Uncorked: My Goals for 2010

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. ~Bill Vaughan

Like many of you, I am not sorry to see 2009 end. I would have pushed it out months ago, if that was possible.

It was a year filled with worry, change, and unpleasant challenges, but it was also a year filled with amazing growth, both for me personally, and for my family. I’ve made so many wonderful friends through blogging and attending genealogy conferences, and I feel that I’ve made a great deal of progress in my genealogical education.

Plus, my daughter was potty-trained. Everything else is gravy.

What will 2010 bring? Hopefully more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff.

Ambiguous, I know, but at this point, resolutions for next year are difficult to make. You see, I’ve agreed to take on a new “job” for a lineage group, and I don’t know quite yet how time-intensive it will be, or how it will affect my goals for the year. What I do know is that there will be more paperwork and more travel – to which I’m actually looking forward (to the travel, not the paperwork). I’ll have more to say about this in a couple of months.


That being said, there are a few genealogically-related things that I would like to accomplish in the coming year. In no particular order:

  1. Finally find the date of death and place of burial for Dennis Daniel DELANEY, my great-great grandfather. Find the place of burial for his wife, Nellie (Coyne/Coin) DELANEY. I’m closing in on these goals – a few phone calls might do the trick!
  2. Finish up work for the ProGen2 Study Group. We’ve had a wonderful ride, and I’ve truly enjoyed working with my peer group and our leaders. The end is in sight… about another 5 months to go!
  3. Complete the NGS American Genealogy: Home Study Course. Miles to go here.
  4. Attend the National Institute of Genealogical Research (NIGR) , as well as the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)-Knoxville and the Southern California Genealogical Society’s (SCGS) Jamboree. If I’m really lucky, I’ll also make it to the California Family History Expo in Pleasanton.
  5. Attend the N.S.C.A.R. National Convention and the DAR Continental Congress, as well as state conferences for both groups. Try to attend a few SAR meetings, as well, and hopefully drag my husband along for the ride.
  6. Prove that my John S. Brown was, in fact, a Confederate soldier, and submit an application to the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) so I no longer have to hide from them at the SCGS Jamboree.
  7. Prove that my John Blanton was, in fact, a soldier during the War of 1812, and submit an application to the Daughters of 1812 so I can stop hiding from them. as well.
  8. Find a sitter and actually attend meetings for some of the other groups to which I belong.
  9. Take a side trip from Knoxville to Greeneville, TN for some research time.
  10. Do more writing and lecturing.
  11. Start a new blog. Yeah, I know; I need a new blog like I need a hole in my head, but I think it’s a good idea, and you’ll like it. :-)
  12. Get organized, and start a new database with COMPLETE source citations.
  13. Get those old photos scanned!
  14. Improve my CSS web design skills. Yes, I build web sites. I just don’t talk about it a lot.
  15. Make time to READ. This is a habit I’ve all but given up since my daughter came along, but hopefully I’ll be able to find a little more time for it next year.

Ok, that turned out to be a much longer list than I expected. [Insert “High Hopes” song here.]

However, my #1 goal for the year is to get healthy. It’s become painfully obvious to me that if I’m going to accomplish any of my goals – and keep up with my turbo-charged daughter – I need to take better care of myself. This was actually my one and only goal for last year, but I got a bit sidetracked with that herniated disc thing. It’s difficult to focus on fitness when you’re busy figuring out how to lift a coffee cup.

Plus – and I’m sure you moms out there will agree – it’s hard to find time for yourself when you’re caring for a small child. *I* don’t even make it onto my list most days. But for my sake – and my family’s – I’ve got to try harder. Let’s face it: I’m not getting any younger here. Time’s a-wastin’.

How am I going to accomplish any of this? I’m not quite sure yet, but my copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is sitting (still unfinished) on my nightstand, and my Franklin Planner is next to me. Guess it’s time to start planning!

I wish you the best of luck in accomplishing YOUR genealogy – and life – goals for 2010!


Written for the 87th Edition, Carnival of Genealogy: “New Year’s Resolutions!”

Vintage clip art from The Graphics Fairy.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O’Neal

Elizabeth is a professional genealogist, writer, and consultant. Likes: long walks in the cemetery, and the smell of old courthouse books. Dislikes: people who copy stuff off the internet without giving credit, and county clerks who can't tell the difference between Eastern and Pacific time zones. Secretly hopes her daughter will one day develop an interest in family history (but no luck so far).

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  1. I love the opening quote! I, too, am not too sorry to see 2009 go. All in all, I suppose it wasn’t that bad, but…it wasn’t that great either. You have a VERY ambitious set of genealogical goals for the new year…I wish you all the best and hope that you accomplish EVERY one! Do try to take care of yourself…it is the most important thing and one we all forget about. Happy New Year!!!!

  2. Hi Elizabeth…did you make a super quick recovery to write all your wishes? I am totally exhausted thinking about your resolutions and goals. I think you are a wonder woman, and I believe you will accomplish most items on your list. Anyway, glad you are doing better and remain healthy in 2010. Best wishes to you.

  3. What wonderful goals! I love how you are putting yourself first. Keep healthy and make time for yourself.

  4. As a mother of two young daughters, I can completely relate to what you described (especially the potty-training thing) and that “me time” is hard to come by but necessary for your mental health. Good luck with all of your goals. You have an impressive list.

    Best wishes for 2010!

  5. Loved the opening quote as well. One of your goals, the getting the old photo’s scanned, corresponds with one of mine. The rest of your goals just made me go: “how do you keep all of those groups seperate?” I hope you succeed and wish you a lot of health and time for yourself in 2010!

  6. Great aspirations! Some of ours are similar and actually might make our paths cross… I too would love to attend NIGR this year. But my attendance is, sadly, based on whether or not I can accrue enough leave from my job to go. I’ll probably attend DAR’s Continental Congress at least one or two days. I was supposed to go and page last year, but I just couldn’t get enough leave from work. (Funny how it seems that work is getting in the way of my fun… how dare it!)

    I’m also desperate to get my old photos scanned and my database cleaned up with COMPLETE sources. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can even get through a tiny bit of it.

    Good luck in your adventures! And if we both end up at NIGR and DAR we should get together!

  7. Elizabeth,
    Will you have time to sleep?! I can’t wait to read about your goal progress – everything you write is a good read and entertaining to boot. Do let me know if your travels will bring you to the Bay Area.

  8. Barbara – No, I didn’t make a quick recovery, and actually thought this post was somewhat “rambly.” After I read it later, my first thought was, “What was I thinking? I was going to SIMPLIFY this year!!” I assure you that I am NOT any sort of wonder woman, and I think I probably bit off more than I can chew with this list!

    Kathryn – I forgot to mention that I’m giving up sleep for 2010. I’ll definitely let you know if I’m planning to travel to the Bay Area. I probably will, but don’t know any details just yet. Definitely will see you at Jamboree, though!

    Whitney – I didn’t know you’re a DAR member! I couldn’t find your email address anywhere (probably lack of sleep made me miss it), but let’s keep in touch about getting together at CC and/or NIGR!

    J.M. – I use a Franklin planner (hard copy) plus keep things posted in my Outlook calendar (which cross posts to a Google Calendar and syncs with my phone). What I really need is someone to tap me on the shoulder and say, “Hey, time for ____.” That would be awesome (but also creepy).

    Tracy, Tina, & Donna – thanks for your well-wishes. I definitely need them. I’ve already fallen off the health wagon by consuming way too many holiday sweets, but hopefully that will stop soon, now that we’re running out!


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