Monday, 6 August 2007

Who am I, anyway?

My name is Claudia, I’m 36 years old and live in the UK, in a lovely city called Milton Keynes. I’ve only been in the UK ten years though, because I was born and raised in Mexico and in fact most of my family and friends are still over there. I moved to the UK because I met a Brit while working in the USA about 12 years ago so as you can see it wasn’t the weather OR the food that brought me to these foggy shores!

I’ve been married for 10 years now and have a little boy who will be 4 in October. I also work full time as an Online Marketing Manager for a distance learning university here in Milton Keynes and although I haven’t been doing that for long, I do love my job. Previously I worked in marketing for a large retail bank headquartered here in Milton Keynes and although I made many great friends there, I really wasn’t enjoying the work I was doing, especially the last few years. So I’m glad I’ve changed jobs as I am happy again.

I am one of those very annoyingly organized people and although my house isn’t as tidy as I would like it to be, I think it probably looks very tidy to others. I just can’t live with stuff everywhere out of place and can’t relax until it’s all back in place – so sometimes I can’t sit down and scrap in peace knowing that there is a floor that needs to be swept, washing that needs folding or toys to be tidied.

I enjoy coming to work and actually found my maternity break difficult: the first few months of course I was very busy learning to be a mom and trying to function on a few hours’ sleep but after a while the mothering thing got easier and I got very bored. I felt the lack of mental stimulation depressing and literally started counting down the days when I could go back to work. This has meant of course that my little boy has been in full time nursery since he was 9 months old but he loves it and the experience has been great for both of us: I get a break from being a mom and he gets a break from being around only me all day!

When I’m not working or scrapbooking you can find me with my nose in a book (usually non-fiction but I do love Harry Potter), messing around on the Internet (mainly scrapping sites and Facebook these days) or what I call running but others would call waddling. I am still training for a marathon in January, even though I had a disastrous experience with a local half-marathon in late July. I can’t say I truly enjoy the running but it has sort of become a habit so I stick with it even though I am patently no good at it at all: I haven’t even lost weight from it.

I have been scrapbooking for far too long, can I say around 12 years? Of course what I did all those years ago isn’t much to do with the stuff I produce these days but the basics are there: photos, cardstock and journaling. As a result I don’t have a huge backlog of photos because I started when I didn’t actually own that many and have been able to keep up since. I am a strict chronological scrapper and although I occasionally break this rule, in general I find that this is my more efficient way to scrap. Also, because I started scrapping years ago when supplies were hard to find, I think I learned to make do with what I have and actually have a small stash considering I’ve been doing it for so long. It is also because of my tidy nature – if I had too much stash I would have nowhere to put it and that would drive me crazy.

Scrapbooking has helped me to meet lots of wonderful people both here in Milton Keynes and around the country and the world thanks to various online forums. I find scrappers are generous, talented and admirable and I am proud to count myself on that group. I think nearly everyone does much, much better work than I do but I like my pages so that’s all that matters, right? I also enjoy having a creative outlet and a way to keep my photos that is more interesting than simply placing them in an album – or box.

Thank you for reading this very indulgent piece. I hope it helps to understand more of who I am and why I do what I do.

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