Some folks would no sooner make a list of so called “new year’s resolutions” than they would walk down a dark alley In the middle of the night carrying a bank deposit bag jingling with coins. “Why invite disaster,” they may reason. The 87th Carnival of Genealogy hosted by Jasia at Creative Genes proves that genealogy bloggers are not of that mindset. Jasia lists 66 entries to the New Year’s Resolution edition, the highest number of participants of all time! We are goal-setting bunch, for sure.
While I didn’t participate in this edition of the COG, I too am a goal-setting, resolution-making kind of person. I make lists for everything. Groceries, books to read, closets to clean out, errands. Every list carries a heading shared by an Irish college friend; he called the lists TTBD, Things To Be Done. I like the emphatic ring of the statement, but usually add a subhead as well, TTBD Yard Chores, or whatever.
I don’t generally share these lists with a lot of people; after all, do my friends really need to know that I am so slovenly I need to make it a goal to “Make my bed everyday”? That was a TTBD back in 1985 when I had two little boys, a dog, a fish tank, and four cats, plus a business to manage. I do keep the annual TTBD in my planner, however, and look at it often. It nags me to keep moving ahead, and helps me focus on the big picture when I tend to be distracted by the minutiae of everyday life. You want dinner again?
The lists seem to accumulate in my Circa project notebook, and I enjoy looking back to see what I have (and have not — sigh) managed to accomplish. I am delighted that, yes, my bed is now made every day, I have read ALL mystery books and short stories by Agatha Christie (I think), and my china closet is neat and tidy.
I am not so pleased with my progress in the genealogical department. My paper files are in chaos, my database has been in transition between programs for months, and my research is lagging behind Mom’s online queries. This is not a good way to begin a new decade.
Clearly, I need a big sheet of paper for my TTBD Genealogy. I am listing a few broad goals, and then working to break down the top three into Tasks and TTBDs. I know that if I can focus on just a few things, my chances of success are drastically improved. So, top three Genea-Goals for 2010:
- Obtain documentation to establish Arline’s family line at least to her grandparents.
- Enter said documentation and conclusions into my genealogy database program.
- Assemble said information into a format to share with Mom and Aunt Frances.
One thing that seems to get me bogged down is a tendency to over-research. I have read about every possible genealogical organizing system possible, and so much information seems to just make moving forward difficult. What if I pick the wrong system? How hard will it be to change?
Instead of worrying about finding the most perfect, best [insert problem area here, i.e. filing system, database, scanning scenario], I’m going to find something good enough and get to work.
My son said something over the holidays that really struck a chord:
Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good enough.
I like that. Sometimes, good enough is really just perfect.