New Year Resolutions Redux

There are piles of snow lit by lots of sunlight outside my window.  The new squirrel proof bird feeder survived the high winds as did the rest of the feeders and birds are everywhere.  It’s easy to feel positive about life in general.  So I thought this would be a good time to review my progress on last year’s resolutions written for the 87th Carnival of Genealogy.

1.  Spend less time with my family.  How can I get my research done and tell them where they came from if I spend all my spare time hanging around with them?

I have had mixed success on this one.  N and I have been brutally busy with work that pays the bills.  So, less time together, but also less research time for me.  The kids don’t live here anymore, but their lives have had enough turmoil in them this year to require lots of phone time.  Yes, I phone.  Anyone who reads this blog knows that I can hardly manage, “Good morning,” in less than a paragraph.  Texting and tweeting can’t handle it.

2.  Write something for the blog twice a month.  How hard is it?  If you’re me, harder than it should be.  The problem is every time I sit down to write something I just have to check one thing or two or twelve and then it’s tomorrow. Must learn to accept lack of knowledge and to practice brevity.  Hah, not happening.

Not so bad on this one. There is absolutely no progress on the brevity front.  I come from a story telling culture and, as I said above, brief doesn’t work for me.  I deeply admire those of you like, but not limited to, Randy Seaver at Genea-musings,Thomas MacEntee at Destination Austin Family , Apple at Apple’s Tree, Carol at Reflections From the Fence, Miriam Midkiff at Ancestories, Greta Koehl at Greta’s Genealogy Blog, Kerry Scott at Clue Wagon , Dick Eastman at Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newlsetter, Sheri Fenley at the Educated Genealogist, Bill West at West in New England, Myrtle at Dear Myrtle, Footnote Maven at Footnote Maven,   who get something up frequently, even daily, without a blogging partner, but that will never be me. And my synapses still keep wandering off target snapping to a new beat once a minute or so, but I have managed to corral them sufficiently to finish a piece here and there.

2b.  Give Pat a break and reliably write something twice a month.

I did it; I did it!  Except for a month off this summer I have been a reliable blog buddy.

3.  Get organized.

Hah!

4.  Get organized.

Hah hah!

5.  Clean less.  After they stop laughing and recover the ability to breathe my friends will tell you that it is actually not possible for me to clean less.  It is true that I do not clean, but when I invite people for dinner I do feel the need to make a flat surface available for holding dishes and flatware and such. This means that I declutter and when I start decluttering I can’t stop.  Since I am not an organized person (see resolutions 3 and 4) this means everything gets put in some random place never to be seen again.  No more cleaning.

Actually, I cleaned more.  We have decided that we must take small steps toward civilization and that we simply cannot behave like two large packrats.  I refuse to be that headline in the local paper, Woman Found Crushed Under Useless Piles of Junk, so there has been more cleaning.  On the other hand we handled Thanks giving in our usual manner, shoveling everything into our large basement. Now one of us says,” I can’t find..”  and the other one says, ” Try the basement.”  Things I planned to send out for Christmas will undoubtedly resurface around Easter.

6.  Tame The Beast. .  I have a long list of places to write to, places to call, and websites to investigate.  I will do one thing on that list every day, okay, every week.  Most importantly nothing goes on the list unless something comes off.  The beast may not get shorter, but at least it will stop growing.

A few things did come off the list and the return on that investment was enormously rewarding.  Unfortunately I was so busy investigating the wonderful things that came in the mail  that the list curled up somewhere and took its revenge for being neglected by growing twice as long.

7.  Accept the piles, love the piles, become one with the piles.  Returning once again to the fact that I am not well organized, my office is a mass of piles of paper, books, post-it notes, magazines and lots of other stuff.  Some of these piles have enough dust on them to make it seem like tiny ecosystems have developed in their depths.  Sometimes late at night the tiny people talk to me.  But weird as it seems, I can find things in the piles.  It’s when I try to organize that I get into trouble.  This year I will embrace the pile system and no cob will be deprived of its web.

I have succeeded at this mostly.  Since my office is also the guest room there was occasional cleaning to the detriment of being able to find anything.

8.  Gain weight.  Might as well make one resolution that I will actually keep.

I didn’t, gain weight that is.  For reasons having absolutely nothing to do with me my weight has remained stable this year.

9.  Be better.  Better, nicer, kinder, more patient, more appreciative, more grateful. I know that’s more than one thing, but I consider myself a work in progress and this year I hope to be a slightly better version of the original.

This is the important one, the only one that really matters, and I must leave judgment on this one to those around me.  I’ll keep trying.

That’s my list for this year and I’m going to get right to it, just as soon as I finish the Christmas cards.

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