Sunday, January 5, 2014

The New Year - Changing Priorities

Five days into the new year and time to really focus on my priorities for this year. During my life there have been significant periods of volunteer service to my church, community, schools, and genealogy associations. As my situation changes, oftentimes there is a need to slow down and allow time to focus on different priorities.

From 2003 to 2008 there was the service to the youth at our church in the early morning seminary program. It was an exhausting job, but the blessings were tremendous. Prior to this my service was to the children in the church from 1999 to 2003 as the Stake Primary President. My other involvement in the programs of the church has been constant in my life, since the time I was a teenager. Much of my previous training in leading, teaching, organization, etc. came from these volunteer opportunities.

Last year it was time to resign from my community volunteer positions on the Budget Committee, the Park and Recreation Board, and the Library Board. For most of these my commitment was for several years from about 2007 to 2012. Much was accomplished during my time in these positions. The chances to be acquainted with those who oversee the operations of our small town were probably the richest reward. It was interesting to be a voice in the community, where people could turn to for advice, information and understanding.

My service on the local school board was for eight years from 1999 to 2007. Prior to that time my involvement to local schools was on budget committees, in classrooms, PTA groups, teaching Spanish in after school classes and various other committees focused on specific activities. With six children it was important to know what was happening in their lives while they were at school. Even when our children were being homeschooled, it was important to stay connected to the schools and I served on the local budget committee.

Genealogy association service first was focused on the LDS Family History Centers while my children were younger. As they got older my associations broadened and my focus was on obtaining my bachelor degree, which I put off for twenty-five years. Once that was completed in 2005, my focus was on obtaining accreditation from ICAPGen, which happened in 2010. From 2005 to 2010 the opportunity to serve on the FGS Ruth C. Bishop Volunteer Award, which came my way through Anne Leptich who had set up the award just a few years previous, introduced me to many fellow genealogists.

In 2009, facing two major surgeries, the opportunity to serve as an editor on the Genealogical Forum of Oregon, the Bulletin, opened to me a new world of activity. This month the decision to resign from that position was not taken lightly. In working with several other editors, proof readers, writers, layout staff, printing staff, etc. my understanding of producing a publication has surpassed anything previously known. After six years we stand proud for what we have accomplished as a team. They have supported me in some of the most difficult phases of my life.

My other volunteer contributions in genealogy are the classes that are available to the public at no charge. Having taught thirty-six classes last year, half of them were on a volunteer basis. It remains to be seen if that can be continued. Working with those who have an interest in genealogy or family history is certainly thrilling. With all of the changes taking place this past year it is difficult to even keep up. For now my plan is to stay close to home and limit too much travel. My family is good to provide transportation, but they are busy people.

My most important changes are reflected in the passing of my mother six months ago. As her personal representative the probate process is a bit overwhelming. It probably won't be over until June and there is still a lot to be done. In between there will be projects for clients and my family. The love of doing research compels me to search for those who are missing and sometimes don't seem to want to be found.

Taking this all one day at a time is a priority. Not overcommitting is another. Hopefully when and if things ever settle down a bit the future will hold many other opportunities for volunteer service. Have your priorities changed with the New Year?

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