Preservation

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary

preservation noun
pres·​er·​va·​tion | \ ˌpre-zər-ˈvā-shən \
Definition of preservation
: the act, process, or result of preserving something: such as
a : the activity or process of keeping something valued alive, intact, or free from damage or decay
preservation of state parks/monuments
preservation of an old tradition
The special emphasis of recent years on preservation continued in 1988. More than 8,000 brittle volumes (1.5 million pages) were committed to microfilm; an additional 777 rare books, manuscripts, and historical films received special conservation treatment.
— Library and Book Trade Almanac
These and so many lesser red flags seem finally to be shifting public interest toward the preservation of wildlife and natural habitats.
— E. Annie Proulx
b : the preparation of food for future use (as by canning, pickling, or freezing) to prevent spoilage
the use of salt in the preservation of meat
In the years following the first Earth Day in 1970, a contingent of Americans insisted on developing pesticide-free systems of farming and anti-chemical methods of food preservation and preparation.
— Tibbett L. Speer
First Known Use of preservation
15th century, in the meaning defined above

Doing genealogy has taught me a lot about preserving.  Preserving the past certainly, but preserving the day to day.  Keeping memories alive and sharing those memories and stories of the past.  There are so many stories that do not get passed down, even if you are lucky enough to get them from family members, some are just forgotten and lost.  Pioneers, inventors, scoundrels, and heroes.  All of these are in our past and need not be forgotten.  My goal is to write these stories and keep them “alive” for future generations.

Preserving in genealogy has also taught me to be kinder to nature, to all of Earth’s resources.  Convenience is not always better.  The plastic and the weed killers of the world are wreaking havoc on our wildlife and plant life.  Not only that but medicinal products too.  A pill isn’t always the right answer.  Eating well is the key to good health; physical and mental.

So, I have vowed to do my part and have my own veggie garden, fruit bushes, and trees, and am planting more flowers to attract the pollinators and bugs.  I have canceled my backyard pest/weed control and have let nature in.

It’s only been a few months since I’ve done this, but already I am seeing more butterflies, bees of all kinds, dragonflies, and birds.  Sure, I have some weeds, but weeds are only the plants you think you don’t want in your yard.  Some weeds are good, they flower and attract the pollinators too.  Yes, I cut down the ugly weeds that I do not want, and I have even relocated others, but I have let nature do its thing.

I have been enjoying the fruits and veggies of my labors and have more to come.

However, I have gained more than I have given.  Both genealogy and gardening has given me a focus.  It sustains me.  Both are therapeutic and give me joy.  It not only gives me something, but I can give to others as I share my genealogy finds or share my veggies and flowers and plants.  It makes me smile. It keeps me positive.

Gardening gives me the physical activity that my body needs and I do not dread doing!  Genealogy gives my mind the activity it needs to keep active.  Playing detective keeps my mind strong.  It’s the doing something positive in both searching out the stories and gardening that have helped me in my anxiety.  Getting out in the sunshine and doing something.  Coming inside and putting my mind to work in researching.  It is a very healthy balance for me.

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