Friday, November 15, 2013

November 2013- Being Thankful, and Looking Forward

Copyright 2013, The Hopelessly Hooked Genealogist (B. Harrison)

I seem to have taken a few months hiatus from writing in this blog, or else posts I did write have disappeared.    Nevertheless, I am back.  We approach the holiday season of yet another year's end.  November is traditionally a time when we focus on what it is we have to be thankful for.  Facebook friends have been posting their daily "I am thankful for....." status updates.   I too, have much to be thankful for, and try to remind myself to focus on the positives and not let the irritating negatives get out of proportion.   Looking back, I cannot say that 2013  has been a spectacularly great year on a personal or economic level or for this country, but it has not been a horrid one either. Some horrid things did happen in this county and in the world in 2013, it is true....some were natural disasters, some were man-made tragedies.  These types of things do happen, it seems, every year, that affect us deeply; much as our ancestors were affected by tragedies beyond their control in their own time.  It is part of the human existence.   Loved ones are lost, babies are born, and life goes on.  Things are looking up, and I am optimistic that 2014 will bring further recovery of the U.S. economy and to the region where I live in particular, with new growth and construction once again taking place.   I will refrain from overtly-political comments since this is primarily a Genealogy blog, but will say that I believe the current administration in the White House has made some positive changes that will benefit all Americans in the long term.

Back to the subject of Genealogy:  There is a new ongoing genealogy project among my Facebook group of genealogy associates, that I intend to begin working on soon; along with many among my genea-friends who are also participating.   It is called "The Book of Me, Written by You"....the brainchild of genealogist Julie Goucher. It is intended to be a series of prompts to help genealogists and journalists everywhere take the time to sit down and write their own life stories.   We spend so much time delving into the life stories of our ancestors, to document those as much as we can for posterity, that we tend to forget that each of us has our own story to tell.  Each of us will eventually become "the ancestor" that future generations of descendants and kin will be curious about.    Who better to tell our own stories, than ourselves?   And so, I encourage each and every one who may read this Blog post, to journal about yourself.    Whether in a paper notebook, pen to paper the old-school way, or typing it into an online Blog or private journal, or recording your voice telling your story....just do it.  Record and share your life stories and experiences, before they are lost forever.  No one knows the facts and nuances, trials and tribulations, tragedies and triumhs of what really happened along your pathway in life, better than yourself.  I may be sharing the "Book of Me" prompts in future Blog posts, along with some of my responses. I have a lot of catching up to do on that project!

My hopes for the coming year include enjoying my new early-retirement status, and hopefully being able to do a little more traveling.    One or two genealogy-research trips are on the tentative agenda, including a big genealogy conference in Richmond, Virginia in 2014 that I "hope" to be able to attend.  I have a great deal of ancestry in Virginia going back many generations to colonial America, and in the Richmond area in particular. I'm greatly looking forward to that adventure. More time for socializing with friends locally is also on the agenda.  Much work remains to be done on my family tree, and more time devoted to this Blog as well.  Perhaps I will finally make that long-dreamed of genealogy trip back to Missouri to visit my roots there as well, and meet distant-cousins that I have connected with over the past few years who share my interest in genealogy and our family history. So, here is my toast to a happy and thankful Thanksgiving season, followed by a spirited Christmas and Hanukkah season, and finally to a most welcome New Year in 2014!