Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A decade passes

It's almost the end of the decade. I don't like cliches but I'll say it anyway: Where did the last ten years go? The Aught decade has passed and for much of it, life was just happening for me.

But now as the Aught decade is nearly over, I realize that there were some great things that occurred to jar me out of having life just happen. Perhaps this decade helped to raise my consciousness in so many ways. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I want to write about some personal highlights of the Aughts.

I remember the much touted heralding of the beginning of the last decade. I didn't think that the world was going to end. As a matter of fact, I remember thinking that there would be some spectacular fireworks when January 1, 2000 rolled around. It was the new millennium. Sure enough, the fireworks from around the world were spectacular. And what's more, no computers crashed, the lights didn't go out, and Y2K seemed to fizzle out as life went on. (Now the Mayan 2012 end of days will be approaching and there will be more scares on the end of humanity. I suspect that things will end not with a bang but a whimper).

The past decade was one of adventures, personal discoveries, and sorrow. A lot has happened to me. And in some ways instead of feeling older, I feel as if time has moved backwards and that kid inside is seeing the world through new eyes. I believe that I am definitely happier than I was on January 1, 2000.

I don't much like the yearly list approach so here are some things that stand out for me about the Aughts.
  • This was a decade of personal loss. Probably one of the saddest things that happened was my mother died. She had lived a long life and one well spent. I still think of her and my father daily. It was a decade of the loss of several of my beloved dogs and cats.
  • This was the decade of great personal upheaval. I ran out of love, found it again, began a program of recovery and became aware of what I actually felt, what I was doing, and how to make restitution. I learned that control and expectations don't have happy outcomes.
  • This was a decade when being a geek was okay. I started a blog, discovered a community of people who shared their lives, got a bunch of gadgets that were supposed to save time but actually took up time, and became aware of so much through technology.
  • This was a decade of a shift in my work ethic. I became much more aware of how science for the sake of science isn't the answer but that having non-scientists understand what is happening in the environment would be far more important than preaching to the choir. I published quite a bit over the last decade but see that public outreach through popular media and face to face is going to be more important than ivory tower academics.
  • This was a decade of discovering how to play again, to move outside of my comfort zone. I bought a sailboat which has brought me closer to the ocean than before. And the boat has spurred dreams of long voyages that may yet come.
  • This was a decade of decisions: to wind down a long career in science; to stay in a marriage because of respect, honor and love; to trust in a God that I never knew before; to make new friends and move on from some old ones; to de-stress my life and abandon those things that were not filling me with joy; and to embrace those things that bring enlightenment.

So another decade goes by. Tempus fugit-- whether you’re having fun or not. I decided somewhere along the way that having experiences in life are more important than thinking about them. That action is needed.

Here’s to the hope of a new decade well lived. Who knows what the future holds? Hope is all I have. And I hope that we each will maneuver around any obstacles that lie in the road ahead.

For each of you, Happy New Year, and Happy New Decade--one day at a time.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller.


  1. That was quite a decade. A lot has changed over the past ten years. I am grateful for all of it.

  2. "I believe that I am definitely happier than I was on January 1, 2000."

    Me too, Syd, me too. I could copy and paste your blog and change some of the specifics and it would mirror my last 10 as well.

    Happy New (and best yet) Year.


  3. Thanks for reminding me to take a long look at the things that have happened in the past decade. It's a good time to reflect.
    I'm glad blogging was one of the things we both discovered.
    I love Ferris!jeNN

  4. A decade ago... I didn't even realize that alcohol was tightening its grip on our family. I still thought it was part of the fun.
    And then as the decade passed I've gone through despair, and my love has worn out.
    I've found a better way to live. Hope and love have slowly grown back again. My set of friends has changed entirely.
    I feel like a completely regenerated human being. Not sure I'd recognize myself from back then.

  5. Thanx for your reflections - some of the best I've read yet. I'm glad that, today, you're a part of my world - a world I would not have dreamed of in 1999.

    Blessings and aloha...

  6. I love this post. Thanks. And I love Ferris, too! So much I can relate to, here. I also lost my mother, experiences sorrows, found recovery. Thanks for your blog.

  7. In this paste decade, life decided I could no longer ignore it. I'm glad I started to awake.

    Thanks for your recent comments!

