Friday, March 31, 2017

Field Notes: Challenges ~ To Do or Not To Do?


Love them?

Hate them?

In our genealogy/family history world there seem to be quite a number of challenges, and I'm not speaking of those challenging ancestors either, no I'm talking about the daily, weekly, monthly, challenges that seem to be constantly on my radar. There's the Family History Writing challenge, the 52 Ancestors challenge, the A to Z blogging challenge, the Do-Over, Fearless Females, oh the list goes on and maddeningly on!

I jumped in with both feet this year. I was going to do them all!

The Fates would have it differently ......

First, on Day 3 of the FH Writing Challenge I had emergency detached retina surgery. Had to do the whole face down 24/7 thing (on a massage table - so not fun!) and when I surfaced I could not even use my 'good' eye for almost a week. No reading, no writing, even watching the television was too much of a strain.

Scrap that challenge.

I've since learned to function moderately well with one eye (12 weeks in an eye patch is a whole other level of challenge!) I can type, read, walk - no driving (no depth perception!) Perfect opportunity to hunker down in the Cave and pound out some genealogy!

I went into the Fearless Females challenge with my hopes high. Plan in place, I set aside my normal blogging schedule for the month to focus on the challenge. Well, wait. I set aside SOME of my normal blogging schedule, replacing part of it with the Fearless Females. Should be easy, right?


Not so fast. As the month dragged on it got increasingly hard to produce. Quite the 'challenge'! And guess what I discovered? I don't like challenges! I'm very much a creature of routine, new things often throw me off course for a while. I have a good, solid blog and research plan that's doable - even when life throws a little something my way.  It took two years of fits and starts to get to this settled point, and here I went driving the whole thing off course.

My steady plan went out the window as I struggled to meet this (self enforced) challenge and my well organized schedule was/is shot to H-E-double-hockeysticks.

I hope I learned my lesson.

Do I feel like I failed? Maybe a little. I'm not one to say I'm going to do something and then back out - a rule I've inflicted upon myself that really only hurts me, as I force myself to do something I no longer find desirable.

So, starting today I have made a (new) promise to myself. No more challenges. Writing challenges anyway, or maybe I should say organized writing challenges. I'm still up for a challenge or two of my own creation (um, hello! Brick wall anyone?) But for me, the challenge I levied upon myself when I committed to my research and blog is more than an adequate test and will happily occupy me for some time to come.

On my own terms.

Onward ..............

©2017 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

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