Jan 022016

2016 came in with a bang (neighbours had fireworks).

I spent New Year’s Eve day working and then came home to dinner. 

Then a night at the computer working on my presentations for the Unlock the Past cruise which less than six weeks away and also naming some digital files I had scanned.

There is an old saying that what you do on the first day of the year will reflect the year so I am set for 2016.

I have mixed feelings when I see posts from people saying “I didn’t achieve everything I had planned for x year” and they list what they said they wanted to achieve and whether they did so or not as I feel this is only part of the story. 

They often beat themselves up for not getting it all done as if their life was only a planned To-Do List but what I don’t see them doing is listing everything they had achieved for the year whether planned or not.

I think we all spend too much time regretting what we have not as yet completed (those to do lists can be negative things at times) without taking some time at regular intervals to see and reflect on what we have done. 

Life is not a always a straight road, there are lots of turns, detours and even U turns. 

Sometimes opportunities arise that were not expected or part of a plan. 

Those opportunities are still achievements and should be counted and celebrated.

 So along with working full time, I am happy with the 58 presentations I gave last year ranging from RootsTech, three Unlock the Past cruises, Australasian Congress, New Zealand Family History Fair, Western Australian Guild of One Name Studies seminar and to a variety of family history societies in Australia.

My continued education is well on track. While I didn’t quite complete the National Institute’s English certificate (have two subjects to go) I did complete the Basic level and a number of subjects in the Intermediate and Advanced parts of the Professional Development Certificate, the  Basic and Intermediate levels of the Librarian certificate, the Basic and a few subjects in the Intermediate levels of the Australian certificate. I completed the Introduction to Family History at the University of Tasmania and am halfway through the Introduction to Writing Your Family History at the same institution. And I attended a number of conferences and learnt lots from the excellent presenters.

I have watched a number of the webinars in the Legacy Family Tree Webinar. My subscription to this is a must have as it means I can watch and re-watch seminars of interest (and have the handouts) and there are many of interest by the headline presenters of  our genealogy world. Legacy also has seminars available for free for seven days from publication for non-subscribers, subscribers also have access to some extra seminars. 

Then there are all the journals, the Facebook groups, the blogs, and mail-lists so many opportunities to further my knowledge. The joy of the Internet is that even if you are unable to go to a conference due to family commitments, finances or other reasons there is no reason why you can’t continue your education.

Then there are all the wonderful people I have met in person and online, some relatives by blood, some  genealogical family due to shared interests. We live in a world which can be scary at times but I firmly believe that while people are talking to each other and helping each other around the world it will be a better place. 

I am a member of the Kiva group Genealogists for Families where we make microloans of $25 to help other achieve their dreams. 311 genealogists have made over 6000 loans (when the $25 is repaid it can either be taken out or re-loaned to someone else).

I, ably assisted by Geoff Doherty, started a DNA Special interest group at the Genealogical Society of Queensland. I also had success in getting some people to DNA test and have found some linkages to other people who had tested via Ancestry and FTDNA. Still working on some matches in Gedmatch.

I finally was able to finish and publish the second edition of my “Death Certificates and Archaic Medical Terms” book and was asked to write a chapter on the 1919 Influenza Pandemic in Brisbane for a book being published in 2016 (this was one of those turns in the road not expected but welcome).

I even managed to add some names to my tree and add more life and colour to people already on my tree. 

So looking back although those To-Do Lists are still present and have many entries I did achieve a lot and did have a great 2015.

I don’t do resolutions but I do make goals and my goals are to continue in 2016 as I have is 2015, to be a good, helpful member of online forums, to continue my genealogy education (just because I have been doing it for thirty years does not mean there are still not things to learn and skills to perfect) to continue to share via presentations, articles, blog posts and hopefully some new books.

I’ll be speaking on two Unlock the Past cruises this year, the Auckland to Fremantle one and  then the Barrier Reef, a number of family history societies and I will also see a number of you at the Federation for Genealogical Societies conference in September.

So I am ready with my goals, prepared to travel whatever road the year may bring and I want to have another wonderful year with all of you in 2016!

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