If there is one thing I love almost as much as historical awesomeness, it is musicals. News of the History Theater’s brand new musical that takes place in our very own St. Paul, featuring men with fantastic hats, big guns and great voices, premiering this weekend just made my whole day.
Sounds like a great way to spend the weekend, maybe following it up with an aptly named and on-theme dinner (such as the “Harry “Dutch” Sawyer” a pastry encrusted brie complete with Minnesota Apples — MMmmmm!) at the Eagle Street Grille? Heavenly!
Any of you have any fun plans for the weekend? Happy Friday!
I want to thank you so much for your continued support and interest in The Historium, LLC. Building this business has been one of the most wonderful and time-consuming things I have ever done in my life, it is also one of the things that I believe has inspired the most growth in me personally, during my life.
I know I haven’t been updating this blog as regularly as I would like to, and I want to offer all of you who patiently and consistently read and explanation for my absence. I am not leaving, and my company is remaining open, however, for a brief while we are going to cease updating the blog and we are going to temporarily stop taking new clients. Current clients fear not, your projects are still underway and continuing as planned.
The reason for this brief hiatus is a genetic medical condition I struggle from, I have chronic pancreatitis caused by a birth defect in my pancreas. Fortunately, all is not lost, thanks to the incredible (and ingenious) medical center at the University of Minnesota (one of the only medical centers in the country who can treat my condition!) I will be undergoing surgery in September to have my pancreas, gall bladder, spleen and appendix removed and have my insulin-making islet cells transplanted into my liver. Thanks to these brilliant doctors, with time I will be back to normal and The Historium will be running in full force! However, until that time, if you do not receive an immediate response to a phone call or e-mail, I want you to know that I will get back to you as soon as possible. If you are interested, please feel free and visit my blog regarding my surgery and recovery here.
I’m eternally grateful for your support and prayers during this time!
I will be back before you know it,
President and Founder
So now you have set a reasonable goal, or re-worded your initial goal to be more reasonable. Something with a start and a finish, or a timeline so that you can find the inspiration and drive that you need to be successful in your goal. Now, I’m not saying it’ll be easy. . . but at least you are track to really get this thing done!
Here are some general family history goals and how to look at accomplishing them. First, it’s important to identify why you want to do it at all. It sounds elementary, I know, but there will likely be times, if the goal is big enough that you will be wondering why you signed on to doing it at all, that’s when procrastination gets a foothold. Procrastination will wear down your resolve as well as your chances of actually completing a goal, it’s one of your very worst enemies.
1. Write my Family History. You have the research in piles all over the floor, of course you aren’t nearly done with your genealogy project, but you also realize that if anything were to happen to you, those stacks of records you’ve dedicated endless time to collecting would probably hit the garbage heap faster than you can say “rolling over in my grave”.
Why it’s important: It’s important to put your research into a format that other people can appreciate. While there is a chance that there will be someone who will understand the importance of the work you’ve done, it can be more widely appreciated, reproduced and enjoyed if it is put into a book format with an easy to follow narrative.
How to Keep to Get ‘er Done: There is of course the obvious solution of hiring a professional. Of course, if you’ve already done all this work and you want to tell the story in your own words then read on. Obviously I can’t cover the technique of writing your family history all in this sub-section of a blog post. However, here are some tips to help:
(1) break it down – if you attempt to write the history of your entire family for the past 300-500 years you are bound to get overwhelmed.. what to cut, what to leave in… etc., etc., no one ever said it had to be all in one book. Start with a family, or just a few generations, or even one person specifically. Figure out what inspires you and write that, if it isn’t enough to fill an entire book you can go back and add more topics afterwards.
(2) Do your research – there are tons of books you can use to help you decide how to capture the essence of your ancestors without shoving words in their mouth.
(3) Make it a part of your schedule. Write it in your planner.
Again, I feel like I’m short selling this advice, but their simply isn’t enough room to devote to this topic. But the key here is to just keep breaking it down into bite-sized chunks that you can accomplish easily. Then bit by bit you will be able to get it done.
2. Make Digital Copies of Documents. After that horror story on the news about the recent house fire/flood/etc. maybe you got to thinking that you should take steps to preserve your family information.
Why it’s important: Documents, photographs, newspaper articles, it can all be irreplaceable. You never know what might happen, even if you are able to avoid a major disaster, sunlight can cause pictures to fade, paper to yellow and moisture and pests are constant threats.
