Regrets23 May 2010, Sunday – Well, tho’ the challenge was post to your blog every day in May, once a week is good for me :-) and It is supposed to relate to genealogy. I am not very active in genealogy right now. I serve on a shift in our local family history center from 10-2 the first and third Saturdays of each month, but I am not teaching a family history Sunday School class. I am in the Marriage and Family Relations Sunday School class myself. And I am not currently teaching genealogy and computers at the local senior center. My genealogy records are pretty much packed up in boxes.
I have other things going on in my life. I am in school at Rogue Community College, and the other big thing was that I had flunked the annual inspection at my apartment. So, though I had been trying to do homework, to the exclusion of housework, I had to take a break and do the other. With help from friends I have passed the inspection for this month. Now I have three more monthly inspections that I have to pass in a row before I am out of the woods. I am back to trying to do homework, because I have to do that, too, as that is my only visible means of support. I am looking forward to the end of the term. Summer Term doesn’t start until the 2nd week of July and financial aid won’t be disbursed until 2 weeks after that. Stress, stress.
I have wondered how in the world my ancestors made ends meet. I understand that the course of life is from one challenge to another, ups and downs; a life with no cha(lle)nges would be BOR-ING! I "understand" that. I long for a rest, where I can truly rest without regrets. I have a lot of regrets. Some concern not asking family history questions while family members were alive. That, hopefully, will lead us to Do It Now, while those at the most elderly ends of our family branches are still living, and to research cousins, descendants of collateral lines and find them while they are still living. I still cherish meeting my mother’s mother’s first cousin, who lived in Flint, Michigan, where we had moved to from Maryland for a job. Who’da thunk it? I scoured a Descendants of…genealogy book and found the last known addresses of…, and looked them up. This 1st cousin had met my grandmother, and they had lost touch with each other. Both my mother and my grandmother were gone by then, but it meant a lot to Hester Colvin to meet me and be remembered, and me, too. She had my great, great, great grandmother’s name, named after her grandmother.
Because my life is so full of a number of different things, other than genealogy right now, which I regret, I have just unsubscribed from a bunch of email newsletters and website change notifications. I really do recommend subscribing to some that make sense in your area of interest and research. If you regularly check in to some favorite sites to see if anyone has posted something of interest to you – look around, or even email the moderator or use the Contact Us link to see if there is an automatic service for notifying you of: responses to your posts, new additions to surname lists you are watching, regular newsletters from local historical societies, etc. There are some newsletters on genealogy research that will contain useful tips, too, that wouldn’t take long to peruse and then delete. Sometimes family history centers in the locales you have interest have an email list for a periodic newsletter; you never know – and some will publish queries for you! Take advantage of free services. They are not free if they can help you – they pay it forward, especially if you can help someone else :-)
How did our ancestors manage their time? TV was not such a big deal in generations passed, neither the internet as a time drain. There was always work and chores. I have been trying to keep a journal on a regular basis. I don’t write letters so much anymore. I do try to write thank you notes. I wish I had letters and journals from all my ancestors to get an insight as to how they ordered their priorities. Am I here because I happened to survive neglect? Or am I here on purpose from having my line of descent nurtured and encouraged? Is the human race going to survive in spite of our not understanding what’s important? Sad Commentary. What can I do to mindfully encourage my family to thrive and be happy? Is it too late? Can we still learn, even though the damage has been done? Do our ancestors have regrets? What do you do with your regrets after you die?
That’s why I journal. They say (“ “) that you do not learn while you are experiencing the experience, but later, when you reflect upon it. Journaling does that for me. Being in school and having to write essays does that for me. The plan is to have the experience, and react to it from where you’re at right then. Next (may be years later in some cases) you think about it and wonder what you might have done differently, and resolve to do it differently (better, or more how you would really like to have done it) if you are ever in a similar situation again. I think I have learned a lot about why I do what I do, have done what I have done, because of journaling. I wish I had my mother’s journals. I hope I will have them again someday.
What are regrets for? Beauty for Ashes. I hope I don’t make Christ regret he atoned for me by not appreciating his sacrifice.