3 Surprising and Valuable Benefits of Digitizing Family Photo Albums

2014-05-21 11.10.03 The genesis of the project was practical and uninspired – but the outcome was akin to finding hidden treasure.

No Room For Albums

When we moved into our smaller space,  we simply did not have room for the family photo albums we had lovingly assembled over the years. We had no choice but to box them up and put them in an unfinished attic.

Concern About Loss

Although we had not looked at most of the albums for decades, it still felt wrong to put them in an inconvenient and somewhat unprotected space. Family photographs comprised the few sentimental items remaining after our mega-edit of over 80% of our possessions. Making the memory books inaccessible undercut the purpose for retaining them.

Resolve to Not  Get Used  to It

When I worked as a house cleaner, I was consistently surprised at how quickly people could tune-out glaring upkeep issues.  Needed work  became “invisible” if  it was left unattended for a certain period of time.

As we approached our first attic storage anniversary,  I knew we needed to take action or our albums and the need to protect them would be largely forgotten.

Process Easier Than Anticipated

Once started, the process of digitizing our family albums was much easier than anticipated.  While there are many wonderful tools and protocols,  we simply removed photos from albums and sorted them into batches such as “1980 Ranch”,  “2006 Graduation”,  “2009 Hawaii”, etc.   Placing the year in front of the batch description created an easy to follow chronology.  We then ran the batches through our ScanSnap scanner and uploaded the images to DropBox.  Such made the images accessible on all our devices and easy to share.  It was also a great comfort to have the images backed-up and significantly safer from loss.

Simple Life Reboot PostcardsFirst Surprise Benefit – Discovery of Hidden Love Letters
As I mentioned,  we had not opened most of the albums for decades. I had forgotten the numerous postcards we had included in the albums due to our family practice of purchasing extra postcards to supplement our rather deficient photographic skills.

As I began removing postcards from the magnetic pages, I discovered most were not blank.  Rather,  much to my delight, we had  a huge cache of  long forgotten messages sent by beloved family members who have since passed.  These beautiful  messages shared tales of adventure and love.

Second Surprise Benefit-  Easy “Then-and-Now” Photos

With family images easily accessible on my iPhone,  we could now take time-lapse pictures with family members re-creating a scene from a photograph taken years earlier.  What fun!!

Third Surprise Benefit – Opportunity to Reach Out

As we assembled our new digital database of  family images, we came across images we knew others would want to see.   With a few clicks,  we were able to forward images that opened new lines of communication and allowed us to reconnect with loved ones.  In so doing,  we rediscovered why the images were so precious to us in the first place.  They preserved memories and created new opportunities to connect with our loved ones.  It was a legacy worth preserving,  cherishing… and sharing.

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We would love to hear how you save and share family images. Please let us know in the comments below.


Originally posted on http://SimpleLifeReboot.com


Slay the Internal Resistance to Succeed

NEWCUP9Are you afraid to drink from the cup of success?

What is it that keeps us from realizing our best selves, the person we were born to become?

Sharing our journey with you here at Simple Life Reboot continues to help us stay focused on building our new life of margin and deep living.  We have come to realize that far too often, that which keeps us from reaching our goals is not an actual impediment, but rather an obstacle we have created.

Also, the obstacles that keep us from achieving goals may be the same obstacles that keep us from fully loving and caring for those around us.


Let’s face it, just hoping for life to get better rarely results in real change.  In order for something to happen, we must take action.  Best intentions do not count and certainly will never be actualized by a life not lived, or by a love not loved.  To reach our goals, and to love those around us deeply, we must act with intention.

So, what keeps us from acting?


In Steven Pressfield’s seminal work, The War of Art, he says, “Resistance is not a peripheral opponent.  Resistance arises from within.  It is self-generated and self-perpetuated.  Resistance is the enemy within.”

We each face obstacles of our own making.  We draw up plans and manufacture impediments in our minds.  Recognizing real from false obstacles is the first step in being able to submit a new set of plans from which to operate.

Time and again we get side-tracked, yield to the lesser things in life, and stall out.  What causes us to do this, to lose focus, to wander in the desert of mediocrity?


There are two main matrices from which we manufacture personal impediments.  The first, our Internal Fears, we design over a lifetime.  The second, our External Distractions, originate from more recent constructs.  Both sets of plans are self-generated, but the resistance we experience from each involves a different amperage.  Regardless, the effect is the same – self-deception that becomes ingrained, deflecting us from achieving our goals.


The only thing more defeating than the fear of failure, is the fear of success.  This fear is common, but we often do not recognize it in ourselves.  It turns out that the fear is not about “success” per se, but rather the fear of how our life might change once we attain success.

1)  CHANGE – fear of who we will become – the kind of life we will lead – fear of how our relationships might be affected (jealousy, cynicism, isolation) – higher expectations – longer work hours – more responsibilities – loneliness – criticism.

