Whoa! The calendar flipped and we said good bye to an entire decade. Ten years used to seem like a long time, but today it seems like a little blip on the radar. As I started to plan out goals for the first year of the next decade, it seemed appropriate to look back at the last decade and evaluate. What were we up to from 2010 through 2019?
Looking at the Highlights
I started out the decade marrying the love of my life and having him adopt my beautiful baby girl. Not a bad way to start if I do say so myself. In 2010, Shaun earned his Master’s License and I finished work on my MBA, both big career accomplishments. I started my first big time HR job in 2011 and got pregnant with baby #2.
In 2012 we decide to really shake things up. We opened our electrical business right before our precious Alyssa Marie was born. Because I worked for super flexible people, I started working from home two days a week; perfect for a mom with two little ones. Insanity strikes and we buy a new house. Not just any house, a foreclosure in need of tons and tons of work. We are not worried about the work, because we are sure this is our forever home. In 2013, we do the foreclosure thing again and buy our happy little cabin in Northern Michigan.
It’s time to expand in 2014. We start planning and building our monster garage and get pregnant with baby #3. Things keep moving along in 2015. We finish the garage and Shaun Hunter is born. We also have family move back to Michigan from Tennessee and my baby brother gets married. My work once again shows they appreciate all of my effort and allow me to work from home 3 days a week.
In 2016 I became an Auntie, Isabelle Sarah brings me so much joy. Moving things along, the next year we keep working on the house, but move to the outside. At the end of 2017 my second niece joins the scene, love you Emma Rose. As if our own house is not enough work, we flip our first house in 2018. Business is good and I quit my HR gig with plans to help our business grow. We end the decade with my discovering a renewed love of writing and starting to blog and officially all 3 kiddos are in school.
If We Have Ups, We Will Have Downs
The thing about life is that there will always be ups and downs. The highlight reel is amazing, but there are also lessons to be learned and life to be had from the downs. Even more important than the low point is how we manage to pull ourselves back up.
Mariana’s school life and mental health were a huge struggle for our family over the last decade. It is hard to watch your child struggle. We struggled right along with her trying to figure out the next best step to take. It took six years, 3 doctors, 2 psychologists, a child psychiatrist, and I think 8 different med combinations to get us to a place of calm and steady improvement. How did we do it? We just kept moving forward. It was HARD! I shed millions of tears, yelled and screamed, pushed and pulled with every twist in the road. There were many days I questioned my ability to keep going, but I did it anyway. We are entering the next decade in a much better place than the last.
Another struggle, the job I loved was bought by new owners. The structure of what I built as a HR professional changed. New is not wrong, but it is different. Sometimes different is a blessing, in this case it was not a direction I wanted to go. So I leaped into the role of full time business owner and left HR behind, but with that leap came a pay cut for our family. The dynamic of life changed. We are making a loss into a gain. There is still a lot of growth that needs to take place, but I do not regret making the change.
Losing People is the Hardest
The highlight reel mentioned a new husband, 2 new babies for me, a new Sister-in-Law, and 2 more babies in my lovely nieces. If I went deeper into the family tree there were many more weddings and babies in the last decade. The family tree grew a lot over the last 10 years, but we also lost a few special branches.
During the last decade both Shaun and I lost our last living grandparent. My grandfather at the beginning of the decade and Shaun’s closer to the end. It is a milestone neither one of us wanted to embrace. Grandparents are the roots of the family tree. They are the start of the journey. It is hard to see them go, but it is our mission to keep the tree healthy and growing in their absence.
As the decade closed, we suddenly and without warning lost my mom; I never imagined that is how the decade would end. It would be easy to say 2019 was the worst year of my life, but I think that is too limiting. The last decade, specifically 2019, contained the worst event of my life to date. But I would be doing myself and the memory of my mother a disservice if I threw away the whole year because of it. I enter the New Year and the new decade with great sadness in my heart and a longing to find my way back to joy.
Take an Inventory
Time moves so fast. Our days are full and the calendar is packed. When is the last time you took a moment to look back at the week, month, year, or even decade and take an inventory? Take a minute and make your own highlight reel. Move on to the struggles and ask questions about what was learned and what growth took place. Celebrate the new life and spend time lamenting the loss. It is so easy to scrap a whole week because of one bad hour. Take an inventory and see the whole week outside of its lowest point. It might be surprising how many moments are allowed to run a muck, unsupervised, and destroy entire periods of time. Seek out the good and see the balance between the ups and downs.
A full decade in the books, now what? I took an inventory and am looking for where the next leg of the journey should take me. The options are many, but I have not chosen a direction as of today. It’s still early. There is lots of time to choose a direction for 2020. Whichever road I choose, I am ready to embrace the ups and downs and all around. Let’s go!
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