My Bursting Heart Must Vent (But in A Good Way)

Have you ever had one of those moments when you just couldn’t settle down because you wanted to bite somebody’s head off (figuratively speaking), but you knew that wouldn’t be the right thing to do? I bet you have, because it is only human nature to want to give someone a piece of your mind. But, is that really worth it to do that while you still don’t have peace within yourself? I don’t think so.

It is always best to think before you speak. Otherwise, you’ll develop foot-in-mouth disease. Which, if not tended to right away can destroy even the most stable of relationships, because we assume that our friend or loved will understand that we’re “just being a little crabby” and really didn’t mean a single word we said. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Inasmuch as we all may want to believe that someone didn’t mean to say the things that they did, a friend or loved one’s words can really pack a punch and leave us silently fussing and fuming about them for days, weeks, or in some cases, even years – which isn’t good either.

When I find that I can’t seem to settle down about something that someone has said or done that upset me, I find that the best thing that I can do is open up my laptop or pick up my pen and do a little journaling. Whether I am writing in a diary or I am creating an essay that I plan to post online, this writing definitely helps me to curb whatever negative thoughts are on my mind. So, when and if I do finally decide to talk to my friend or loved one about what they had done, I am able to do so with a much clearer and loving mind and attitude. That’s because writing down our thoughts is actually very therapeutic, and as you can see from the quote that I placed at the very top, that has been a well-known fact for centuries. Abigail Adams lived from 1744 – 1818, and even her bursting heart felt the need to vent at her pen sometimes. If you’re not sure that journaling is right for you, take a look at the website, http://www.appleseeds.org/100_journaling.htm. It lists 100 ways in which journaling benefits us and helps bring us to a higher awareness of ourselves and others in the process.


So, journaling is therapeutic for everyone, but it also has some added benefits for genealogists, such as myself. That’s because journaling not only teaches us how to write, it also helps us to capture our family and personal histories – which soothes our troubled memories and improves our family’s unity as well. Journaling for genealogy also leaves a story of our lives behind for our descendants, which in turn, gives them a better understanding about who they are and who and where they came from.

Our experiences change the way our genes behave, and that change (called gene expression) then gets passed down through subsequent generations, affecting our descendants, as well as ourselves. But, unless we document those experiences, our descendants may not ever know why they act a certain way or have a particular disorder. That’s why I always indicate that my ex-husband was a fraternal twin, and that my dad was adopted, and why I am also doing my best to document anything and everything that pops up medically, but doesn’t come from Mom.

Documenting our occupations is also beneficial for genealogists (and others), because not everybody has an occupational surname, and not everybody who does have one actually works at that job. For example, my mother’s maiden name is Carter. A carter is someone who operates a cart to transport goods. My mother, my brothers, our children, and I do that every time we go shopping. But, that is not what any of us has done for a living. However, because I, and others before me (I am at least a fifth generation genealogist) have documented attributes, occupations, and other things about ourselves and our ancestors, I understand why we do the things that we do. Mom and I have worked in offices because three of our ancestral lines were Clarke, Clarke, and Clerk, David is a respiratory therapist because our maternal grandfather had asthma (but we had a few doctors in our ancestry as well), and Kevin is a fry cook, because our Swedish immigrant ancestor, Peter Larsson Cock just happened to be the ship’s cook.

And, now, because I know that somebody is going to go there (because somebody always does whenever I talk about Peter)...

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