There’s something about tens, isn’t there? Looking at things in groups of ten keeps everything neat and orderly. It’s one of the reasons Top Ten lists are so popular, every day of every year of every decade. And now, not only are we coming to an end of a group of ten, it’s the FIRST group of ten of a whole century – the 2000s.
Except for a very lucky (and very healthy?) few, most of us will only ever experience the dawn of a century once. Looking back at myself in the waning days of 1999, I hardly recognize myself. I typed my aimless musings and cutesie stories in the wee small hours on a 386, and when I bothered to back anything up, it was on a floppy disk that didn’t flop. (diskette) Only one of the children had achieved double digits, age-wise. I supplemented alimony and child support by wearing a blue vest and changing watch batteries during the Christmas season for barely more than minimum wage. I’d never crawled around the World Wide Web or sent an email, and the pictures I took were limited to the number of exposures granted by the film in my 35mm camera.
Ha! Ten years is a short period of time, but it is a very long period of time, too. I met the year 2000 with batteries and bottled water aplenty, and thought I was prepared. But life, as they say, is what happens when you’re making other plans. I’m glad I didn’t think too far ahead – how many exciting detours and scenic routes would I have missed if I’d had it all mapped out?
So, in the spirit of Top Tens of all kinds, here’s my personal Top Ten of the last ten years.
- I came face to face with the talent for writing I’d had inside of me all along, and realized the joy that came with exercising that talent.
- I discovered, almost simultaneously with #1, the online and in-person communities and resources that support me in the exercise of that talent.
- So many great books and writers – from Gabladon to Gladwell – that broadened my horizons, deepened my interests and inspired my imagnings.
- Being given the opportunity to do what I love while providing for my family at the same time.
- My iPod shuffle. Seriously, can you remember what it was like to flip over a cassette in the old Walkman while on the go? Not to mention the suitcase necessary to cart all your music along with you?
- Children who have, and are, growing up into amazing young women.
- Elastic walls and The Man’s ability to make miracles with 2x4s and drywall. We may not have all the space we want, but there always seems to be the space we need.
- Turning 30. I worried about it, you know. Turns out, my thirties really were better than my twenties. I’m almost looking forward to my forties in a couple years. Almost.
- Great friends I didn’t know ten years ago – a “village” comprised of people who care for me and mine, that I can’t imagine life without.
- My family – the husband, the children, the siblings, the parents -has weathered the changes and challenges of the last ten years with grace and generosity, and that we’ve recognized that it all comes down to loving one another for who and what we are.
Happy new year!