Wednesday, January 28, 2015

There Will Be Weeping And Gnashing Of Teeth: Genealogy Do-Over Recap: Weeks 1 - 4

What have I gotten myself into? I like a good challenge as much as the next gal but I am really feeling in over my head here. In my other (non-genealogy) life I am in the middle of leaving one position (read steady paycheck) and beginning a new chapter in my life as my own boss. (Again) Not much stress there, right?  Throw in the Mercury Retrograde, a colonoscopy, scheduling cataract surgery. winter, old dogs, not one, but two genealogy challenges, and a slew of other everyday stuff we all have to deal with, and there will be weeping. And gnashing of teeth. And more weeping.

There is so much information being discussed in the facebook Do-Over group that I can't keep up. And so much of it is over my head! I admit to being a technology toddler. I though I had a pretty good knowledge of genealogy, I've been at it since the 70's, but it's all on paper and hurts my head to think of how I am going to get it all into the programs people are talking about.

I downloaded Dropbox. I downloaded Evernote. Now I have these cute icons on my computer! Yay me! I have a new Win8.1 laptop that I can't figure out. I had hoped to install FTM (latest version) on it and finally learn how to use the darn program. But when I did it made the computer all wonky. So I uninstalled it. And installed it on my Win 7 desktop. GREAT. Now all my Ancestry synced trees have at least three entries for each Timeline item. Awesome. More weeping.

I love genealogy. I would do it 24 hours 7 days a week. I don't love all the stuff I'm not understanding. It is making me angry. And frustrated. And really, really stressed out. Which is the opposite of what a hobby is supposed to be.

My ultimate goal (from Week 2) with this Do-Over is to have a true, clean, sourced and correct pedigree. This will take some time. Perhaps lots of time. Perhaps years of time. It won't/can't happen in just 13 weeks. And I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to.

I got so caught up in the excitement, the flood of new information, the possibilities of doing it over. Of imagining that it would be just that easy, that I could undo all my mistakes in 13 weeks and come out the other side with a sparkly new true and genuine pedigree.

But here's the thing ....

That will never happen. It's not supposed to.

My Aha! moment came this afternoon, after both weeping and gnashing of teeth. This 13 weeks is a classroom to learn new things. To take notes. To try some new techniques. To do a little or a lot. To take what you like and leave the rest. NOT to redo your pedigree. That comes later. After the learning.

I feel like I have been in a wrestling match these last four weeks. Trying to figure out what was right for me. Trying to keep up. Trying to master everything that was being presented, immediately. Spending untold hours on facebook reading post after post until well into the night. Weeping.

Clearly I had become gluttonous, I had attempted to eat the entire elephant in one sitting. I had  forgotten what I had vowed here,
and here.

The clouds parted, the sun shone, and the angels sang this afternoon when I had my epiphany. I am taking a deep breath, a giant step backward and a hands-off approach to the remainder of the Do-Over. I will still lurk in the Do-Over group, but I will not become overwhelmed. I will read the assignment/lesson plan/syllabus for the week and make notes, but I will not become overwhelmed. I will start at the beginning, again.                   And take
                                One bite at a time ......

That is how you eat an elephant.


  1. Anne,

    Please email me through Google+ and I'll help you with FTM2014. It works GREAT on Windows 8.1, laptop and desktop. I have both.

    Not sure what you mean by "Now all my Ancestry synced trees have at least three entries for each Timeline item" I don't know what that means, nor where you are looking. The SAME information should be in FTM2014 (or FTM2012) on your PC and in your Ancestry Member Tree.

    Oh, it's one bite at a time.


    1. Russ it's a mess - I'll contact you through G+ later today - thanks!