Thursday Doors – Keys to the Past

Keys to the Past.

It’s been a crazy week. 

Big surprise in the life of a mom. 

I’m still trying to catch up to daily life.  That’s why this week my Thursday Door is on a Friday (to be fair Norm 2.0’s challenge is open until Saturday at noon.  You can pop over and click the blue link to see lots of other amazing doors.) 

There are things known

And things unknown

And in between are the doors.  -Jim Morrison

Who my quote is attributed to is in question.  Did Jim Morrison say it, did Ray Manzarek (also of The Doors) say it, was it written by a publicist, was it influenced by William Blake or Aldous Huxley?!

So many questions.

I always have a lot of questions. 

I’m extremely curious by nature. 

If I’m interested in a topic, I will check out every book that I can at the library on the subject. 

With so much information at my fingertips through my computer, I can delve deeply into a subject. 

And that is where I have been.

Let me back up a little. 

Last week so many exciting things happened.  We needed a four-wheel drive before winter and I finally found the jeep that I’d been wanting.  The next day the oldest started his first job.  And the day after that my middle child had his birthday.  School started this Wednesday, so a lot of last week after that was rushing around finishing school supplies, getting haircuts, etc.  My daughter had a local soccer tournament over the weekend.  We got there bright and early for day 2 of games and I checked my emails. 

And there was the one I’d been waiting to see.

My DNA test was finished.

My husband and I had both taken the DNA test through because we were curious about our ethnicity.  I wasn’t overly surprised by my results because my mother had already taken the test.  I found out that my estimates are 79% Great Britain (I found it interesting that a typical native there has an estimate of 60%), 10% Ireland, 5% Scandinavia and there were some remaining trace regions.

What I didn’t expect to find so fascinating was that I shared DNA with 430 4th cousin or closer relatives who have also taken the DNA test.  I started looking through them to figure out how we are related.

I have always been a math and science girl and didn’t really care for history and geography, so it came as a big surprise to me that I have found myself completely taken with the investigation process.

Not long ago I skimmed read a book by Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi called Flow:  The Psychology of Optimal Experience. 

Being “in flow” or “in the zone” is explained as a mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. 

The concept is about being fully immersed in what you are doing. 

A state of complete absorption. 

That is what this research has been like for me. 

I still haven’t connected many dots, but each day I find something new and exciting.

What about you? 

Have you ever been completely engrossed in a project? 

Or ended up fascinated by something that you thought you didn’t care about at all?

Let your light shine!




45 thoughts on “Thursday Doors – Keys to the Past

  1. That is so interesting. My Mum and Aunty are really into looking into ancestor. My Aunty is on a world trip at the moment and they have arranged to meet up with someone that is a distant relative in every place they go to. Pretty cool. I used to be obsessed with The Doors in high school. I would read books, watch the movie, listen to music, talk with friends about theories behind Jim Morrison’s death. Even wanted to visit his grave in Paris. I was a little bit of a fan haha…Love the beautiful picture in your post. Gorgeous door.

    1. That sounds so amazing for you Aunty. Hopefully she can bring back lots of amazing tales! I do love that door. It’s from a local building and it along with others on the building will probably show up in a future door post! 🙂

  2. yes. exactly. doors are always out of one world into another. from a little to a lot.

    in the flow is always ideal as far as I can tell. it is a state where there is no time. it just is. and it’s related to the only moment we ever have in our life, this one moment that is our entire life. no matter what passes through our moment, being there is what matters. otherwise where are we?

    in being in our monent, this moment is also beautifully stepping through doors.

    fun. and fun on.

    1. Doors always present some type of held mystery 🙂

      I have heard that about being in flow. How time is of no consequence because you are enraptured by what you are doing.

  3. Nice post Amy. It can be quite fascinating and more than a little addictive once you start digging into your ancestry. I haven’t jumped down that rabbit hole myself yet, but with my curious nature I know it’s only a matter of time before I do.

    1. It is a fascinating rabbit hole. I have a tendency to find rabbit holes though! Perhaps my name should have been Alice. 🙂

      I’ve heard it gets a little harder once you leave your home country. My mom has done quite a bit of work though since her father was a first generation American, having been born in Nova Scotia to parents who had just come from England and Scotland.

  4. Always good to see this quote. I believe Huxley started it with “There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” I love your ancestry explorations and the clouds in your door.

    1. I did read that Huxley was likely the originator and that the book title was allusion to Blake’s work. I’ve not read either of them, but enjoy the concept.
      It’s funny, I didn’t even notice the cloud reflection, but I do enjoy them 🙂

  5. We’ve been intrigued by that DNA test and considered doing one. My husband’s father was adopted and so we know very little about that side of his family. Nice to hear your experience with it.

  6. How exciting to be tracing your ethnic origins!
    Mihaly’s book is a favourite of mine. I use his first name because his surname is so long. Being in the zone or the flow is like a meditation. One of my absolutely preferred states.
    Love that Aldous Huxley quote too. Thanks for a great post.

  7. That is fascinating. I wonder what my ancestry would reveal. I’m certainly quite a hotpotch of nationalities – my mother’s mother was Chinese (Malaysian) my father’s father half Scottish half English. My mum also thinks there might be some Armenian too… Who knows? It does make you think…

    1. It was fun to find out. I knew a lot of my heritage on the front end, but I still enjoyed the breakdown.
      Both my husband and I had heard we had Native American somewhere, but neither of us showed any of that. 🙂

  8. I was so busy reading your post I missed your door photo…had to go back and check if I’d actually misread your title! Interesting post (you so well illustrate how busy the back-to-school time can be while balancing your life interests) and nice door.

