Spent today at the 2nd annual Colorado Family History Expo in Loveland. Listened to several experts tell me more and better ways to find my long-past relatives. I can't believe how much more confident I feel in my abilities compared to a year ago when I attended the first conference. I've worked hard and learned a lot, even though I've made mistakes, hit brick walls, and even done things the hard way a few times...and yet, I've still managed to add over 1,000 people to my family tree.
Spent time during my breaks today reflecting on this past year. A day before last years conference I left the hospital (for the 5th time in 6 months) carrying oxygen over my shoulder--determined to feel good enough to attend the first expo, since I'd been lucky enough to win a free ticket to the event. Entering the conference center marked the first day I ever had to wear oxygen in public. I pasted a smile on my predisone-puffed face and moved my shaky legs forward to my new kind of "normal."
Wearing oxygen among my mostly geriatric genealogy friends (yes, I am one of the few young'uns in the bunch) should have helped me to fit right in...but I couldn't have felt more conspicuous if I'd been wearing a purple polyester jumpsuit with hair to match. The few people who knew my situation were kind and gracious but I still hated explaining why the oxygen. I had almost convinced myself, after a day of explanations, that my O2 accessory was only a temporary thing until the antibiotics killed the MRSA for good. I desperately wanted to believe it.
A year later I am still wearing my O2 accessory--however, a much more stylin' model w/backpack, and I am much more confident in my abilities. I've hit some brick walls (stupid MRSA won't take the hint and leave); I've made some mistakes (wore the cannula upside down for the first month or so because Rheid swears that's how the oxygen delivery guy explained it to him); I've learned a lot (I can do difficult things); and I've worked hard to keep my faith strong (I believe Heavenly Father has a plan for my life). I have managed to add another year--and it feels good.