  8. i looked at the photo i took of the sunset at new year's eve going into 2000, and boy, what my life different then...

  9. A decade passes. But you're not off the hook. I'll still be looking for your next post. They are a huge help- Thank You

  10. yes well i'm glad you showed up this decade both in recovery and online :) I'm sure your wife is too. And the sponsees and meeting buddies :)
    I love that the fellowship is an ever expanding field of participants. People we encounter along the way :)
    its very weird thinking I only started posting in the last decade as I feel like I've been doing it for ever :)
    I can't even remember off the top of my head what I was doing 10 years ago. The life I have now seems like the only life I know.. :)

    Heres to a better 2010 :)

  11. Very interesting! I hope the next decade brings you as much joy and change :)

  12. Now you have made me want to reflect. What a difference a decade makes..all in all I'm at the happiest and most content time of my life.

    Looking forward to another year of Syd's E,S,& H;)

  13. A truly amazing decade in many many ways. Thanks for sharing your reflections, Syd.

  14. You have such a wonderful way with words Syd. I love how you ran out of love, found it again and discovered recovery. I could really relate to that. Also the part about feeling like time is moving backward instead of forward sometimes. Thanks so much for sharing these reflections and inspiring some of my own.

  15. You wrote, "I decided somewhere along the way that having experiences in life are more important than thinking about them. That action is needed."

    Love it Syd. I agree wholeheartedly. I am ready to just be open to the experiences God has in store for me in the coming year.

    Loved your recap of the decade.


  16. I think that you've had an awesome decade, it got me to think about my Aught decade too, it was also the one in which I found recovery. This decade brought changes that the previous ones could not have foretold.

  17. Happy New Year Syd, to you and your loved ones.

  18. Your boat. You didn't mention your boat.

  19. So much accomplished in your life, losses absorbed, beginnings begun, life well lived one day at a time.
    I'm glad to have met you this past year.

  20. Tempus sure does Fugit! I, for one, am happy to leave the last 9 years behind. I finally feel some hope that we (as a nation) may make a concerted effort to be less greedy. I hope I live long enough to see some real changes.
    I really enjoy your blog and am happy that I found you. All the best for the New Year !

  21. Hi Syd. It's amazing how any point of time, whether a year or a decade, is simply a blip in the longer spectrum of life. I used to get so down when I would do a yearly review. Now, it's just something to be grateful for, and gives me perspective on the year to come. Have a Happy 2010.

  22. What a feast of a post Syd!You are truly a rich man of honest words and insightful thoughts.

    I am grateful for your blogship Syd.I look forwards to keeping in touch and supporting our blogging community into the new decade..
    starting with today :)

  23. Can't go wrong with that Ferris Bueller quote! Syd, thanks for sharing your decade with us. I am sorry for the losses you endured and inspired by the choices you've made on how to live your life. I am so glad I met you this year, you've made such an impact on my life!

    Happiest New Year!

  24. God bless and keep you and those you touch in the coming year :)

  25. May love and beauty follow you into the next decade dear friend. Happy New Years! (Hugs)Indigo

  26. Great Ferris quote to end the decade with...great movie.

    This post sums it up eloquently, when we look at the decade it's amazing all that has happened personally and in the world..thank you for reminding us Syd, you are a beautiful and amazing blogger and it's an honor to "know" you.

    Peace in the New Year.
    xo Gabi

  27. Thank you for sharing your reflections Syd - you have the true writer's skill, the ability to articulate what so many of us feel. Wishing you and your family peace, growth and happiness in the coming decade (the ONEder years - as identified by Frogdanger at Dancing with Frogs - an endless source of joy!)

  28. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Syd. It has been quite the decade... I can't believe how time flies. Tempus fugit, indeed.

    All the best for 2010.

  29. Hi Darlin'
    I'm playing catch up.
    Suggestion for your retirement:
    Do a personal photo book of dogs. Two things you really like!
    Happy new decade sweet Syd.

  30. Lots of insights Syd. I'm also grateful for the ability to change and the awareness to ask for a better life.

    I really had forgotten the panic that started off the decade.

    Nice to see some Latin right before the Bueller quote--couldn't get any better than that for me. :)


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