So Many Trees, So Little Time

May 9, 2011

Recently the biggest challenge in my genealogy life is time. I naively thought that when my four chicks left the nest I’d have more time to pursue the things that were important and interesting to me. Yeah, not so much. (Lest I discourage those of you out there with young families, I will say that many things have gotten much less time consuming — cooking, for example).

But I still have to contend with the reality of full-time employment and a husband (love you, honey!). Also, it would be nice to clean my house more than just bi-annually. My elderly cats have taken competitive carpet-trashing to a new level, easily surpassing the record previously set by my four children. I look at people like Thomas MacEntee, who seems to be seems to be second only to God in his omnipresence, and wonder “HOW do they do it?” How do they find time to blog, tweet and keep up with their RSS feeds, not to mention do their own research?

And while I’m asking, how do you balance your “real” life with your genealogy life? What about those previously enjoyed hobbies that were completely overshadowed when genealogy came to town? Seriously, I’ve been knitting the same pair of socks for two years, my spinning wheel is gathering dust in the corner, and I have a stack of books THIS HIGH waiting to be read. (Just for the record, librarians do NOT spend their work hours reading.)

Time management has never been my strong suit, but if I don’t do something my head will explode. Any advice from the peanut gallery?

—Nancy

Ideas from Family Tree Magazine:


Family Tree Firsts is an ongoing blog series featuring newbie genealogist Nancy Shively of Skiatook, OK. Read all her posts at Family Tree University.

4 thoughts on “So Many Trees, So Little Time

  1. Like Nancy, I too am a horrible time manager and would love to hear from the others on how they balance everyday life, genealogy, and other hobbies they may have.

  2. Just taking a break while I’m busy reconstructing the entire 1890 US Federal Census . . . my secret to time management? I just don’t recommend ever making a deal with someone who asks you to come over to the dark side. Even if they do have better wi-fi or better cookies.

  3. Sometimes we have to make our hobby our priority. After my children became adults and I had grandchildren, I still didn’t spend as much time as I felt it needed to produce results that I wanted. Two years ago I had two heart attacks (yay genetics)and just decided that this was a legacy I wanted to leave my family. I don’t get many other hobbies accomplished but have made giant strides in my genealogy. Sharing information helps (like a reunion or a public tree) because you want everything as complete as possible. Anyway, for me focusingon it as a gift for my family helped.

  4. Donna- that’s a great way to look at it. If I think of it as something I’m doing for my family rather than just for myself, I’ll be a lot more likely to make it a priority. It must be a “mom” thing. Thanks.

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