Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Balance and Keeping Our Lives in Synch

This week has been crazy. When the week starts with a holiday I usually feel out of synch for the week. Monday started off with Memorial Day, when we had our children, family and friends over for a barbecue. My husband and sons are great cooks, so I never touch the grill; actually I do very little cooing anymore. For the meal we had homemade hamburgers (none of the pre-formed patties), baked beans from scratch, fruit salad with all fresh fruit, corn on the cob roasted to perfection on the grill, and my mother's wonderful deviled eggs which everyone is hot to have. We even had our homemade grape juice to drink. It was a very relaxing day. After we ate we played two different card games. One of our guests had never played either of them and he did very well, winning the first game with his partner our son in law. Our granddaughters were delightful entertainment for everyone. We even visited with our daughter, son in law and grandsons via Skype, which helps when they are far away.

On Tuesday I taught a genealogy class on Military Records. With only one student present, we viewed the power point on my laptop computer. This second set of classes there were fewer people signed up, but I agreed to go ahead with those who could attend. So, for the last two weeks there was only one student in each class, and they received a very personal research review after the presentation. This week the student brought two very well done family notebooks. I was very impressed with the information and documents she gathered on her ancestors. Reviewing her pedigree chart I offered some suggestions for future research. My husband had the day off, so this again threw my week off a bit.

On Wednesday I worked at our Family History Center. Most of my time was spent indexing, but I also helped two patrons with their work. Our center is in the process of changing out some of our books and periodicals. The materials no longer needed are being shared with a local genealogy group that plans to establish a research center in the Portland area. These items were placed in my car and then I needed to make arrangements for their delivery. Since I share my car with my oldest son, he is anxious for me to take them to their new home.

On Thursday I went to lunch with a good friend whose husband recently passed away. We had a wonderful meal at McGrath's Fish House in Milwaukie. It is one of my favorite places to eat, even though I really do not like fish. She has since returned to working in our Family History Center after taking a short break. We enjoyed the opportunity to share news about the happenings of our center and our own lives. She was one of the first volunteers for the center and was our director for part of that time. In that time our center functioned as a shared facility with another church stake, moved to our new church building when it was completed, and evolved into a first class research site. We have a wonderful collection of books and at this time they are being indexed with the plan to place the list on our website to assist patrons in knowing what we have available.

Friday and Saturday I worked on my new power point presentation, The War of 1812. It takes an amazing amount of time to create these, and then they need to be updated periodically. The material for this one is from information gathered for the publication of the quarterly, The Bulletin, for the Genealogical Forum of Oregon. On my blog I posted the article I wrote about Ardil Gates, a Soldier and POW of that war. I have also been gathering information posted by other bloggers about their activities and knowledge of this event. No power point is ever perfect, but it is important to make them easy to follow and flowing logically. Now that it is pretty much finished, I set it aside for a few days so I can look at it again with fresh perspective. On Saturday my husband and I went to run errands and had lunch at our favorite teriyaki restaurant. It is important for us to spend time together. I bought another five trays of Impatien plants, which he nicely planted for me when we returned home.

On Sunday I stayed two hours longer after our three-hour block of meetings so I could teach indexing of the 1940 Census to some of the young adults. Even my good friend, the new director of the Family History Center, started indexing. The night before I decided to set a goal for myself to index 10,000 entries or 250 batches of the 1940 Census and now I am at 9,200. I hope to complete these batches on the same day that this blog reaches 10,000 views. That should be sometime next week, if not sooner. Goals are good, as they motivate us to push a little harder with the task at hand. When I reach this goal I will then establish a new goal for my next project. Other projects that I am working on include scanning the notebooks for a WWI soldier, a WWII soldier, and my oldest daughter's two picture albums. Some of these have taken the back burner for a time and I want to complete them and clear my office space by returning the notebooks.

Today was another busy day. As I was going to meet relatives for lunch in Sherwood, I decided to drop off the materials in the back of the car. It felt so good to accomplish that task. Then I met my lunch dates and we went to a Chinese and sushi buffet. Of course we talked genealogy and family history for part of the meal. I am grateful that my family and friends indulge my passion for this work. Upon returning home, I met the furnace man who is preparing to install a new furnace and air conditioner. I do not work well in the heat and our old units are due to expire any day. This will happen on Thursday, so I will be home working in my office that day. In the evening I went to dinner with a good friend of over twenty years. It was her birthday and I wanted to celebrate with her. We had a good time at McGrath's Fish House (her choice) and I had another wonderful meal. She is a writer and adoption advocate.

One thing I have learned about eating out is to limit my portions. I try to balance my meals and can eat economically, especially on the senior menu. Genealogy is like that; it also needs to be a balanced part of our lives. All work and no play can make a genealogist a very dull person. Even if we incorporate a little family history discussion, we need to be careful not to overwhelm those we associate with. Be a good listener and allow others to share their stories. All of the people mentioned above are significant people in my life; they are all live very different lives and bring a broad perspective of understanding. Find balance in the work that you do, do it well, and reorganize as needed. When things get out of synch take some time to regroup and decide on goals to proceed with, helping you to keep your life in synch.

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