As genealogists, we love genealogy, right?
So we certainly don’t need to be encouraged to work on genealogy. Often, we have to be encouraged to stop working on genealogy – like to do bothersome things like eat and sleep. Oh yes, and work.
However, sometimes, I find myself researching haphazardly without direction, and I don’t seem to ever get anything “done,” as if there is such a thing in genealogy. This is the genealogical equivalent of “SQUIRREL” aka “ANCESTOR.”
For me, goals give me direction and clarity. If I wake up in the morning without a plan for the day, I’m much less likely to accomplish anything.
Once a year we make New Year’s Resolutions. Resolutions give us the opportunity to reflect upon what is important to us and how we might go about achieving those things.
But more importantly, resolutions are promises to ourselves. And in my case, a commitment to my ancestors.
I only have one Genealogy Resolution this year.
I know, I know….how can there just be one?
Well, defining what is the MOST IMPORTANT lets me focus on that one goal, without distractions. Ok, with hopefully only a few distractions. Scratch that. I welcome distractions, but only if they are brick walls falling on other lines. See, I’m already distracted. Just thinking about brick walls falling does that to me. Which is exactly why I need a focused plan.
I love the 52 Ancestors stories because they give my ancestors’ lives shape. Birth, death, where they lived, what happened during their lifetimes, what we know or can figure out about each of them and weave into a story – including something about DNA for each of them. These articles bring these people, who are part of me, to life. And because the articles are online, they can be updated as more information is discovered. How’s that for optimistic! Plus, the stories are available for posterity and they function as “cousin bait.”
Notice, I didn’t say 52 stories. I want my goal, promise, resolution to be achievable. I don’t want to get discouraged and set myself up for “failure” if I miss a week for some reason. Sometimes the difference between success and failure is how we phrase the goal!
Let’s face it, sometimes life just gets in the way. Sometimes the research and gathering of information for a particular ancestor is particularly intense. Sometimes, I have to wait for information to arrive. Sometimes I need to find someone to DNA test, or order upgrades. Sometimes we find out that we were, uh, cough…um, wrong…and we have to do some revising. Ok, we have to saw the whole darned branch off the tree and start over. Dang!
I’d be very happy with 50 stories, truthfully!
This isn’t like that age old promise to exercise more, which, by the way, I’ve already abandoned this year – in favor of genealogy research. I mean, really, who has time for sweating when there are ancestors who need to be found???
Plus, now that I’ve shared my resolution with you, you are all going to hold me accountable! Right?
Do you have a genealogy resolution for 2017? Do share!