of life, including scrapbooking. If you don’t have a friend nearby, try inviting someone online to set a goal with you or take a class with you. You’ll help hold each other accountable.
• Turn your wishes into reality. If I hadn’t looked online, found a good company, and signed up to go, I would still be “thinking about doing it” rather than crossing it off my bucket list.
As scrapbookers, action is required to create a page or an album. Make a list of what needs to be done to get started on that project of yours that you’ve been meaning to do forever, and then start working on the first step you need to do.
• Find people who know how to do what you want to do. I checked around to find a hot air balloon company I could trust and relied heavily on reviews from satisfied customers. That was the fastest and easiest way for me to get where I wanted to go: safely up in the air and back in a hot air balloon.
Sometimes in scrapbooking, when you have a desire to learn something new, the least painful way of learning it just might be to take a class from an instructor who can teach you, and who comes highly recommended by their students.
• Getting started takes the most energy. It was fascinating to watch the procedure of getting the hot air balloon ready for flight. The balloon had to be laid out on the ground over a tarp, while the basket was on its side. Regular air was introduced via two giant fans, and then a torch filled the balloon with hot air, which made the balloon rise and tip the basket upright. We climbed aboard, and then more hot air lifted us off the ground.
Once we were in the air, the pilot used occasional bursts of hot air to keep us airborne, and used a little bit more if he wanted to take us higher.
In scrapbooking, the greatest energy you’ll expend is at the beginning. Once you learn the basics, it’ll take much less energy to learn additional scrapbooking skills.
• Help is greatly appreciated. The hot air balloon crew consisted of a pilot who flew with us and two ground crew members who followed us by van and communicated with the pilot when necessary. My daughter Allison rode along with them and was my one person ground crew for taking photos of my balloon ride. She never complained that she didn’t get to go ballooning with me, and I so appreciated the great photos she took.
Our Digital Scrapper Forum moderators and more experienced members are like ground crew who help others out by answering questions, and it’s truly appreciated by the ones who need help!
• Effort is required to soar higher. The pilot would turn a handle every so often and fire up the burners to send more hot air into the balloon. He couldn’t just do it once at the beginning and expect to get to a greater height.
So it is with scrapbooking. Don’t ever stop learning and growing. Once in awhile infuse your scrapbooking with new vitality by learning something new.
How does this relate to scrapbooking? When you get past the basics and learn new tricks and skills, your confidence soars. Ideas flow, resulting in pages you’re proud to display in galleries. It’s very satisfying to cover new territory from a different perspective.
• Community is a by-product of the adventure. We went ballooning with an interesting group of people. Although the balloon launched from Temecula, California, the passengers were from as far away as New York.
I especially enjoyed talking with two gentlemen who sat with us at the breakfast table after the flight. We had just finished a balloon ride together, so we had that in common—but there was a lot more we found out about each other through our conversation over breakfast.
Community is one of the great things about scrapbooking. It’s not only a place where we share the love of scrapbooking, but we get to enjoy learning interesting things about other people from their scrapbook pages or from their comments in the Forum. It’s a place of acceptance and encouragement. I like that!
Whether or not you ever go ballooning, you can still cover new territory in scrapbooking—if you’re willing to be a little adventuresome!
Photos are property of Linda Sattgast
Elements are from Soaring High by Eva Kipler
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