Year out, year in

image A year ago, I wrote an overly ambitious set of goals for the year. I knew at the time that it was overly ambitious. I go back and read it and cringe at some things. And say hooray over some others. My resolution for 2008 is more modest…. it’s illustrated at left, and explained later on, after I review the planned and unplanned accomplishments of the past year.

Goals accomplished (in one form or another)

  1. Interview Dad. Yep. Did that in 2007. On more than one occasion. Even transcribed a bit from one interview here. And pondered what happens during an interview, too.
  2. Digitize a certain cassette tape recorded the morning after Great-great-Uncle Frank’s Hundredth Birthday party. Did that. It was actually recorded in 1980. CDs have been distributed to immediate family, one cousin, and —as of a few days ago—a first cousin twice removed (Grandpa’s cousin). This last point is cool. I also know the birth order and names of all family members of that family.
  3. Letter scanning. I originally set out to scan and digitize them. Decided fooey, forget digital..the thing to do is go analog, and make my initial notes on paper with pen. Have been making my way through them off and on since late summer in a very manual way, as outlined here.
  4. Behold the web scantastic! Scanfest got birthed—more by Miriam’s efforts than my own. But a year ago it was not, and now it is.
  5. Host the Carnival of Genealogy again. Yep. That was fun!

Goals unstated that I accomplished:

These are things I didn’t set out to do, but are worth noting for the year.

  1. Attended two oral history conferences: Southwest Oral History Association in Fullerton, California, in April; and the national Oral History Association conference in Oakland in October. First time attending both. 2008’s national conference will be in Pittsburgh, PA and is themed on All Matters Digital. I’ll be going, and may assisting with the conference in other ways. (Geeks, gotta love ‘em).
  2. Thanks to a fortuitous encounter at the the Southern California Genealogical Society booth at the LA Times Festival of Books, I got an opportunity to host a table at the June Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank. Met lots of people, including fellow genea-blogger Stephen Danko.
  3. Soon after that, spoke with a reporter named Alex Kingsbury from US News and World Report…. and just in time for the Ken Burns The War news blitz, the magazine featured telling stories, and telling war stories, as its cover story. I’m very pleased that this site was mentioned.
  4. Speaking at podcamp about the Veterans History Project.

There are other things on my intention-list from last year that carry over to this year. I don’t really want to mention them. I am a tad embarrassed by my enthusiasm of a year ago. Oh! More this! More that! Post more! etc. looks much better revealed in practice than in stated intention. Especially when bouts of busyness cause this site and related efforts to go onto back burner, as happened later this fall. One thing I did discover, ere I was recovering from my November workblitz, is that making even a small effort, first thing in the morning, before checking email, or before diving ino the bill-paying work, is a good way to make progress and keep the mental fires burning. Even 30 minutes of work. Once I put the holidays and this respiratory crud behind me, I intend to keep that up.

My resolution, for 2008, is to follow the words of Anthony Trollope:

“A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.”

If I do that, you’ll see more things happen in these here parts. And like the writer’s watchword, I’d rather show than tell.

(Do you like the quote? Want your own copy? Download the PDF and print out your own.)

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Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on January 01, 2008 in • Personal History
3 CommentsPermalink

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I love the quote. A copy of which now rests in my documents folder, to be printed out on a nice piece of parchment paper, and hung by the desk tomorrow.

And I thank you for such a lovely gift!

Lee  on 01/03  at  07:06 PM

You’re welcome, Lee…. what’s your small task? Oh heck—I just went to your site and found out. You go!!!!

Susan A. Kitchens  on 01/04  at  04:42 PM

I love the quote. A copy of which now rests in my documents folder, to be printed out on a nice piece of parchment paper, and hung by the desk tomorrow.

AWH  on 02/18  at  12:14 AM

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