So many meanings . . . which one applies?

Last post of the year! I can hardly believe I made it this far. As I thought about this prompt while Christmas baking, I realized “resolution” has more than one meaning. Which one would I write about?

We had just rewatched National Treasure, so echos of “It was resolved . . .” bounced around in my head. While I did start my blog at the beginning of the year, it wasn’t specifically a New Year’s resolution. I’m not really into those, because breaking them is far too easy!

Nevertheless, I did make a commitment (Oh Boy!)–to myself and to (hopefully!) some readers–to follow through and be consistent. With a few exceptions when I missed my self-imposed deadline by an hour or so
(usually caused by travel issues), I managed that. I wrote only two posts more than the 52 Ancestors prompts, but I’m okay with that. Sometimes posts required more research or verification than I anticipated, so took longer. And some proved to be difficult for zeroing in on a topic, so I started late. While I may have taken liberties interpreting some prompts, I never completely bailed on any of them, and (hopefully) found something appropriate (or at least, interesting!) to write about each time.

Thinking more about it, I realized “resolution” can also be a conclusion or summing up. Did that usage fit into my year of blogging? It seemed many of my posts never quite reached a solid resolution. Sometimes the information or documentation I needed simply wasn’t (isn’t) available. At least, I haven’t been able to find it. Frequently there IS no way to resolve an issue or topic (In the Census or Black Sheep), because the people involved are long since gone. I can’t ask them why something happened, or how they felt about something. I can speculate or propose possible alternatives, but will never know which might be the “right” answer. It’s a situation that is less than ideal, but I don’t see a way around it.

So, Friday morning Mike asked me what this week’s blog was about. I’d yet to type anything (hey, it was Christmas week, with grandkids, grandkitty, and grand nieces and nephews running around!), but I told him the prompt. He commented, which made me see there was yet another meaning I hadn’t even considered! His brain homed in on the idea of resolution as it applies to images. That’s actually somewhat odd, because he is NOT photographically inclined at all! It was not a response I expected. More food for thought.

I realized that while many of the topics I wrote about didn’t necessarily achieve a resolution, the story’s or puzzle’s “resolution” was better than it had been before I started. The additional research (either new, or reviewing what I had from before), combined with my taking the time to

  • slow down,
  • think about it,
  • figure out how to explain it (whatever “it” happened to be!) to people not as familiar with the family or background,

helped me immensely. I may not have found a definite answer, but at least I had a much clearer idea of where I stood. If questions popped into my head as I analyzed and explained a situation, those were written down for the next time I try to tackle that question.

After this much got written (late Friday night!), I decided to see what the online dictionaries had to say about resolution. Had I missed any major meanings? There were additional shades for the meanings above, but Google and Merriam-Webster added another one aimed at the chemistry world: separating a chemical compound or mixture into its components. Genealogy may seem unrelated to that, but the bullet points above aren’t all that different (basically breaking a story down into smaller bites), so even that definition sort of fits . . .

So it appears this year was full of resolution, of one kind or another! Mike has asked several times this year “if” or “how long” I’ll keep doing this. The answers were “yes” and “I don’t know.” The family histories are far from done. We’ll see what 2019 brings, but I’m game, if you are. Thank you for sticking with me and reading throughout the year!


3 thoughts on “Resolution”

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