Sunday, June 11, 2017
Ideas Versus Time
I've been here at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree since DNA Day started last Thursday. There has been a lot of material to absorb—plenty of inspiration to spark new ideas. By Saturday's close, my mind was brimming with plans for new projects.
Help me. I'm overloaded. And I haven't even begun the long drive home.
I've been toying with the idea of participating in the Guild of One-Name Studies by launching a surname study of my own. However, it wasn't an English name—or any from the regions in the British Isles—but a Polish surname. Knowing the Guild is hosted in England, I concluded my Polish study would never do in such circumstances, and gave up toying with the notion.
It just so happened that two champions of One Name Studies—Debbie Kennett and Tessa Keough—were both speakers at this year's Jamboree. I don't think I missed one of their sessions. At the end, I summoned up the courage to mention my idea, and ask whether it would seem untoward of me to suggest a non-British name to these kind surname hosts. Not at all, came the response.
Project idea number one now meets no resistance.
Then, it seemed there were a good number of workshops centered around the idea of writing up one's family history. I gravitated toward those, for obvious reasons. By the end of the weekend, I found myself more convinced than ever that I need to just stop dragging out the excuses and write. I have some book ideas—most of which were birthed in research for this blog—and they need to find their voice in between two solid (and well-designed) book covers.
That is all well and good. Summer is coming, and that has been the season traditionally set aside in our family for all the projects the busy school year's schedule has hampered, from September to May. Now—the time reserved for pet projects like these—also tends to be the time of year when all the loose ends of life gather to sabotage progress in any area at all. Summer is the time for everything from "you deserve this" to "you know you're too tired to take on something new at this date." It will take some concentrated will power to resist those inside voices of "reason."
Project idea number two—the big one—meets a mountain of excuses taking the place of the vacuum of spare time.
No matter which way the summer turns out, launching myself into its warm embrace from this idea incubator at Jamboree is quite the experience. Rubbing elbows with people who are doing fascinating things—researching, writing, scaling the heights of brick walls—always leaves me inspired to go out and do likewise.
Just that inspiration alone is sometimes worth the price of conference admission.