Friday, February 20, 2015

Genealogy Do Over: Recap or How I Got HERE: Part One

Genealogy Do Over - Restart Button
Well, well, well. Here it is Week Seven. Where am I?

Stuck somewhere back in Week Three or Four.

I lost it. Lost total control. Everything was moving way too fast and my mind was reeling. I kept a paper bag on my desk in my Cave for the increasingly frequent bouts of hyperventilation.

And I wept.

Genealogy is hard ...... When you do it right .....

But here I am. Back in the Cave. Reviewing the topics of the previous weeks. Making yet another checklist of what I did and what is still left to be done.

And, as providence would dictate, these past two weeks I have been flooded with replies to old (some very old) message board posts and new DNA matches - BSO's that distracted me, caught my eye, sucked me in. Took me off course and down the rabbit hole.

Why is it so easy to follow that darn rabbit!?!

Seems I need to recommit. Seems this is a recurring theme. Seems I need to learn some focus.

Or make another checklist.

So. Back to the beginning I go. To the beginning of the year and my grandiose plan of cleaning up my maternal lineage.  I have been avoiding this for several years, as you may know from reading some of my previous posts. The Do Over was my savior. The thing I needed to kick my butt into action. Alas, it is a self-guided course, and I am famous for guiding myself to the coffee pot, facebook, pinterest, what the neighbors are doing next door .......

The beauty of this is that with each "restart" I have made a bit of progress. Each time I "restart" I am a little farther along. I have a bit of new knowledge and a new technique or two under my belt (or should I say in my tool kit).

As I review the past seven weeks I feel terribly lost. Terribly behind. Terribly inadequate. I glance at my paper bag feeling the twinge of overwhelmedness. I pull it together and begin to make a list of all I still need to do:

  • Interview the living / conduct self-interview        (Week 2)
  • Stupid spreadsheet - stupid, stupid spreadsheet, er, I mean Research Log (Week 3)
  • Another stupid, stupid spreadsheet - um, Project and Task Log (Week 4)

Wait? That's it?

So what has clearly been holding me up and creating undue anxiety and pig-headedness is the SPREADSHEET!  The elephant in the room that I am trying very hard to ignore as I squeeze past to get to my comfy Cave chair.

Well, if that's all it is maybe I need to just turn my focus on creating this Spreadsheet. I already have the template on my computer...... I'll just go grab a cup of coffee .....

And take a quick peek out the window .....


  1. ROFL - I can totally relate to that. Don't beat yourself up for not getting stuff done - congratulate yourself that you've done some work on it. I still haven't started!

    1. Glad to know I'm in good company! Thanks for the comment - I feel better knowing I'm not alone! :)

  2. Anne, I have an advantage in that I was lucky enough to have begun my genealogy work with some of the good habits that Thomas has been teaching us about. BUT I have always been hung up with the research log. I find the Spreadsheet too restrictive. I more than dislike spreadsheets (I do use them, but not if I can help it).

    Over at the Facebook page there is lots of discussion about using other forms for a research log and project and task log. If you truly hate that form, take a look at all those posts. (I'm one of the contributors.) And if you want to talk more become Facebook friends with some of us and private message us. Thomas keeps telling us to make choices according to our personal style. AND in a recorded presentation at RootsTech (about the ToolBox), he said "I know many people hate the spreadsheet."— I thine we rebels at Do-Over have been teaching him something!)

    1. Thanks Sue! I lurk in the Do-Over group often. There is an overwhelming amount of information that I am taking my time and weeding through. I will look for your post.

      I'm fortunate in that I only have to fix HALF of my tree - I learned the good habits when doing my paternal side, but now I must fix the error of my newbie ways on my "starter" branch. *sigh*