A couple of months ago, I wrote about my decision to transition from active book promotion to a more spacious life. So, I have actively moved to take advantage of unscheduled and uncommitted time. This lets me enjoy the luxury of combining travel and visiting friends and family. I have added swimming to my exercise routine, breathing in the fresh air and marveling at the beautiful lavender sky of the morning sunrise as I walk to the pool. And, I have dallied in the branches of my ancestral tree and actually found some exciting results. Let me tell you a little more detail about my travels and what I found in my genealogical search.
Earlier this year, the allure of Italy tempted me with high expectations. I even tried to learn a little Italian, sinceI planned to go to Venice, Florence and the Amalfi Coast in the spring. I found the history fascinating, the art drew me in, the coastal beauty was breath-taking and the culture was warm and welcoming. Need I say that my expectations were met…all but the weather which gave us some chilly and rainy days. But I refused to let that dampen my enthusiasm. I loved sharing the trip with my spouse and two friends.
Closer to home, we took road trips to Southern California, the Pacific Northwest and a flight to British Columbia. How delightful it was enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Pacific Coast. We spent wonderful moments with several friends and family members I haven’t seen for some time. I also traveled for nostalgia, bringing back memories of my past. I went to my 60th high school reunion in Missoula, Montana and traveled to see friends in Detroit where I lived in the 70s.
Another exciting opportunity beckons in December. My daughter and teenage grandsons are volunteering with other families to go to Senegal during their holiday break to build a school. Their flights go through Paris and they asked my spouse and I to join them for Christmas in Paris. An unplanned and spontaneous adventure to combine travel and time with my family.
Exactly what I hoped a spacious life would offer!
Treasures in the Basement
I began my genealogy journey to uncover the secrets of my grandfather’s life that ultimately led to writing my historical novel, Sarah’s Secret. In letting go of active book promotion to create more spacious days, I hoped to dally more in other branches of my ancestral tree. I signed up for a conference emphasizing midwestern roots since I had two branches from Indiana. The conference inspired me to explore and visit some actual counties in Indiana. I still wanted to find out more about my grandfather’s family and had not been able to find documentation on-line. I’ve learned there is treasure in the musty old record books in the basements of County Courthouses. And, I was excited to find the documentation in estate records which connected my lineage back two more generations!
Still enthusiastic and motivated from what I learned at the conference, I have been able to find the paperwork to connect me to a Revolutionary War ancestor for another branch of my lineage. This makes me potentially eligible for a lineage society, something I never thought I wanted to do before.
Exploring genealogy is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. It is problem solving. It makes history come alive in my own family as I learn about ancestors and what historical events influenced their lives.
Finding My “Being” Edge
As I wrote in the blog about my fifth retirement, I wanted more “being” time. I have found opportunities to include activities I previously neglected because career, professional and desired outcomes pushed them aside. I am thrilled with “doing” outcomes. But as I recently wrote, I am looking for the whispers and the calmness that comes from days without commitments and agendas, from times when I can spontaneously go for a walk, read a book or just sit and be. The spacious life is good.