How to Keep to Get ‘er Done: It can seem completely overwhelming. First, there are document scanning services, with the highest quality software and equipment at their finger tips. This is something to consider, especially if you don’t have a lot of computer skills or you have an out of date scanner. If you have some experience and a reasonable scanner – you can find decent software for free on download.com. Paint.net is an excellent comprehensive option. The most important thing to bear in mind here is to keep everything very organized. Trust me – it will not benefit you to have your entire desktop covered in “DSC00349329″ files when you have no idea what they are.
Come up with a naming system, something short and easy for you to figure out and name every file as you scan it. It does not have to be edited or cropped or perfected right away. Just scan- name- file. Your system will depend upon what works best for you as well as what types of documents you are scanning. (An example of lay out might be Surname>Patriarch>Family Member>Year; whereas for a file name you might consider filing Jenny Johnson’s obituary from 1932 as JJ1932Obit using initials date and a few letters to describe the type of file. I recommend avoiding spaces or symbols as much as possible in order to allow files to be used on the Internet, blogs and websites prefer file names that do not use spaces.
There are a lot of other things to take into consideration, such as using online back up tools or transfering the files onto discs or portable hard drives. As well as the types of files that you could save the images on. Of course, all of this is a matter of personal preference and a lot of information is available throughout the internet to help you to make those decisions.
What new years resolutions did you make in 2011? How are they going so far? Any tips to offer on how to chip away at achieving them?
The end of January might be a time when you are thinking about lying those New Years Resolutions to rest. What were your New Years Resolutions? Drop 10 lbs.? Finish your novel? Did any of you make family history resolutions? It seems as though we’re always talking about setting resolutions, it’s a giddy topic of conversation, the desire to improve upon the year before, and it also seems as though failure is expected and the impending doom draws nearer from the first morning you utter your resolutions, or set them to paper. It’s just a matter of time.
No one really talks about how to grab hold of the resolutions and make them happen. That’s what we’re going to do here in two parts, the first is the actual composition of the goal. So, lets take a minute to discuss what constitutes an achievable goal.
I’m a big fan of the checklist. I love lists. I love checking things of the list. For me, goals, especially big goals, are best achieved in small accomplishable steps, and are finite, explicitly achievable in a set limit of time. For example, an example of a goal I’m sure I could never manage would be: I’m going to run every day. For the first week I might make an effort, I might load the iPod up, lace up the running shoes and go outside, but there would be excuses immediately (such as “Um, it’s WAY too cold to be running in Minnesota right now!”) which would make my run which perhaps I initially intended to be three miles, one mile by the time I left the house, and then when I got around the block, I’d say “eh, that was… probably pretty close to a mile.. and at least I got out here!” The next day would probably go similarly, except, since I did it the day before, the excitement would be worn off.. each day I’d become less likely to achieve even the smallest semblance to an active running schedule.
On the other hand, an example of a great goal for me would be: I’m going to Run the 10K this Spring, I need to be training to accomplish this. There is an end goal in sight. I can stay excited about the final result. I have a measurable resistance that I will need to build. I can start by running around the block, sure.. but I know day two has to be an improvement on day one in order to achieve a reasonable fitness level by whatever date the 10 K is going to be.
Do you have some ideas of family history resolutions that you plan to acheive in 2011? Leave a comment and let me know what they are. Next week we’ll be talking about some common family history related resolutions and how to put them into motion!
I thought I’d start out 2011 on a bit of a personal note. A lot of what goes on within the confines of this blog may seem pretty impersonal. Sometimes maybe too much. In this day of social media and expectations of the consumer for complete visibility into the business, it can be hard for business owners (including myself) to find an appropriate balance. At times, I’m certain, I err on the side of caution, but that is because there is very little about this business, The Historium, that is not personal.
If you’ve visited my website you may know a bit about me from the “about the owner” section. If not, let me catch you up. My name is Tara, I’m married, I’m a history fanatic. I think I was seven when I first decided what I wanted to be: an archaeologist. As I grew older and my interests expanded, one thing didn’t; the end goal: to be involved daily with history in both my career and my personal life.
The Historium embodies that dream, and that is what makes it so personal. The photos you see on the website are not just stock images, they are pictures of my family. The history that made me who I am. The colors are carefully chosen, the same ones I used for my wedding, in Irish lore (my husband’s ethnicity) blue brings luck. Nothing about this company is impersonal to me, T.H. (The Historium) are my initials prior to being married. Even the peacock feather, represents an important surname in my own family history.
So, while I might not be willing to stand in front of the world completely exposed (and trust me, no one would want that) I am willing to pour my heart and soul into making something beautiful, personal, and vastly important, which is the same attention I bring to each of my clients projects. What you get when you work with The Historium is more than what data makes up your family tree or story, it’s an expression of who your family is and was, and that can be exressed in numerous ways.