It's been a busy season for me, coming out of pandemic isolation and back into the always-rush-hour world of inter-connectedness. In just one season, my family has flown cross-country to Florida on business, then to Connecticut for training, then driven to San Diego for yet another company event. Before the month is out, we will complete one more masked venture on a five hour flight across the ocean. Even I can't keep up with myself. Despite the theoretical perks for family historians, it makes me glad I don't have the capability to be a time traveler.
Having a perpetual motion schedule has its down side, as you can imagine. The theoretical approach of completing work ahead of time to make space for down time on trips is near laughable. I think working ahead only doubles the "fun" by dooming such a poor soul to have to repeat the effort upon return home; there is always something more to complete in the after-thought. I find myself reviewing tasks and realizing how much got neglected, despite the twice-over built into the travel system. Perhaps there is something to be said for the value of peaceful contemplation in unhurried pandemic conditions.
That said, what prompted me to consider how klutzy a time traveler I'd be was the moment of stumbling upon readers' kind comments from the past month, and realizing I hadn't responded. One comment in particular touched on how to choose research projects. While I can't lay out a rigid how-to procedure in response, I do have some suggestions based on my own experience, and will spend some time at the end of this month to discuss how I go about planning future research.
The year ahead certainly promises to be different than either the nearly two-year-long pandemic season we've just passed or life-as-we-knew-it before words like coronavirus became part of our everyday lexicon. Yes, there may be variants on the horizon, or another surge, but people are making plans to travel—or actually going out there and doing it now. Some folks will be packing their bags for that annual trip to the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in January—sadly, I will not be among them next year—or maybe even venturing out to Sacramento, California, for the National Genealogical Society's annual conference this coming May. There will be trips to courthouses to retrieve records, or pilgrimages to clean ancestors' headstones. Maybe people will be brave enough to gather together in family reunions once again.
It will be good to see familiar faces back in the same comfortable places where we once enjoyed gathering—or in places new to us with future friends and associates in upcoming learning experiences. No matter which trip it is that becomes my preferred way to disrupt my everyday schedule, I'll be glad it involves only the here and now and not the wide-open world of time travel. I'll leave those scenarios to the imagination of science fiction right now. No falling into the plagues, leprosy, or consumption from ages past for this uncoordinated traveler; masking up for the coronavirus is challenge enough for me.