Friday, February 7, 2014

What are your passions?

The uniform advice for a happy life in popular psychology and self-help books is: follow your passion. 

If you have a passion for cooking, enjoy it to the last bite. However you express it: friends over for dinner; chef in a restaurant; assembling a cookbook; your own catering business: which ever way you find to express your passion for cooking, do your thing, enjoy what you love.

This advice is not as easy to follow as it sounds. Take genealogy, for instance (well, of course). There are nearly as many ways to follow your genealogy passion as their are genealogists. You could:

volunteer at the local genealogy society

make a family tree scrapbook for your grandchildren

organize a family reunion

collect old family photographs and curate them

travel around the country interviewing cousins and grandparents for a 'Who's Who in the Smith Family"

watch episodes of "Who Do You Think You Are?"

take genealogy courses

create your family tree on a website and share it with relatives

Any or all of the above would express a passion for genealogy.

The question is: what particular activities do you enjoy most or are best at doing (frequently the same thing). After four months exploring WikiTree, I have discovered some things I enjoy most, and other things I am not so very good at doing. Fortunately, there are others who have different tastes and different talents, so it all gets covered.

Specifically, I have found I most like the focused, quiet, scholarly activities which go into creating a well-documented biography of an ancestor. The first project I joined at WikiTree, Profile of the Week, still fits me the best. It only took me four months to figure it out. In the process, I discovered what a complete and caring community is WikiTree. 

Shh-sh. Don't tell anybody. It's our secret.

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