Honesty And The Light Of Day

Honesty in the light of day.
Honesty in the light of day.

Honesty in the light of day is far more commendable than maintaining a facade for appearance’s sake. Unfortunately, people are often not honest, so they will poke at the vulnerabilities of people who do share more about their life struggles. However, if you are observant, you will notice over time that even the keeping up with the jones set will reveal what they truly think and feel during unguarded moments. I prefer to have empathy for people when they are down and not throw their life struggles in their face.

Be strong and be you. Look for positive things that motivate you in life, but do not feel like you can never share your vulnerabilities with others. However, I would not do it on social media as I am troubled by how others are torn apart for sharing their honesty about life struggles. Even those who claim to be “helping” someone struggling might be doing the opposite. So if you feel uncertain about something, then why not seek out a friend who will allow you to talk without judgment. I am not saying that person will never share their opinions with you, but a real friend would not make you feel less than in front of others.

Making Your Own Hashtags And Headlines

Make your own #hashtags and #headlines.
Make your own #hashtags and #headlines.

Lately, there are just certain things in the world that do not make sense to me. However, in the scheme of things, I want to focus on the positive, and do my own thing. There will always be negative events, but I still believe in lifting others up in my own way. I still believe in positive words towards others and empathy, even if those things are belittled by some. Today on I am moving towards the positive, and basking in that.

That might be too soft-edged, but I never wanted to be tough as nails. I just want to be a pacifist palm tree swaying in the wind, and encouraging others in my own small way. I think there is a purpose to making your own #hashtags and #headlines. Today your headline can be about doing something you love, and your hashtag can be about encouraging a friend who might be feeling down. For instance, I am not a real big holiday person, but I do enjoy holiday crafts. I am just not into the big party and social component of the holidays, but I do enjoy making Christmas crafts.

I have a friend who I can openly discuss how we are not big holiday people, and we do what we want to celebrate these. Giving simple hand-made gifts to family and friends, and that is what makes us feel good. Neither of us is spending a lot of money for Christmas, and this does not make us cheap. Actually, who ever said spending a ton of money at Christmas means you care about someone, what about making an adorable ornament?

It makes more sense than going into debt to buy someone on your list something they might end up regifting anyway. We are not into drinking or gregarious Christmas parties, and would rather discuss are favorite dishes and smoothies while talking on the phone, or getting together as our schedules allow.

The thing is, I want to focus on the positive, and do what I can to lift others up in my own way. I do not like it when people make fun of other’s feelings, and I will continue to be a sensitive person. I believe our feelings count, and I am going back to focusing on things that make me happy. This is probably a bit too much family tree work, photography, and squeezing in some drawing when inspiration hits. I really need to create more art, but my muse seems to be on hiatus at the moment.

Falling Down The Rabbit Hole Of Genetic Genealogy

Falling down the family tree research rabbit hole.
Falling down the family tree research rabbit hole.

Every time I say I will just spend a few minutes working on my family tree, I descend down the rabbit hole of genetic genealogy. I took the 23andme and Ancestry DNA tests back in May, and ever since I have been using my results on Ancestry and GedMatch to learn more about my family tree. I have discovered ancestors on three different continents, and I have traced some family lines back to almost 1540 or so. Other lines of the family are a bit tricky and stop in the mid-1800s. Just so you have an idea of how many ancestors are in a family tree, everyone has 32 second great-great parents, and it keeps branching out from there.

Interestingly, it is quite random what DNA segments you inherit from your mom or dad, so on my Ancestry DNA circles I sometimes strong ties to certain fourth to six cousins. I share DNA with some fourth cousins, and not with others according to my Ancestry DNA test. It is enthralling to find Census records and birth certificates tying us to common ancestors on our respective family trees. Also, I have corresponded with a couple of distant cousins, some who were adopted, and they are using genetic genealogy as a way to learn more about themselves.

Those of us who are interested in genetic genealogy usually get quite addicted to this. We can spend hours working our family trees and enjoy reading documents. This might sound boring to some, but it is not to people who want to know more about where they came from. Not all family history is going to be roses, but there is also positive stuff in family trees. Most of your ancestors are not going to be famous, but I think ordinary people are more interesting anyway, and their lives are often more complicated than we might assume. So if you want to know more about where your ancestors come from, I would highly recommend taking the Ancestry DNA and 23andme tests, and then signing up for Ancestry family of My Heritage family tree services. These are not free by the way, but interesting tools for people who want to know more about their family trees.