Organizational Heaven and Hell

I love diving into the zen-like meditative zone of research, but like most researchers, I feel the onset of despair when the reality of organizing all my newly found gems smacks me square up side the head.

I have been trying to minimize all the grunt-work hell by making gradual entries in Joe’s research plan and timeline since I got back from a Salt Lake City conference at the end of April. Yes, it’s been four months, I know, and I’m still not quite finished. Quit nagging me!

Despite not being far along with my organizational goals and future research planning I take a break to remind myself that all the hell of doing the mind-numbing data entry into my spreadsheets, word processing files, and software is actually worth it. Heavenly sun beams shine down on me periodically as I those “ah-ha” moments reveal a clear moment in the past. The pain of trudging through all my papers, notes, and photos is suddenly gone as I am able to put my data together in ways that bring a new part of Joe’s story to light.

Somehow this vicious cycle of  collecting clues, processing them, and interpreting the findings is totally worth it. Not many of my friends understand this masochistic behavior, they tend to roll their eyes or look at me funny and laugh nervously. The ones that do understand, gratefully share in the excitement and satisfaction. Similar to an archaeologist digging in the proverbial dirt, there is a certain thrill in uncovering an item long buried and bringing it “back to life” to share with others.

That’s what I love about history.


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