Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Genea-Resolutions (COG 87)

87th EDITION OF THE Carnival Of Genealogy

The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is:

New Year's Resolutions!

I've been very careful for many years to avoid making resolutions. Call me a realist! :-D But I shall be more optimistic now that it's a brand new decade and there's only two more Arthur C. Clarke books to be depressed about (in that we're not space-technologically where he thought we would be). In the grand scheme of things, I'll get over it, I promise, since I am unlikely to make it until the year 3001, no matter how much I'm counting on never dying, ever.

Meanwhile, back to 2010.

My forced retirement from genealogy for the last quarter of the year due to workload at the real-life job that pays for my genealogy made me realize just how much I would miss it if I didn't do it. And yet, my time off these 2 weeks has also made me realize what an incredible procrastinator I am, even when it's something I love! Darn those perfectionist genes, they take the fun out of everything. And that leads me to my first resolution:

1. Everything does NOT have to be perfect.

I know, I know, I almost can't type the letters that make those words. My heart is beating a little faster, or maybe that's the 8 glasses of iced tea I've had this morning. Either way, it makes me nervous to think about not being perfect. But if being perfect makes me put everything off until I have enough time to "do it right", then it's not worth it.

However, that doesn't give me permission to be sloppy, thus, the next resolution:

2. Piles of paper do not a file cabinet make.

I've got a thing, I'm one of those people that has piles of paper. The annoying thing for other people is that I can nearly always find the piece of paper I'm looking for in those piles of paper under my desk, in the basket in the closet, on the shelf in the closet. I just know where they are. But maybe I can use that brain power for something else, like moving the space program along faster, if I didn't use it to remember where that death certificate, still in its' envelope, from Indiana that came last April is. I got a beautiful new bookcase last year, with 2 big drawers in the bottom that hold hanging folders. There are some hanging folders in there, but one half of the drawer is.....a big pile of papers. I know! It's so irritating.

And it's not just the real world that has piles of paper, my virtual computer folders for genealogy have piles of virtual paper in them too....welcome to number 3:

3. Folder Organization Created in 1996 Can Be Retired With Full Honors

It's true, when I first started using my computer to research and store genealogy I came up with a file/folder structure. I'm still using it. It's time to take an hour or so and ponder what might be a better way to organize my info that's stored electronically now that it's double-digit years later!!! A sub-point to this one is investigating the best way to make use of metadata on my stored info rather than having a title for the document or jpg that is 128 characters long (which when buried deep in a folder structure makes Windows throw up a little bit in its mouth).

And voila, on to the next item (I mentioned "jpg" in that last thought):

4. Scanning Takes Time, But It Is A Good Thing

I got an awesome little scanner earlier last year and I've barely used it! I think I have been afraid of not doing it right (refer to resolution #1). So what if I only get 3 photos done in one sitting because I get distracted or need to go to bed because it was a long day at work. It's okay!!!

And finally, the last one:

5. Not Everything Is On The Internet

Yes, hard to believe, but once in a while I need to get up and go to somewhere to find information. I did do this a few times this past year (a couple local historical societies), but it's definitely something to continue in 2010. Sometimes it might be a disappointing trip, but other times, I just might find some awesome little nugget of information. Either way it's good practice for researching.

And that's it for me! I think 5 is a good number. They aren't pure resolutions, but more like promises for the year, but I think I can handle them.

Happy New Year!!!


  1. Excellent resolutions. (And I though my family were the only ones who regularly used the expression "throw up a little bit in its mouth.")

  2. Great resolutions! I love number 5 because that is something that I have to get through my brain still!

    Good luck in 2010 - and may you find lots and lots of ancestors!

  3. Number 4 and 5 are on my list for this year to. And I can totally sympathise with number 1. But, I firmly believe that you can do it!

    Good luck with your goals!

  4. I conquered my pile last year, but my files remain. I wish you determination and success!

  5. Lots of my university students like to call themselves "perfectionists" - and NONE of them are. It is not a good self description. You have taken a great step to correct this. Good for you. Get that work done WELL, not perfect... humans can not be PERFECT. Thanks for the reminder!

    Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

  6. Oh, how I can identify with many of the comments in this post! Those perfectionist tendencies sure put a crimp in my efforts. And the piles! I have piles, too. Maybe you'll post later about your successes and I'll read it and feel encouraged. Thanks for the post. And your sense of humor.
    Nancy from My Ancestors and Me (