Tuesday, January 31, 2012

genealogy today -

RootsTech 2012 starts this week -
I reposted the FamilySearch announcement about it on facebook. Randy Seaver is in Salt Lake for RootsTech 2012. Some day I will be in position to travel for genealogy, too. That will be a great day.

When our family took vacations, or went for visits there was always the genealogy angle - catching up on who'd had babies, who'd gotten married.... Visiting family, living or dead :-( meant taking pictures and sharing stories. I don't feel satisfied that is going on in my family much any more. One, I'm not there to give them input, and two, they don't ask for it. Sigh.

One of the motivators in my life right now is [getting to the point where I am] sharing with other people to actively do that in their family. It is part of taking your bearings. We sense ourselves in relation to what all is going on around us, where we fit in the big picture. Maybe that is one of the real values of participating in group therapy, beyond individual counseling, by getting a sense of some challenges other people face and that you are not alone in your struggles. There is great synergy in meeting together to share - back to genealogy now - in having these conferences from time to time. There is so much sharing that there is a whole lot of brainstorming going on! I love AHA moments - when you might repurpose a tool you have used elsewhere for addressing a current problem. I love that! And it often happens by observing what someone else is up against, and learning how they solved their challenge. One real genius of human ingenuity is the magic that happens (all the way around) - when someone shares their situation (their [research] problem) and others, on hearing that, might offer advice, or not. Either way, someone is winning. It is the Process that is the magic. If advice is given, it may be that the person offering advice sees their own situations in a new light because of having reached outside of themselves to altruistically help someone else. I think that very often we look at our own [research] problems from the same old perspectives, having tried this, that or the other, thinking we've tried everything and it's hopeless! But just the new point-of-view of seeing people's relationships from a different angle (not from the inside, ego-centric spot), but as an objective observer really can crack open the nut. AHA!

So that was the - if someone offers a suggestion how to approach the [research] question. What if there is no counsel forthcoming from anyone in the group? Usually that silence prompts the speaker to offer new clues themselves, maybe trying to elicit help from someone[else], but actually doing that for themself. That might not happen though if a body was alone & there was no real dialogue. By just mulling it over on your own, you might get the same results over and over. SPARK! I think it is like the magic that shows up when you prepare dinner for company, over & above what the normal fare would have been. Why are we funny like that?

That is also the alchemist's transmutation that happens when you study a subject by preparing to teach it. It is one thing to read, watch, or listen for your own interest, but when you know that you are going to have the opportunity to share the expereince and the material with someone else - you pay attention differently! Why do we do that? Why DON'T we DO that - all the time!? Maybe that is exactly what our families, parents, grandparents, spouses are for - is to be a sounding board, a test kitchen for ideas and what we are learning. So Sad to come home to no one there to share the excitement with! :-(

That is it with genealogy research. I love the family history center! We hear great stories from people who are discovering wonderful things! They want to share! We want to be happy for them, encourage them, learn from them and, with their tips, to be able to help other people! Oh it is fun to help out in the family history center :-D I remember some discussion about all this new technology and connctivity maybe making family history centers obsolete, because folks could do everything from home. Ha - it has, in fact, made family history centers become more vital - in the training of people new to family history and genealogy, and in celebrating the fabulous new capabilities! We are looking forward to great things this week to be announced at RootsTech 2012! Have you ever thought YOU would like to serve in a family history center? It is Possible! Open your mouth and Ask! Most of what I have learned about researching and networking in family history has come BE-CAUSE of serving in a family history calling.

If you like to travel - genealogy is the vehicle for you! You travel in time and space. It's a great way to learn history and geography. But the most important thing about genealogy is not those Things - it's the people, your people - your family.
Just like brainstorming to find resources to help living people cope, survive and thrive in this life, our ancestors were on quests for the same goals. Like unto us - they did what they did - not in a vaccuummmmmmmm - but in relation to their character, their convictions, the stressors in their lives (eustress and distress), their opportunities, the times they lived in. Talk about Group Counseling - Study your family history and learn from them as good or bad or good bad examples.

The biggest lesson I have learned from my genealogy adventure today is that there is hope for the future! We can learn from the past, our own past, and the examples of others. Sometimes a lesson from someone in your own family soaks in more. It is up to us how we will tell those stories. Listen!

