November being the month of Thanksgiving, I thought I would share some of my genealogy-related gratitude, things I’m thankful for in terms of my genealogical life. We all have things we are grateful for in all facets of our lives and it’s a good idea to recount those once in a while. I know I tend to get bogged down by the what’s-going-wrong that I forget what-went-right. Every once in a while it is a good idea to take an inventory.
Gratitude is the practice of being grateful, of making yourself (and others) aware of just how good you have it. Research has shown (and Buddhists have known for centuries) that practicing gratitude daily is one surefire way to eliminate the blahs, to find happiness. By focusing on what we have (genealogically speaking – photographs, diaries, bibles, original records of any kind) instead of what we don’t have (birth dates, marriage records, identities of the next generation), we can be happy with what we’ve accomplished.
I know that I have become frustrated with my research results from time to time and have sunken into a pit of “I’m a terrible researcher. Maybe I should go flip burgers.” We all have research that does not give us the answers we want. We all have brick walls, burned courthouses, missing records, relatives with tight lips and grips who don’t want to share and unsatisfied clients.
Every once in a while I have to stop myself and look back at what I have done, what I have found, where I have been to appreciate what I have going forward. Sometimes a trip down “memory lane” is all that’s needed to refresh, revitalize our genealogical attitude! So this month, get ready to see some of my gratitudes, maybe they are similar to some of your own!