It is so long since I had time to write a blog post for my own blog I thought I should make an effort to get back into this part of my family history I really enjoy. There are four distinct parts I love. First, but not in any order, is researching my own family history. Another one is work and personal travel including genealogy conferences. Of course, sharing my discoveries with family, on my blog and on social media. And finally the social side – all the friends I have made who also love family history.
Throughout the COVID years, (Can I call it that as it seems to be going on and on?), I have been able to keep in contact with local family historian and blogger, Pauleen, AKA CassMob. So to jump-start my blogging again I am attempting the latest meme Pauleen has set us. So here goes my thoughts as to what is the new “Normal” post-Covid. You are also free to join in and the questions can be found at Family History Across the Seas.
So how has Covid19 changed my life?
Has your day-to-day life returned to how it/you functioned previously?
Not at all. Prior to Covid, I worked over at the office in our warehouse. After coming back from RootsTech in 2020 we moved the office home. We only go over to the warehouse when we need to do work that cannot be done at home such as sending out stock. It is just a small family business that imports wallpaper and sells this to retailers. Stock flies in each week and we pack it up and send it all over Australia.
If your “new normal” is different from your “old normal”, can you share some of the ways it’s changed?
The other big change is the lack of travel around Australia or overseas. While many people are back travelling again I need to wait as with 2 years restricted travel around Australia and none overseas there are trips that need to be made for our business. Mr TG does most of these. So, as I said, I will have to wait my turn.
While my fellow conference junkies were not travelling we started #ANZAncestryTime on Twitter.
Yes, I did add to the workload when I also joined with Pauleen and Sharn to start ANZAncestryTime – a Twitter chat primarily targeting New Zealand and Australian family history. Initially every Tuesday and now once a month we have a fast and fun chat on a family history topic. With help from the team, Alex, Maggie and Jennifer plus many other regulars shared and helped support the chat.
Do you think these will be long-term changes for you?
I hope the lack of travel is not a long term change though I do like working from home. I probably work more hours however this is more patchy than a regular 9 to 5 job. Sometimes I start after 10 am however can still be working at midnight.
The cost of freight has rocketed and delivery is inconsistent with lengthy delays being very common. I am hoping that these changes are not long-term.
What personal benefits have you gained from the change of pace and experiences in the past two years?
What benefits? Not sure if there have been any for me. In the first year of Covid, the pace was hectic at work as large parts of the population renovated because they were stuck at home. While many had no work I was very busy with work and subsequently, my family history and blogging were floundering.
Do you think the disadvantages have outweighed the benefits for you and/or family and friends?
I think I have developed even more bad habits. I would have considered one of my main skills to organise my work, get projects finished in a timely fashion, and run multiple projects. Now I leave more to the last minute and achieve less perfection. Perhaps forgoing perfection is personal growth though it does not sit that well with me.
For a family that travels a lot for both work and enjoyment and with many of our family and close friends living around the world, the lack of travel has been a disappointing side of COVID.
So easily disadvantages have outweighed the benefits.
What do you value most about your new normal?
Mr TG is home so I get wonderful dinner meals each day. Say no more.
What do you consider have been the main influences: covid infection, restrictions and isolation, other health issues, changing inter-personal interactions?
Seem to be repeating myself here. The restrictions, especially to travel and not visiting my cousins living in places overseas from us here in Australia. While much has opened up again work means that I cannot just start travelling again straight away.
What is your view of in-person meetings (social or genealogy) and do you love or hate zoom meetings?
I have enjoyed the ability to watch Zoom meetings while I could still keep working as required. I find that two hours can be hard on the eyes and miss having personal interaction with friends.
Initially, I joined meetings all around the world, some at ungodly times. However, once the work pace picked up I had to cut back to primarily supporting my local society. I think I watched fewer webinars and listened to fewer podcasts than I did before Covid interrupted our lives. Not driving in the car so much reduced the podcast listening opportunities so much.
What was the main activity and/or person that supported you through the unpredictable times?
My support team included Mr TG and a few awesome family and friends via messaging, phone, zoom and emails when lockdowns occurred. With friends that have older parents, I also tried to restrict my in-person contact so I avoided the risk of Covid and giving this to friends, thus endangering their older relations and friends.
Work filled in most of my time though I continued to support Caloundra Family History with the website and social media. Plus taking a part role in setting up Zoom so that our meetings would continue. I focused on these two tasks and did nothing for my TravelGenee Blog and hardly any research.
During this time, while my blog was a no go site I still went ahead and supported RootsTech in 2021 and 2022 as an official influencer, via my social media. I also created a website for ANZAncestryTime and share most days on social media for Caloundra Family History with help from another member, Colleen Jones. I also did a couple of Facebook Live presentations for MyHeritage.
Has your community developed a new normal or just returned to the old one? What differences do you see, if any?
Caloundra Family History did much better than many societies during COVID as we still continued using Zoom with our monthly meetings, interest groups and additional such as Share, Show, Tell & Chat each fortnight to keep members in contact while in lockdown.
Now we have transitioned to having a hybrid format means that members can attend in the rooms or join online. It also increases speaker options if they can talk via Zoom.
How is your “normal” going? Please leave a comment or link to your blog post.