Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reflecting on the year 2010

As I reflect on my achievements of 2010, I can’t help but think that the greatest achievement is that I achieved anything at all.

The year turned out to be the most difficult and challenging of my life or at least of my adulthood. Unforeseen events brought my family a lot of sadness and worry.

I had been optimistic as the New Year rang in and had great hopes of accomplishing quite a lot. I am a little sad that I didn’t fulfill some of my goals but I think there were other lessons for me to learn this year.

Some of the lessons that I learned firsthand this year were:

Sometimes you need to ask for help

I never like to ask for help. This year some people insisted. And I admit it did help. When the time arises accept help but don’t get attached to it. Move on and become independent again.

We have the strength to get through anything

You know the old saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I learned this year that this is true. Humans have an amazing capacity to survive.

Move Forward

And as the other saying goes “When life give you lemons, make lemonade.” Dwelling on things you can’t change is not good. It’s better to make the best of what you are dealt in life. There is always a way to put a positive spin on everything. At the very least it will show you have a sense of humor.

Life is always worse for someone else

No matter how bad you think your life is there is always someone out there who has it worse. It was easy to come up with examples this year as people locally and all around the world struggled. Yes, I had a tough year but many people had it much worse.

Despite my challenging year I still managed to accomplish a lot.

My Gold Stars for 2010:


I was honored to have a book review published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. This was really awesome.

Old House Secrets

I began a house history column in a local newspaper called Old House Secrets in March 2010. The articles provide information on how to research the history of your house or tell the history of local historic homes. By the end of the year the newspaper expanded to include a second edition in another town.


This year I really got blogging! I started Roots & Rambles in 2009 but didn’t really start actively blogging until 2010. I also started two other blogs: The Symbolic Past focusing on 17th and 18th century gravestones and The New England House Historian. Blogging has been a really wonderful activity for me and I’m greatly enjoying the relationships I’ve developed with blogging colleagues.

Speaking Engagements

This year I gave 17 talks across Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. That’s the most I’ve ever given in one year. I love to do talks because it gives me an opportunity to meet people in different areas that I might not otherwise meet. It also gives me the chance to see new places.

If I did anything else this year I’m at a loss to remember it. This list makes me feel pretty good. Despite all the challenges I continued to move forward.

I have bright hopes and lots of goals for next year but I’ll leave that for another blog post.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!


  1. 17 talks, ok, right there, HUGE accomplishment, topped off with the lessons learned, if nothing else, a very interesting year. Been there, done that, only I did not incorporate 17 talks! (I only managed 1 talk.) Merry Christmas

  2. it sounds like a productive year despite the setbacks. I hope that you are past the challenges and that 2011 brings great things. Keep up the great work!

  3. Marian, I would like to add one more Gold Star. You have been a great inspiration and resource for me. A big thank you for all your links on facebook and your many blog posts. Deanna Dailey