The other morning I looked closely at myself in the mirror and saw new wrinkles around the eyes. My knee needs repaired which will be done toward the end of this month. Picking up my cane to walk across the bathroom floor, I mumbled, "You are just an old genealogist."
In September of 1983, I went to the local newspaper office to visit with the editor about writing a genealogy-history column. It was something I had my heart set on doing. In preparation I had memorized my speech about why it was needed and why I was the one to do it. In my mind I had a goal and my mission was to accomplish it. All I had to do was persuade the editor. My positive approach resulted in him staring at the ceiling and then the wall, back at the ceiling, all in deep contemplation. This lasted for what seemed like an hour. Finally he swung his chair around and said, "Okay." That's it? Okay? We worked out the details for my monthly column and I know as I was leaving he thought if I wrote it for a couple months, at least I had tried.
Once home my family said, "You are going to do what?" Then it hit me. Can I do it? I love to write, but can I come up with something that readers will enjoy every month? Yes, I could do it if I tried. If I quit trying, I would stop writing it.
The column, "Heritage Lines," began on 21 September 1983 and I ceased writing it in June of 1996 when I moved to Iowa. That's thirteen years of "yes I can do it." There was something special about every column I wrote. Not only did I learn something every month, but I put my skills to use and was stimulated to keep researching.
Last week when I arrived at physical therapy, I discovered the editor, now lovingly called "The Old Editor" slowly gliding on the treadmill. He is much older, frail and stooped over. But, he's not giving up. As I was on a bicycle type machine, he encouraged me by saying, "Faster, faster." I could also sense he meant, "You can do it, don't give up."
The wrinkles and bum knee are not stopping me. I can do it and I'm not giving up. Are you giving up on your research? I hope not. We all have a lifetime, whether short or long, to set many goals and work to accomplish them. The Old Editor and the Old Genealogist both say ... "Faster, faster. You can do it."
You Go Girl #1 -- Ruby