Genealogy, Gardening and a Time to Refocus

Spring is here, and after having the wettest winter for eight years or so in in South Australia, you can imagine that everything in my garden is growing like crazy. So now is the time to be outside out in the garden. I’m no gardener. I don’t make any claim to be. I’m the type of person who likes to plant things, and hopes for the best. And as about 50% of what I plant lives, I think I’m doing ok. 😉

Given that I live on a 1 1/4 acre property, with about half of that being garden, and the other half bushland it’s too much for Mr Lonetester and I to manage as we both work fulltime, so we have a gardener. But at the moment we’re between gardeners, and in the meantime the weeds keep multiplying, I’ve been making an effort to get out there and stem the tide. I actually don’t mind weeding. Particularly if it’s a nice sunny day, I’m happy to pop outside for an hour or two and do some. But as NOTHING had been weeded since autumn, and everything is about knee-high now, and there’s just so much to do it’s depressing. So I’ve decided that I need to focus on just one garden bed at a time, to try and make that look nice, before moving on to the next one. It’ll still be a long job, but at least then I will be able to see some results.

One thing about gardening is that it allows you to not just be outside and enjoy the day, but it allows you to think. And as does happen, my head wandered to the topic of genealogy (yeah, I know … surprise). But I have found myself getting the “arrrgh, where do I start” feeling with that too, and I’ve mulling over that one recently.

By nature I am a multi-takser. I tend to be one of those people who does five things or more at once, and for the most part it serves me well. But just every now and then I need to slow down and actually focus on just one or two tasks at hand. And I think I’ve reached that point with my genealogy. Slow down. Breathe. Refocus. Then continue.

I have had a busy year genealogy-wise. I managed to start a bunch of new tasks that I hadn’t planned. One of these was my Memorabilia House blog, where I am cataloguing our family heirlooms. As a sideline to that I’ve also been learning more about the local history of the regions where my family settled when they came to South Australia. I’ve also started scanning my dad’s collection of photos, and as he was the local historian for the region, he has thousands. And I’ve also started my Family Tree Photo Wall, and a Facebook page on the history of Gumeracha and District. And not forgetting other family members who have loaned their their photo albums for me to scan – which by rule, a genealogist will NEVER say no to. And that’s without even actually doing any research, or even entering of info that I’ve found into my tree, or mentioning all the half done blog posts. So all up, it has left me feeling rather unfocused.

So what to do about my unfocused-ness? It’s simple really. I just need to choose one task and work on that. But can I do that? That’s the million dollar question. I already mentioned that by nature I’m a multi-taker, so it’s not natural for me to just do one thing. But I think I need to, to unclutter my head of what’s what with genealogy.

And to finish up, here’s just a few pics of my garden when it did look nice. So this is what I’m aiming for again. And a note, the peacock in the photo at the top is Squwark (well, that’s what I’ve named him). He’s a regular stray peacock and just wanders from house to house along our road. While he it noisy, it is really lovely having his around.

top garden

bottom garden


spring bulbs

8 Responses to “Genealogy, Gardening and a Time to Refocus”

  1. Thinking time is so important, Alona, and you have a lovely environment for that activity.

    Don’t stress. As a youthful genealogist you have time on your side to complete all those projects.

    Missing you.

    • Alona says:

      Thanks Jill, as always thank you for your kind words and the encouragement. 😉
      I do love my home, though I don’t get to spend as much time as I’d like there. But it is a great environment, though MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better when it’s mowed and weeded!

  2. Carey says:

    I know the feeling! It is nice having lots of projects to work on though. How boring life would be without them. I have piles of palynology research I want to do but life keeps getting in the way. Today I just moved my projects into separate piles so at least I can access them easily when I do find time to work on them!

    My mum was saying yesterday, after seeing your Gumeracha history page, that she would like to do something about her family heirlooms and family tree. I got all excited about the prospect of that but then had to check myself. I have enough projects already without something like that (massive learning curve).

    I have been loving what you have done so far on your various blogs.

    • Alona says:

      Carey, you sound busy. With work, the house, the farm, and the kids I don’t know how you do it!

      But I figure I just need to break my tasks down into smaller ones, so I can actually achieve something.

      I like the idea that your mum is getting inspired by this history stuff. That’s good. It means she’s realising the value of recording history (which you already knew). And while it may not be top priority, it’s actually ON the list, and that’s a very GOOD THING!

  3. Gen says:

    I hear you! I feel so unfocussed sometimes I joke about having genealogical ADHD! For about the last 12 months I’ve had to devote all my research time to clearing the backlog of data entry, source cross-checking, adding media files etc. I’ve been very good but it’s still not all done!
    Lovely yard, BTW!

    • Alona says:

      Oh Gen, ADHD … maybe that’s what I have. Start new things without finishing the old ones. Or simply taking on more than I get finished (all with very good intentions though).

      I admire your dedication in clearing the backlog. I wrote about my plan to empty my intray at the end of last year (I think), and yet it’s still not cleared! Some items did get scanned, documented and filed, but certainly far from everything. So I’m back to needing to focus on something! 😉

  4. Sharon says:

    I totally understand Alona. You are not alone. My garden is a mess (and has never been as nice as yours) and I seem to be doing 10 things at once and jumping all over the place.

    I think it is time to concentrate on contacting the older generations before it is too late and recording memories, copying memorabilia and photos. It is just so hard when you work full time in a demanding job.

    How wonderful to have a roaming peacock…… long as you don’t get woken up early on a Saturday morning.

    • Alona says:

      Thanks for the encouragement Sharon. Always good to know that I’m not alone in feeling a tad overwhelmed and wondering what I should be doing next. I know I’ll work something out, and life will go on!

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