Listen! In a family, the stairstep of kids will tell about the same experience in different ways, each empahsizing what they thought was important. Listen to yourself - how you tell the same story, how it changes with re-tellings over time. Our insights, our healing, will change how we tell the stories of our past in the future. Could we be a Fair Witness and tell a narrative unbiased? No matter - it is how we tell our stories that reveals what we need to learn.

I am way over my 20 minutes. I will do this again tomorrow. Mmmm - only differently :-D

The Perfect Gift: Write 20 Minutes a Day from Now until Christmas

This was a challenge from a genealogy blogger before last Christmas, so it was sort of a finite, manageable challenge. I did not hear about it until today, 31 Jan 2012, so for me that means 11 months of blogging for 20 minutes a day, on genelaogy. I am sure I have more than 20 minutes worth of typing I could do on that topic every day. Neither do I doubt that I have 20 minutes per day I could spend doing it. I have recently discovered Pinterest.com and wasted many hours on that site.

I read about this challenge because of RootsTech 2012 > the blog from World Vital Records > which I just just subscribed to via RSS Feed. I have just recently figured out how to work RSS Feed subscriptions. That is what is going to save me from Pinterest, I hope. Well, I know that what will really save me from Pinterest is my own self-discipline, and the grace of God :-) I had set a personal goal for 2011 to do some work on family history every day that year. I had a folder going on my computer for the year>each month>daily logging. I recognized that a research log would have satisfied my tracking that. I have started again this year and have entries in my January folder. 'Time to make a February folder! My, my, where has January gone?! In the middle of the night - after Pinterest - I realized I had not given genealogy any (much) thought that day. So, I went looking for family of a friend, hoping to find them still living.

I have recently gotten onto SSI, and my whole drive and goals have shifted. Last night I put infinity and infinity together and realized that might be an oportunity for earning a living - searching for living people - that would dovetail with skills for genealogy research.

Yesterday was my last session for physical therapy on my left hand. I had carpal tunnel release surgery on the 6th of September 2011. Typing is the biggest challenge I have with my left wrist. If I am not sitting in a good position my hand has to go all out to reach the keyboard keys. I don't totally touch type. I never took a typing/keyboarding class. I look at the keyboard when I type, and go back and proofread before I finish a document. That is my life. Someday I might trust myself that I will touch-type. Meanwhile, my left hand is tingly. 20 minutes are up.

Check out RootsTech 2012


Here is that blog entry - the 20 minutes per day challenge - self discipline....

The perfect heartfelt gift – 20 minutes a day
The Olsens
The perfect heartfelt gift – 20 minutes a day

My baby sister has been driving her siblings nuts this year as she prepares a special gift for our parents.

For the past few months, she’s been “encouraging” us to write down our childhood memories so she can add them to a photo book she’s creating. It’s a great idea – but also hard work. To me, it’s a time-consuming emotional process to go through your memories, put them down nicely on paper and share them with the world, or at least with the family. But what better present could there be? You on paper for your children, parents and relatives.

I’d like nothing more than to have my siblings, parents, our only surviving grandparent and more of my extended family write their stories and share them. As I delve deeper into our family history I realize what great knowledge we hold in our minds. It all dies when a relative passes and has not recorded his or her memories, or caring relatives had not succeeded in prying out those memories.

Although possibly an arduous process, what a great gift it is to record your personal history. Instead of always looking to your parents and grandparents, perhaps it’s time to understand the importance of recording your own stories as well as those of your family.

In reality, I’m preaching to myself as I realize what a great gift it would be to share the stories in my head with my children. I’m still young, but getting older by the minute. I may as well record my stories now and avoid having my grandchildren insist that I immediately start talking while they stare and record.

As the holidays get ever closer, I’ve come up with a plan of action. My goal is to sit and write for at least 20 minutes a day – not more – to record my memories and stories. From there, I’ll adapt and adjust it, but what’s important right now is just to begin. Whether or not I give this as a gift this year is yet to be seen, but the real gift is the security of knowing that – no matter when I go – at least my past will remain for my loved ones.

I’d like to invite my readers to join me in this 20-minute goal from now until Christmas Day. Write what you want – but write something — so that your family will have this special gift when you are gone.