The year has finally come to an end. As I do every year, I try to take a look back and remember the events, the good and the bad, for the past twelve months. I try to celebrate the good events, and learn from the bad events. I hope that taking stock of events allows me to learn and grow as a professional, and as a human being.
Personally, this has been a good year for me. I have had the pleasure of serving a third year as the President of the Georgia Genealogical Society. Working with this group makes me appreciate the generosity of the many people around me. Every member of the board and some folks not on the Board of Directors, give a great deal of time and energy to guarantee the success of GGS. I admire them for that.
Beyond work at GGS, I was able to visit my Grandparents home in Nebraska, for the first time. I had never been to Alliance, Nebraska. My lovely and tolerant wife was patient enough to endure a very long road trip, to travel to western Nebraska to visit the old homestead. After my visit in August, I am really looking forward to a return trip. I hope my wife will remain tolerant of my traveling eccentricities and keep me company for another long drive.
This year, I was also able to begin publication of my own periodical/newsletter. After several years of internal debate and planning, I was able to launch the North Georgia Family History Bulletin in October. It is truly an emotional rush to publish this electronic magazine and send it out to people who might be interested. I can only hope that the interest remains and the publication continues to grow.
The failures and the stress in this past year come from the economy. It is discouraging to read of so many genealogical societies and historical institutions that are forced to reduce services as a result of the economy. Just today, I was reminded of this when the Missouri Historical Society posted their reminder that, because of budget cuts, public hours of access have been reduced. Just searching through my blog posts reveal a number of other institutions that have suffered and taken similar steps. Nationally the economy has taken its toll on libraries and museums.
But, there is a positive side to the economic stress. With the realization that “there by the grace of God …,” the suffering of other institutions reminds me that we need to take steps to insure that our homegrown institutions do not suffer similar problems. I have written several grants and tried to develop an annual financial appeal for GGS. Hopefully, with more work in the coming year, a solid foundation will be created for the Georgia Genealogical Society.
As the year comes to a close, I am proud of much that I have accomplished in 2009. With the help of so many people, it has been a successful year. Now, I have the challenge of creating goals for 2010, goals that will help me grow and develop. I am closing the door on 2009 and opening another door to opportunity in 2010. May the coming 365 days be as productive and successful as the past year.
And to everyone, May you all have a Happy and Prosperous New Year.