Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow. You know you’ve done a horrendous job of maintaining your new blog when you forget the URL and the password! In the two months (yikes!) since my last post I have, in the odd moment, said to myself in a panic, “Oh, my blog! I need to update it. I need to update it regularly! I’ll do that tonight.” Then NADA. Thinking back on when I started this blog is almost laughable – how excited I was when I first created the blog, of all the time I spent crafting those first posts, of how this was going to be the thing that really got me working on my research on a constant and frequent basis. That lasted for, oh, a couple of weeks! Then NADA.
I had thought creating this blog would keep me accountable for making progress on my research, something I’ve only managed to do in a few bursts in the last two years since I “committed” myself to researching my family history. Well, between bursts I really don’t have anything to write in my genealogy blog, now do I? Unwittingly, in starting this blog I had added another item to my guilt pile in an effort to tackle another huge project already on my plate! Cute, huh?
This week I came across an article about dealing with unfinished projects. This really hit home given that my research and the blog are just two of several babies I’ve neglected. The article presents three options for tackling each unfinished project: ditch it, wrap it up as is, or finish as originally planned. The personal and professional stakes one has in each project will guide the decision as to which path to take.
What can make genealogical research so overwhelming is there is no real end, is there? There’s no product that is truly finished. So does this decision-making model truly apply? Not perfectly. But it still served as a useful exercise in thinking about how to prioritize this project. I knew I definitely did not want to abandon it altogether, as I have always longed to know more about my ancestors, their lives, and the places they lived and died. This made me realize the best approach was to think about it as a series of mini-projects. Whether it be uncovering one particular peice of information, digitizing one image, or posting one update on my progress – or lack thereof.
With a trip to Panama coming up at the end of this month I have a very real opportunity to collect documents and conduct interviews. Reading that article and writing this post have pushed this priority to the top of my mind, so now all that is left is to see what I get started amid all of the holiday and wedding excitement.