How will you welcome 2010?
Are you thinking of your New Year’s celebration, and getting ready to party hard? Or are you contemplating the past decade, assessing the ups and downs of ten tumultuous years on the world stage?
What about your own ten years in review?
As you prepare to greet the change in decade with 2010 less than two days off, will you assess your past years?
How will you score them, rate them, learn from them, or… will you ignore them?
The decade in review: world history
Some of us are sorting through memories, many of which are intertwined with staggering events in recent years. The millennium has seen heinous acts of terrorism, wars that continue on multiple fronts, the economy, which has slammed millions of families, and devastation from natural causes including the 2004 Tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina. These events have touched us globally, locally, and very personally.
Our historic moments have also included renewed pride in our country in the past year. We still have troubles and hard work ahead, but we have hope we didn’t have a few years back.
The decade in review: personal history
When it comes to personal history, are you tallying up wins and losses? Putting together a personal scorecard of sorts, to see how you’ve done?
Ten years is a long time; a great deal of life can “happen” – planned and unplanned. Some of us are seeking to make peace with ghosts, needing to dust off our positive attitude. Or we may be celebrating accomplishments we never expected. There may also be grief, missing those no longer with us, even as we give the nod to achievements and milestones, triumphs and joy.
I admit I spend a good deal of time examining my own motivations and actions, constantly evaluating.
Will you be using this time, like me, to gain self-awareness – knowledge of who you are, what you are, how well you’ve weathered storms, and what you’ve learned?
If you’re scoring victories and defeats, what do you consider a win?
- New additions to the family?
- Love? Marriage?
- Education? Achieving personal goals?
- Money? Assets?
- Your career?
- Your family? Your health?
How do you assign priorities to your wins? Are there extra points when you turn a loss into a win? Do the assessments of others factor into your score?
And on the liability side of your balance sheet, what would you include? Are losses more complex than wins?
- Death of a loved one?
- Relationships that end? Divorce?
- Loss of income, savings, retirement?
- Illness or injury?
- Personal and professional stalemates?
Where do lost dreams fit? What about beliefs that have been so tarnished you don’t think you can polish them up again?
Some of us fight to the bitter end, whatever the competition or battle. Others concede the game when loss seems inevitable. Which sort of person are you? Do you believe that as long as there’s still time on the clock, catching up is possible, no matter how many points down you may be?
Like many of us, I remember welcoming January 1, 2000. I had a husband I loved, two young children, and a well-established career. I had excelled in my field for 20 years, using my experience to negotiate a position working from a home office. It was a rarity then, and 10 years later, sadly, that remains true. I was a wife, a full time mother, a full time employee, a homemaker, a daughter, a sister, a friend. And I was a writer, though I didn’t own it, generally writing purely for business, and for myself – in the middle of the night.
My 10 years in review include losses that many have had to deal with, though perhaps not in quite so concentrated a period of time. They include deaths in the family, loss of my marriage, loss of home, multiple layoffs, frightening financial burdens, loss of friendships, lost opportunities, and lost physical capabilities.
But on the plus side stand my sons, and they’re spectacular.
The fact that I’m still here to see them growing into good men? This fills me with pride and purpose.
There have been other surprises – love – which eventually transformed into friendship, a bit of travel for freelance assignments, and I no longer write in the shadows. I’ve been published in periodicals I respect, have improved my skills, and I continue to learn.
And then there are angels – compassionate souls who have appeared seemingly from nowhere, sharing their time, their knowledge, and their caring, which they’ve extended to my sons, and to me.
Netting out the decade
So while the losses outnumber the wins, certainly on paper, perhaps scoring the decade is all about priorities. Those two remarkable young men I’ve been privileged to raise certainly fill out the “win” column – hands down. My sons have taught me strength; my angels have taught me grace.
Will I focus on the wins? You bet. I’m entering the new decade somewhat beleaguered and with a touch of cynicism, plenty of humility, and still – optimism. I will continue to insist: new year, new start. And I intend to greet 2010 with a glass of bubbly, my boys nearby, as many teenagers as care to gather here, and a bright smile.
- How would you score your decade?
- Does looking back help you look forward?
- Will you be raising a glass on New Year’s Eve?