Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Genealogy Lesson 8 - Take a Break!!!

Did you think that I had forgotten about you?  I wanted to make a point with the time between the seventh and eighth lessons...to remind you to take a break!  One of the best things you can do to help your research is to leave it alone.  Genealogy is supposed to be fun, so the moment it becomes "work" for you, leave it be for at least a week.
 
I go through periods where I think about genealogy 24-7.  Then I will hit a spell where the last thing I want to see is a census record!  My relationship with genealogy is much like that of a really good friend.  I love my friend but too much time together can be trouble!  Sometimes you just need your space to save the friendship.
 
Usually I take a break in the middle of a big project.  Instead of pushing it through to completion, I will just let it sit.  Sometimes you get so wrapped up in a project that you will begin to miss its flaws.  If you step away for a few days, you might begin to notice things that you missed or perhaps overstated.  Fresh eyes can see things that tired eyes will miss.
 
I have personally been on "break" for about the past two days.  For me that means no research, no clients, no blog posts, no meetings, no library, no archives, no cemeteries, no email and sometimes no Internet!  It is hard to "fast" from modern connectivity but sometimes you need to do it.  I like to remember what life was like before I became addicted to my computer.
 
For the past two days, I have filled my time with other things.  I have spent more time with my kids...real time, not just at dinner or when putting them to bed or giving baths.  I have been watching more movies with my wife at night, instead of looking at the computer.  I also have spent more time hanging out with my friends, going to Buffalo Wild Wings and just watching a game.
 
The point of my rambling is to tell you...love the hobby but do not let it consume you.  It sounds silly but genealogy can take over your life.  My mom always told me to worry about the living and forget about the dead.  I can see her point but that does not change the fact that I love genealogy.  Just remember to cherish YOUR life and YOUR lifetime.  As I have said many times, the dead people are not going anywhere.

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