Monday, February 7, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Take a Picture Already!

John Jeffrey Ryan Jr 1971-2000
I love taking pictures. Capturing those special moments on film.  With a digital camera, I may have actually gotten worse and may need therapy.  I'm sure there are times when my family gets tired of me whipping the camera out, but as genealogists and family historians we all wish we had more pictures of our ancestors' "special moments".  That drives me to take pictures, so that my children and grandchildren (and so on) will see the times we went through, who was special in our lives, where we lived, etc.

There's another reason I take so many pictures.  Loss.  When you lose someone you've run out of opportunities.  Opportunities to talk with them, to tell them you love them and to take a picture of them.  I lost 2 dear family members this year as well as a dear friend.  I was good at taking pictures of my father-in-law with the kids although now he's gone I wish I had taken even more.  I had gotten a couple pictures of my cousin, Nancy, before she was killed by her husband...I'm still waiting for the "why" to that one.  I had taken plenty of pictures of my old friend, 1SG/CSM, Chris Raines.  I have these pictures of these cherished people because of another loss when I did not take a picture.

Patrick & John Jeffrey Ryan Jr.
My cousin, Jeff Ryan, died on New Year's Eve 2000.  I saw him on Thanksgiving before he died.  I had my camera with me and took no pictures.  I thought he'd think it was silly.  I was pregnant with my first child at the time and before leaving my Aunt and Uncle's house I hugged him and said that the next time I saw him, he'd be meeting the newest member of the family.  A month later he was gone.  I regret not having taken those pictures.  I always thought he'd be there.  He was only 29.  You never know how long you have with the people you love. enough of that depressing crap...

I also realized as I was preparing to take part in the "Home" blog for 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History that I have no picture of the house I grew up in!  There are pictures of my sisters and me on the porch and playing in the backyard.  Pictures of the inside of the house, but none of the house in its entirety.  How did that happen?  Then I began to realize that I don't have a picture of the hospitals my children were born in (less important perhaps), or the church I was married in.  Don't forget that when you're taking pictures of all those great events to get the bigger details, not just the little ones!

The next time I return to Hazleton, Pennsylvania you can be sure I'll be taking a picture of the house I grew up in.  It's changed since I lived in it.  Before my father moved away from there he attempted to paint it.  I may have to get my photo editing software out and change it back because it looks terrible now!

So take plenty of pictures.  With digital cameras it's cheap and easy.  You never have to develop the bad pictures and you can take as many as you like....just remember to label them!...but that's another blog...
Nancy O'Donoghue nee Brown (center)
CSM (ret) Christopher Raines

Motivation Monday - Got some?

I had quite a bit of motivation last week.  Despite the fact that I had a sick kid home with me for much of it and despite that he gave me his cooties.  I'm feeling much better this morning.  Not coughing so much and the faucet that was my nose has turned off.  My team won the Super Bowl so there was much rejoicing last night, well, and this morning and for quite some time.  But motivation.  Got none.  Zip.

PTA executive board meeting last week.  We no longer have a secretary so I've got to type the minutes up and send them out.  I've got to fill out paperwork so we can have our next general board meeting at the school which is in a week and a half from now and I need to attempt to track down donations for lickies and chewies for the few people that might show up.

I have to order something called "segments" for Cub Scouts.  Little mini-patches for the boys to highlight their participation in events.  Unfortunately, I've spent the past several weeks trying to recreate the attendance for all of the events due to technical difficulties and difficulties in getting people to let me know which boys attended what.  It's gotten to the point where I can no longer wait and I need to get these ordered.  I feel bad for the boys that will undoubtedly look at their mostly empty segment sheet and wonder why they didn't get a segment for an event that they attended, but I need to let go and realize that I did all I can.  If their leaders didn't send updates or if their parents didn't check their attendance sheet that's not my problem.  That sounds so harsh.  I hate being like that when it's kids I'm dealing with.

I've also been having other stuff thrown at me in Scouting that is just not my lane.  I won't vent about it here, but I will say that it's incredibly frustrating and just not going to happen.  End of story.  Some people just can't get it through their heads that just because I work from home and just because I'm "starting" my business and working toward accreditation doesn't mean that I have time to deal with their extra crap.

The volunteer activities that I am a part of are because they benefit my children as well as other children.  If more parents would actually do just a little and participate in their child's life apart from feeding them and tucking them in at night these things would be so much easier!

So right now there's no motivation.  Or rather there's no motivation to tackle the stupid "extra" stuff I have to do.  I've got tons of motivation to dive into genealogy.  There's never a question about that, but the minutes need to be typed, the meeting needs to be coordinated and the Scouts need to be cared for.  So I guess I'll make a strong cup of tea, and get to work on the things that are annoying the heck out of me and hope that today will end the "extras" in my life at least for the time being and not mark the beginning of a week that is sure to have me lose my temper.

At least there's enough food left over from the Super Bowl party to feed my family for several days.  One less thing to worry about...