I think everyone feels some sense of reflection and renewal around New Year's Day. Of course, I have my list of goals for 2011 (that's for another blog post), but it struck me that this isn't just a new year, but a new decade. Then I started thinking about how much can change in 10 years, and how much living can be done in that amount of time. So here it is, a decade's worth of reflection in this itty bitty blog post.
In the last 10 years I've LIVED:
-graduated college TWICE, with my bachelors and masters degrees.
-lived with my best friend on three different occasions: my sister, my Anna, and my husband.
-lived in 7 different homes
-learned that I am capable of living alone
-made some of the best friends I've ever had
-traveled to Spain, California, Hawaii (twice!), Mexico, NYC, Jamaica, Italy, Ireland, Las Vegas, just to name a few.
-taught hundreds of children
-overcame the fears I had as a first year teacher on the first day of school
-with my students I've wiped away tears, broken up fights, cracked jokes, created, danced, read, read, read, celebrated triumphs, perfected my "hairy eye ball" look, organized bake sales, raised money for the needy, organized Beta Club inductions, had parents yell at me, threaten me, hurt my feelings, enrage me with their lack of caring for their children, and also had parents encourage me, support me, and treat me like a member of their family.
-been honored to be named Reading Teacher of the Year at the elementary school where I worked.
-was maid of honor for my sister
-became an aunt (twice!)
-became a god mother
-worked as a camp counselor, at a zoo, at a restaurant, and as a teacher
-planned a wedding
-bought my first house
-left a job and a work place that I absolutely loved (twice- for two different reasons!)
-tried for what seemed like forever (a year, total) to get pregnant
-became a mommy
In the last decade, I've LOVED:
-I fell in love for the first time
-Had my heart broken for the first time, then the second time, then the third time...;)
-figured out how to play the "dating game"
-realized how absolutely awful I am at breaking up with people
-fell in love with my nieces Hannah and Bridget
-took a chance, trusted a friend, and ended up falling in love with the man who'd become my husband
-fell in love with my precious baby boy, the moment I saw the words "pregnant" on that little white stick
-cried with friends who'd lost loved ones
-grown to appreciate my family as the best friends and best support group I'll ever have
In the last decade, I've LOST:
-My Uncle Joe, also my god father and my mom's brother. He had the biggest smile and laugh. He was the oldest of her five siblings, was a post man, loved dogs, (especially German Shepherds) and has three wonderful children. Lung cancer.
-My Uncle Jimmy, my dad's brother. He was the youngest of his siblings. He was an expert flirt, and passionately pursued all of his dreams as a cheesecake chef, drummer and band member, taking karate. Also lung cancer.
-My Grandma Weakland, my mom's mom. She was petite, and wonderfully soft. She was so sweet to hug- squishy and wonderful, like grandmas should be. She was an amazing cook, my favorite being homemade chicken noodle soup made with egg noodles, piled on top of homemade buttery mashed potatoes. Mmmmm. Without fail, she'd always offer cookies to help me "finish my milk", loved ribbon candy, was a dynamo at Rummikub and kept her dentures in washed out margarine tubs. She raised six children, one of whom is my amazing mother.
-My Grandma Su, my dad's mom. She was theatrical, encouraged my passion for acting and theater, had fiery red hair, a loud, belly laugh that was contagious, and loved sweets. Her New York accent stuck with her to the end, as did her husband, my Papa Jack. She also raised six children, one of whom is my amazing father.
-My Grandpap Weakland, my mom's dad. He was an imposing figure who tended to intimidate me as a little kid, but who had this huge belly laugh. He worked with his hands, doing manual labor, to provide for his family. He loved to take pictures, and had orange trees at his house in Florida. He and my Grandma Weakland took me for ice cream, to the playground, swimming in their above ground pool, and dyed Easter Eggs with me.
This doesn't begin to cover how wonderful, devastating, challenging, and amazing the last ten years of my life has been. I hope and pray that the next ten can even live up to the last ten, and that I can work every day to be my best self and live my best life.
Cheers! Happy New Year!!
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