    1. Thank you. It’s a chaotic time to be sure.. throw in doctor trips for kids with ear infections and sprained ankles and the balance becomes tough! 🙂
      I’m hoping to get back into my rhythm soon!

  9. Thanks for visiting me, because I had no time last weekend to try and see if you had posted a door (had a conference starting on Fri afternoon). Beautiful doorpost , and a special treat with the reflections in it! Your oldest started a job – how old is he/she? You don’t look old enough (haha)

    Didn’t know there were DNA tests at – interesting story! Can’t remember if I told you, I am Dutch, so all my family is in Europe, so I haven’t gotten very far with, because my mother’s last name is not in their files.
    Hope this is not such a hectic week for you:)

    1. Thanks so much. My oldest is 16, but thanks so much for the compliment. 🙂
      My mother has world traveler because she’s been trying to track down her father’s line since he was born in Nova Scotia and his parents were from England and Scotland and you can access paperwork outside of the United States.
      I hope you had a wonderful time at your conference!

  10. My MIL, like you, is quite into She has dug so deep that she traced ancestry up to the 1600’s, if I recall correctly. There is no activity that I can say I am so into – maybe, now, it is blogging – the writing of poems part. There was a time, I was so into crocheting, at another time, learning to play the violin, until my time was taken away by an increasing number of children. 🙂

    1. I have family that has traced parts of my lines back pretty far. I love to see where they lived and what it might have been like during that time.

      Children seem to take up a lot of that free time 🙂 We’ve gone from sick kid to sick kid the past few weeks so I am still slowly catching up on everything. 🙂

  11. The DNA ancestry testing you mentioned sounds so fascinating. I might need to do that. I am such a mix of different nationalities, I never really get a clear answer as to what make-up I have. One of my grandfathers grew up speaking German, one of my grandmothers remembers her mom speaking French, but I’m also told I have ancestors that have been in the Americas since the Revolutionary war and that I have Native American ancestry as well. I have no idea where it all comes from, so this DNA test you mention would be so interesting.

    And the book you mentioned–Flow. I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard of it before and I have it in my Kindle queue to read. You make me want to skip ahead and read it next.

    I do sometimes have “flow” experiences–usually when I am really involved in a writing project I’m working on (usually a fiction project . . . not usually my blog so much).

    This was a great post. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks. 🙂
      My husband and I both had heard that we had Native American ancestry, which neither of us showed. We do, however, both trace back to the being in the Americas by at least the early 1700’s.

  12. amy – how cool that you are doing the ancestry research – and I know some nutritionists that insist people should do this for their dietary needs – well for those who are struggling with health issues – sometimes it can help to eat for a certain blood type or heritage – and some blood types do better with red meat – some with white – some with little meat….
    anyhow, a friend’s sister had to do her ancestry for her naturopath to fine tune things – so it has many uses.

    also – love Csíkszentmihályi’s flow and you described it so comprehensively – I just wish his name was easier to pronounce – ha!

    1. I have read books on eating for blood type. The human body is a very interesting and intricate mechanism that definitely works better when its taken care of with what is best for that specific body. I would be fascinated to hear how heritage plays a role. I assume that it is based on whether your ancestors lived along river, oceans, etc. and what would have been able to be gathered or grown there.

      I do love the concept of Flow. And wish his name was easier to pronounce too!! 🙂

      1. hi- well I am not sure about how the heritage ties in – I would think blood type would suffice – but if I hear any more I will let you know –
        I first heard about the blood type and heritage component with a 1990s book by Ann-Louise (your body knows best) and Joe C (and body redesigning dot com) has some awesome info about it! love his stuff – esp the “concentrace” he has – it is a mineral tonic that every single human body needs –
        anyhow – I think in Ann’s book she does note the ancestry and how the “fat free” studies in early 80s only applied to certain people who were of a culture group – and they were not even eating fat free – had good fats – but don’t want this to get too long
        so will
        close with hope you have a great rest of the weekend 💙❤️

  13. almost forgot – the comment about the doors that brought me here – love the new wood with the old stone – nice mix… and even in sync with you sharing your look back – new into old….

  14. That’s so interesting! I’ve always wanted to take a DNA test with My family is quite the hodgepodge of backgrounds so I’d love to see where I land.

    I, too, love research! When I get fixated on a certain topic I will go through as many layers of information as I can. I’ve been doing that with the Middle Ages most recently. There are fascinating pieces of history that I never learned in school. It’s amazing to see what pieces of the human race have changed and what things have always been around.

    1. We didn’t really know a lot of about my maternal grandmother’s heritage because they came from everywhere. It was very fascinating. I think more and more people are beginning to take it because my list of DNA relatives keeps growing daily.

      I’ve come across a lot of interesting historical facts related to what was happening in the world at the time of family members I’ve been researching. There are also migration patterns listed on Ancestry for the different ethnic regions. It has made history become more fascinating to me.

      1. That is so interesting! I really want to do it. I was talking to my husband about it a couple of nights ago. I’d love to hear more about your journey with if you blog about it!

  15. I know what you mean about complete absorption. When we lived in Spain I was quite homesick for Ireland and began to research my family tree. I became so absorbed in it that some nights I didn’t get to bed until 3.00 am. Of course, I couldn’t keep that up but it did eventually lead to a writing career a number of years later – and I still become totally engrossed when researching ancestors today. Last night I didn’t get to bed until 1.00 am because I was trying to trace a relative on my husband’s side. I’ll have to stay away from the internet after 9pm in future. Lol!

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