The Genealogical Lifeline—CoronaLife Day 502

It’s kind of ironic, to depend on dead people to keep you going in life, but here we are. In the years leading up to 2020, my creativity was a struggle. I had good streaks and bad streaks. Waves, if you want to call it that. But as 2020 approached, I rather felt like the end of the struggle was at hand. I felt more like myself and was looking forward to moving forward.

Then the pandemic hit and everything fell apart.

My hard-won emotional stability spiraled down as my anxiety spiked with the cases. My fiction writing ground to a halt. I simply could not dive deep into the creative well, could not focus as I needed to for fiction work. Not with everyone home 24/7. And I beat myself up constantly for being too “weak” to power through.

Self-pummeling aside, I needed to do something. Genealogy came to my rescue. For whatever reason, I could lose myself for hours in researching family history—even when it wasn’t mine. The escape from the stress and anxiety of the “now” was a relief.

I soon wondered if I could put that genealogical focus to writing use. So I returned to a project that has long languished on my back-burner: a family history book for my mother’s side of the family. Wonder of wonders, I found I could focus on that, too.

Working on a writing project again has improved how I feel about myself, and has given me a sense of purpose and accomplishment as I tick off the things on my checklist. In a time of uncertainty and fear, genealogy has been my lifeline.

So, thank you, ancestors. You made me who I am today, and gave me shelter so I can find my way to tomorrow.

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