I have been trying to get back into some particular research for the last few weeks. I even have a pile of library books waiting for me, which I have renewed already. Twice! But there is something stopping me from opening the books, some kind of block.
Maybe it’s time related. If I start reading, I’ll have to put it down too soon to do something else, like go to work, or drive a child to sport, or sleep. Maybe it’s too daunting as the book pile is a little on the large side. Though I remind myself I don’t have to read them cover to cover. For some, there is only one chapter I’m interested in.
I think the real problem is that I anticipate this research is going to be difficult.
My 3xgreat grandfather was Hungarian and, intermittently, I try to learn about Hungary around the time he fled: the 1848 revolution. But I find it difficult.
A few years ago I borrowed and read sections of ‘European history for dummies’ and that was my biggest breakthrough in terms of understanding. Though it also gave me the feeling that to understand Hungary around the time my ancestor left, I will need to have a fairly comprehensive understanding of Europe’s entire history, as it is all intertwined. And incredibly frustrating!
Perhaps I’m being too pedantic and I should be happy enough with the little understanding I do have, especially as it’s (probably) enough to understand why he left.
What do you think? Do you feel like you need an in-depth understanding of one person’s ‘place’ before you can move, or are you happy for the summarised version?