It’s that time to consider what events shaped your year.
The news in late December is always filled with the Top 10 films of the year, the biggest news stories, the most momentous deaths and the biggest innovations of the year. Because this year ends in “9,” I’m seeing “end of decade stories” everywhere, too. So we can consider what events shaped your decade, too.
First, the decade:
- I didn’t even have a cell phone 10 years ago, and there was no such thing as Facebook and Twitter, which fill big chunks of my free time now.
- In the past decade, I went from not even having a passport to having to add extra pages to my passport because I traveled the world so much. Ten years ago, there was no such thing as Al Qaeda, at least in my perspective. Air travel has changed dramatically in a decade.
- In 1999, we were all afraid of the millenium bug. Hah! It was paper dragon. We should have been worried about the ozone layer and bankers who turned bad mortgages into big busimess (that’s not a typo). I’ve gone from having a 401(k) and the hopes of a retirement fund to being underwater on my mortgage and thinking I’ll be working until I’m 72.
- I bought the Cash for Clunkers Durango brand new in 1999. We learned today the engine is toast (we won’t go into “why” here, but I wasn’t driving it when it ceased up). Is it worth repairing and bringing into the next decade with us?
- Ten years ago, my nephew Drew was born. Now I’m Auntie M to five boys — my daughter’s three sons and my in-law’s two sons. More substantially, I sometimes still can’t believe I’m now stepmother to two children.
- A decade ago, I was working way too hard and questioning it. I’m still working too hard and questioning it.
- I was thinking about joining a church. In 10 years, my life has changed more than I ever would have predicted. I did join a church (the Catholic church) in 2001. But I also got divorced and rejoined the Lutheran church. And remarried. And now I’m considering a nondenominational option (church, not marriage). I don’t know what church I’ll belong to in 10 years, but I sure hope I’m in the same marriage.
And in the past year? Let’s consider this by the numbers:
- I enjoyed three different trips and saw new things in Florida, Missouri and the Caribbean.
- I set a goal to run a 10K in under an hour. I ended up covering an average of 19.78 miles a week, I managed 59:14 in the 10K and I lost 6ish pounds over the course of the year.
- I avoided shopping retail with only a couple of transgressions, and I learned you can buy a lot of things on the internet.
- I wrote 302 blog entries (including this one) and 15,000+ words on a memoir.
- I became plaintiff in two lawsuits to fight for that lost retirement fund.
- I saw at least five live Major League Baseball games and enjoyed watching the Twins play in the post season.
Was it a good year? Sure. Compared to the decade as a whole, I plodded along in 2009 for the most part, which the pastor at church on Sunday defended. “Plodding along” is worth something because it signifies you didn’t give up; you moved forward in some way. As Paul notes in Galatians 6:9: “And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”
As you think of the 2000s, or of 2009, what events shaped your life? How did you continue in well-doing? How did you avoid losing heart?