The Commitment-Phobe Takes Her Vows

Wedding ring

Not easy to find

I have commitment issues. In fact, I have been in a relationship for four years without committing. Until today, I had a crude, lazy live-in that I wasn’t in love with; but I was too scared to try anything new, to lose what little I’d gained, by cutting the strings and going free to find The One. I think I had convinced myself that a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush, and what did those birds in the bush have that mine didn’t have? Sure, maybe they were a little neater or more fun, but change is hard. Change costs money and time and effort.

But recently, I went on a few dates. An hour here, a half-hour there, I started dipping my toe in the water. They impressed me with their looks and their talent. But I still hesitated. There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but there’s lots of sharks, too. And I hate commitment. Making a choice is so…final.

But today, I did it. After seeking lots of advice and reviewing their profiles again, I made a choice. I kicked my four-year relationship to the curb and decided on a new relationship, one that will hopefully endure through time and change and bring new features, both rich and rewarding, like citation support, web-searching functions, to-do lists and-

Oh, wait. You did know we’re talking about genealogy programs, right? Uh….let me rephrase that.

Today I finally decided I was going to stop living with the feature-poor, crude trees I’ve been using since starting my genealogy research four years ago (yes, all that time). After hemming and hawing and watching tutorials and trying various versions, I narrowed it down to Legacy and Rootsmagic, and I decided on Rootsmagic! I have made a commitment to a genealogy program! My first in all this time! And honestly, I’m not sure how I survived without it, or any genealogy program, really. Seeing how clunky is after exploring these various programs, I’m shocked how I made do. But like I said above, change is hard. I was scared to make the wrong choice and hate it later. Plus, money was involved. But I think we’re going to be happy together, as long as RM doesn’t leave the toilet seat up.

I have a long road ahead of me. I’ve already decided not to import a GEDCOM, even though my tree has 1000+ people in it. Nope, I’m going to reenter it all by hand, because that is going to force me to evaluate every piece of evidence and source and cite it, something my first tree was lacking a lot of. I’m hoping this experience, however long it takes, will give me fresh insight into my research. But they always said that relationships take work – I’m ready to put in the time. Let’s make a beautiful life together, Rootsmagic!

Thank you to my Salt Lake CC Gen 1000 class assignment this week for forcing me to make a commitment, and for my groupmembers in the US-REC group started by Tonia and Valerie for their advice.

© 2011, copyright Genealady & JustFolks


The Commitment-Phobe Takes Her Vows — 10 Comments

  1. Dana, congrats on your new relationship! I switched from FTM to RM4 almost a year ago (I purchased it at the Family History Expo last November) and also decided to transfer my data all by hand for the same reasons. It was hard work and took some time … but it was well worth it! I actually found some stuff I didn’t even realize I had. I think you will be happy with RM4. I have loved it so far.

    • Thanks, Jenny! It’s nice to hear others made the same decision to enter by hand. I know it’s gonna be a lot of work, but I want to do it for just that reason – rediscovering what I’ve got.

  2. Dana,
    Great post!! You are so much like me it is scary — except you’re now one step ahead of me. I have not yet committed to a program. Once I do, I am planning on starting to enter everything from scratch too. I did import a GEDCOM to reunion but I think when I do finally take the plunge it will be better for me to start from scratch. Maybe I should try making a decision this week and we can encourage each other through the trials and tribulations of learning a new software while painstakingly entering data for a second time. :)

    • We really are far too much alike, Lisa! From professions to our growth as genealogists, we seem to parallel each other a lot! I’d be happy to have someone to compare with if you you wanted to jump on the commitment bandwagon with me. :)

    • Thanks, Amy! Glad to hear from another who is happy with RM4! And the parallels between your post and mine make me laugh – I wonder what it says about us as people that genealogists all consider their genealogy software as such a personal relationship – granted, we may spend more time with it than our SO at times! :)

  3. Dana, I have also been “re-evaluating” my program because of the study group (well, I was thinking a bit about it before I joined, but it seems to have spurred me on to make a decision). Your comment of entering everything by hand is one of several reasons why I thought of a new program. Most names are well-sourced, but others had fallen victim to “shaky leaf syndrome” long before I knew that was a problem and I want to rectify that. I thought starting “fresh” would be a great way to do so.

    Loved your humor, btw. :)

    • Well, thank you! :) And I agree, the group has been a great spur, and it’s so nice to have others to talk to and compare notes with without being afraid of sounding dumb – we’re all here to learn and it makes it a supportive environment I enjoy.

  4. Pingback: Waffles and Genealogy | 1 Ancestry 2 Little Time

Leave a Reply