To all our blog subscribers, WordPress friends and family, I will be taking an indefinite break from family history blogging in order to recalibrate my activities and relationships in real time. What started as an adventure at Ancestry and a search for answers has evolved into something that at times is more than I can handle. A contact list of 25 people who are regularly in touch with me has evolved over time, each one having their own needs and focus of attention I am involved with. While I have learned so much it is impacting the quality of time and focus I give to those relationships that preceeded Ancestry and consist of very long-term friendships in real-time.
Discovering and meeting newly found relatives or reconnecting with old ones is a beautiful experience. I have learned, however, that there is a place for each relationship and a priority as well. This is why I take a very loose and slightly detached attitude about these new connections. I do not look to them as the primary relationships nor intend for them to ascend to that. Rather I see them as easy going friendships that should be very laid back with little or no demands made in terms of time and attention devoted to them. We all had lives in progress prior to making contact. It is those relationships that are around us day after day in real time that have the priority. Also, for those of us who cannot retire and must still work full or part time the circle of good health, economic well being and maintaining employment is vital. Socializing on an ongoing basis can be a drain on good health. Quiet time to rest and time to fulfill daily responsibilities are limited when working full-time.
Family history is first and foremost not only about making connections, it is about collaboration among peers. These are the most rewarding contacts and the most productive. The social element is satisfying but not meant to supersede the main purpose which is the research, documentation, recording and passing on of the family history narrative.
For awhile I took the attitude that I would maintain a “family historian office” and schedule time for the phone calls and social outings. That worked for a short time and then devolved into purely social meet-ups that took more and more time in term of logistics and expenses. It was also affecting my holidays with long time friends and immediate family in real-time. For this reason I no longer take any phone calls regarding family history or from contacts related to it. Those who want to reach me do so by email. This way I can review the message when I am rested and focused on the topic.
I am in training now at a new full-time position. It requires much thought and organization to do well at. In order to regain a sense of balance between work, social life and family life with my real time life it is best for me to take a break from this blog and Ancestry and all that goes with it. This realization was driven home by the loss of a dear, loyal friend of almost 30 years that I kept treating as if he’d be there forever and now he is not. It’s a wake-up call to put things in order and take inventory among the contacts I have made.
Uncle Sammy and I are continuing our research and preparation of postings for the future. I will definitely be back and the story shall continue. In the meantime, peace of mind and good health be with you all.
EmilyAnn Frances May