2)  FAILURE – “the higher we climb, the further we fall” – “I don’t deserve it” – “I haven’t worked hard enough” – “I’m not good enough to sustain it” – “I’m not qualified” – “I cannot cope with being in the spotlight” – “I will be found out to be a fraud”.

Reaction to Fear

Both fear and excitement elicit similar reactions in our nervous system resulting in an elevated heart rate and causing us to sweat and breathe more shallowly and quickly.  When we feel fear, we give more credence to instinct than reason.  Fear is uncomfortable.  We want it to stop, and so, we often self-sabotage in an attempt to halt the discomfort.


We self-sabotage in a number of ways, often without realizing it.

NEGATIVE SELF-TALK – “success will make my life too complex” – “I will miss out on doing more fun things” – “I’m not cut out to be that type of person” – “I’m not prepared”.

PROCRASTINATION – “I’ll do it tomorrow” – “I need more preparation”.

ERRATIC BEHAVIOR – Nervousness – Irrationality – Avoidance – Anger – Addiction


The only thing harder than facing our fears,  is eliminating our distractions.  It’s easy to find ways to get side-tracked so as to generate ready-made excuses for why we did not complete our work.


There are two main types of distractions that hijack our focus.

1)  FANTASY – obsessions with:  the Internet – Gaming – Sex – Grandiosity

When we become obsessed with our fantasies, we replace our real-life progress with a false sense of purpose and accomplishment drawn from the make-believe world.  Also, if we attempt to actualize our fantasies in the real world, such can be at best disappointing and at worst destructive.

2)  PRIDE – obsessions with – Possessions – Work – Physical Appearance – Professional Appearance – Highest Standards

Pride keeps us from recognizing any authority higher than ourselves. Such leads to behaviors of superiority, envy, hatred, animosity, revenge, and arrogance.  Pride can keep us from acting.  It can also cause us to act too quickly, or to act without the proper motivation and perspective.  Pride ultimately results in some degree of failure, either on a personal or professional level.


Understanding how and why we limit ourselves supplies us the keys to unlock potential we never knew existed.

Simple Life Reboot believes in breaking free of the mundane to realize the exceptional, to not simply have good intentions, but rather to take deliberate action to fulfill them.

Slay the internal resistance to succeed, and begin discovering the life you were called to live.

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If you would like to read more on this topic, please, check out The Four Zones of Intention.

Also, watch Derek Sivers TED talk, Keep Your Goals To Yourself


“The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit.  We don’t just put off our lives today;  we put them off till our deathbed.

Never forget:  This very moment, we can change our lives.  There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny.  This second we can turn the tables on Resistance.

“This second, we can sit down and do our work.”

—  Steven Pressfield, The War of Art:  Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles



Originally posted on http://SimpleLifeReboot.com














3 Pieces of Advice for My Younger Self

Simple Life RebootIf you are reading this and are over the age of 40, please stop.  Wait, on second thought, nix that. Whatever your age, please keep reading… but only for the purpose of ultimately sharing or implementing the simple lessons it has taken me nearly five decades to learn.

Now, as a disclaimer, this article is not about regrets or wistful “what-if’s”.  Rather, it is a candid sharing of some missteps made and opportunities missed. While I recognize these experiences have taught me precious lessons, they also made my journey, and that of those around me, a bit rougher than needed at times.  So, without further ado, 3 pieces of advice I would have liked to have shared with my younger self:

1.   Love People – Not Status or Things.  Spend more of your time and money on people than on entertainment, stuff and status.  For decades I considered myself too busy pursuing professional objectives to have appreciable time for family and friends. This resulted in casual acquaintances receiving more attention than friends, and networking trumping family time.  Growth in this area is ongoing.

2.   Admit It When You Don’t Know. Pride is crippling. Far too many times I pretended to understand, only to suffer the consequences later.  As an exchange student learning French, I pretended to understand directions.  As a result,  I ended up lost and afraid in a rural area.  I have also broken more things than I care to recall given my refusal to read the directions.

I have learned it is both humbling and liberating to confess lack of knowledge.  Now, however, instead of pretending, I  am happily learning new programs from 7 year olds on YouTube.  It’s amazing what we can learn if we simply admit we need help.

3.   Celebrate Modest Beginnings.  I have gone through numerous periods of embarrassment when learning something new.   Whether it was running,  my first trial or becoming a step-mom to four children,  I was so anxious to get to the next “level”  that I missed being able to appreciate the joy of new beginnings,  the encouragement of progress,  and the opportunity to not take myself so seriously.  All good and worthy things start modestly and should be celebrated.

Well,  this is the advice I would have given to my younger self.   I wonder if I would have listened….


Originally posted on http://SimpleLifeReboot.com