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.