My 40th Year Project

by Wendy Copley on September 14, 2011

40th Year Album

Today is my 39th birthday! Yay! Happy birthday to me!

I am a lover of birthdays and I have no absolutely no reluctance telling people that it’s my birthday. I invite people out to lunch with me, I drop it into conversation with abandon and I relish in the long list of birthday greetings I get on Facebook. (I don’t like it when people sing the Happy Birthday song to me in restaurants though, so please don’t ever do that to me!)

39 feels like a big birthday to me — not so much because of what has passed but because of what is coming. I’m about to embark on my fortieth year! Yowza. This seems like too big of a milestone to just let it go by with no reflection, so I’ve cooked up a project to work on this year. I call it:

Wendy’s 40th Year Scrapbook

I’ve been wanting to do a scrapbook about myself for quite a while now for a bunch of reasons. First off, if I’m going to scrapbook about anyone, I think it’s just as much my responsibility to scrapbook about myself as it is to scrapbook about my kids and the rest of my family. I really liked my self-portrait a day project that I did earlier this year and I’d like to extend that a bit. Also, when we moved I unearthed a lot of sentimental objects and papers that have been in storage for years — decades even! I want that stuff out in a book where I can enjoy it instead of packed up in boxes in the garage. My thinking is that if I do just a little bit every day — print a photo, jot down a story, pull something out of storage — it won’t be a terribly daunting task. And at the end of this year, I’ll have an awesome record of my life!

40th Year Album

To start, I bought this fantastically gorgeous buttercup yellow photo album. It’s a basic 3-ring binder so I can put a bunch of different sizes of pages in it.

40th Year Album

I’ve decided I’m going to primarily use these Becky Higgens Project Life page protectors. They have lots of different pockets in them — many of them 4 x 6 inches — so I can easily slip photos right into them. The other slots are 3 x 4 inches and I have a bunch of cards that size leftover from my Project 365 albums that I can use for those. She has more of these page protectors in different configurations coming out later this year, so I might get some of those too.

40th Year Album

I put together a couple pages this morning to kick the project off. Some of the stuff I put in included a photo and part of the writing from my Strawberry Shortcake blog post, a print out of the poster hanging over my desk, a photo of myself looking awesome in guitar sunglasses, and a screenshot and some journaling about my addiction to Google Analytics. I filled in one of the gaps with some cute paper and a monogram.

40th Year Album

The second side of the page had some Incredibooth photos I printed out all on one photo sheet, a picture of me in our family’s ridiculous birthday hat from this morning, a flower fairy card I found in a box, a sticker from Burning Man 2000 and a doily that was leftover from making valentines from either high school or college. I still have a couple slots left on this page that I’ll fill in later.

40th Year Album

Other things I’m hoping to include:

  • stories and photos from my childhood
  • bigger pages with papers and stuff I’ve saved in boxes
  • bits and pieces of my daily life (kind of like I did for Project 365)
  • I’d like to dig into the story-telling prompts from two books I’ve had for a while but haven’t really used much — The Book of Me by Angie Pederson and The Journaler’s Handbook by Tracy White.

I’ll try to post some pages now and then as I get deeper into this project. Stay tuned!

Anyone want to join me?


Interested in seeing more of this project? Check out these other posts:

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  • Happy Birthday, Wendy! 

    What the hey is Burning Man??

    This sounds like a pretty rad project though! Good for you!

  • Stephanie O

    Happy birthday!  That sounds like a fabulous project – I just might join you.  🙂

  • Cristi Messersmith

    Hey, happy birthday! Today is my birthday too! I’m a year behind you though – perfect – now I can follow you this year and get ideas for MY 39th year 🙂 Hope you have a fabulous one!

  • Happy Birthday!!

  • Coolio! Be sure to share if you do!

  • Pingback: My 40th Year Project « Feeds « MOMMY BLOGS NETWORK- Mommy Blog Aggregator()

  • Thanks, Robyn! Burning Man is a kind of arty, counter-culture festival that takes place in the desert in Nevada. There were 50K people there this year (!!) but when I went it was only about 20K. It was a crazy experience.

  • Happy Belated Birthday!!!  Having crossed-over 40 (never mind when!) I feel it safe to say, the best is yet to come!!!

  • Anne

    Happy birthday Wendy! 

  • Danielle Hunter

    Happy Birthday! This spread looks awesome! Love all the fun things you included 🙂

  • Plume

    Happy birthday to you!  Sounds like an interesting project.

  • love this idea–and especially the awesome page protectors–you’re always great at reminding me to get on top of my scrapbooking! happy birthday wonderful wendy!

  • Theelfqueen

    What a fantastic Year in the Life project!!! Great work! I am a bigtime scrapper. I started with a Book of Me project but never really went anywhere with it. I was thinking about doing a “A week in the life” project.

  • Anonymous

    I supremely love this idea! (Also, happy belated birthday!!) I also love birthdays – mine and others and I like to make a big deal out of them. I think this is a fantastic idea because as much as I really want to be a scrapbooker – I’m just not. I tried when we lived in Texas a few years ago because a friend did it but I just can’t! I’m not sure why. However, I have a few awesome albums I’ve never gotten rid of, and some supplies still. I really like the Project Life page protectors – I think that would feel easier then filling up a 12 x 12 scrapbook page! I’m totally in. I just turned 33 this past June, so maybe I’ll make it a goal of mine to be done by the time I’m 35. I have a lot going on so over a year works for me. Hahahahaha

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