The pandemic-related closures and restrictions of the past year and a half have presented both challenges and opportunities for some of us. I have a weak immune system, so I’ve mostly lived and worked in my bubble of home and immediate family during this time. But I have been teaching online for over six years, and most of my graduate program twenty years ago was already online, so the flip to all-virtual genealogy education did not present any challenges for me. Except in terms of volume.
Before the pandemic was even on our radars, I had already committed to a heavy genealogy teaching load at conferences and institutes for 2020 and through summer 2021. I juggle this on top of a busy full-time day job as an academic librarian and a busy part-time evening and weekend job as a college instructor during the summer semester. The latter essentially becomes a second full-time job for 4-5 months out of the year due to all of the instruction prep work that comes before the actual semester. I knew that 2020 and 2021 would be extremely tight for me.
Then the pandemic came along, everything had to flip to virtual, and genealogy societies and libraries suddenly found themselves able to more easily afford to bring in out-of-area speakers since no travel was involved. They could also now take the chance on new-to-them topics, like Mexican and Hispanic genealogy, since they did not have to fill a venue with enough people to offset the event cost, and could also now reach a broader audience draw due to being virtual. So I took on far more 2020 and 2021 genealogy teaching gigs than initially planned. It has been an exhausting but rewarding and fun year and a half.
Something had to give though. That turned out to be this blog and my monthly Hispanic Research & Heritage email newsletter. I just haven’t had the time to write and curate, despite loving using these platforms to educate and to engage with others.
I give my final genealogy presentation of the year in 1-1/2 weeks, and then I take a break for a few months. After that, I’m slowing it down a bit for 2021 so that I can spend 2021 finally getting back to my research and writing. That includes blogging again, here. But more importantly, I plan to devote much of 2021 to telling my family history stories, whether that’s blog posts, research reports, photo books, video narratives, etc. We have to make time to tell those stories.
What I have not yet decided upon is the future of my Hispanic Research & Heritage email newsletter. The newsletter in its previous state is retired. I do plan to develop a new approach to what I tried to accomplish with that newsletter, but I’m not sure yet what that approach or format will be. Thank you to those who subscribed to it in the past. I am leaving the subscription form open, for those who want to be notified when the new project is a reality.
Have you experienced some sort of genealogy-related burnout during the pandemic? What worked for you to get out of that burnout? If you’d like to share, please use the Comment form below.