The End of a Decade

I don't think it was until about 4 days before 2009 where I realized it was the end of a decade. I was just writing it off as another year, but really, it is truly the end of an era! I wonder if we'll have a radio station that plays the 2000's one day.

So when I started reading everyone's recap of the decade, I got to thinking of my own.

Ah, yes. When it turned 2000 and everyone thought we were going to die and all the computers in the world would fail, I was sitting in a newsroom, working, and the guy I was dating at the time was a jackass. There was a countdown, nothing happened, and we left and went home. Ho hum.

That makes me giggle.

So then a couple months later, I got an offer to move New York because they were closing our Florida bureau and my dad told me I wouldn't be able to afford the move and my mom secretly called me and whispered in the phone, "You HAVE to go, this is an opportunity of a lifetime!" And she was so right. I went.

I moved to New York City in 2000, I was 23, I became the manager of my department at a certain cable news channel, and I had the best time of my life. And I dumped that jackass, by the way. I still refuse to friend him on Facebook.

I spent the next new year in Times Square and that was the last new year before September 11th, when New York and our country would forever be changed.

When September 11th came, I spent two hours stuck in a subway underneath Manhattan, with hundreds of other passengers who thought it was just another wretched delay since there is no cell phone signal down there. When I finally got to the city and ran to the newsroom because I knew something was wrong, the first tower was falling and we all stood there in the basement of Rockefellar Center with our mouths open, dumbfounded.

Do we continue to work? We do.

The next four months were insane, between work and just how weird and quiet and solemn New York had become. New York was in mourning. I got a last minute plane ticket to fly home for Christmas for $100 roundtrip. Apparently the seats weren't filling.

The next two years I spent living it up, having fun, making 20-something year old mistakes and drinking too much and having a therapist because that was the thing to do at the time.

I left New York for Salt Lake City and a job as a writer for the Associated Press. Before now, I'd have said New York was the best time of my life, but believe it or not, Utah was just as fun. Maybe more. Because I'd learned that I could move to a city where I knew absolutely nothing and no one and do just fine. I made my first friends when I got sick of staying in by myself on a Saturday night, took a cab to a club, stood in line by myself. The bouncer was picking girls out of the line and telling us to come on in and he asked the two girls in front of me if we three were together and they grabbed me by the arm and said, "Yep!" and we went in. I made up some lie about waiting for a friend and I had that friend (who was really in New Jersey) call me and say she wasn't coming. I ended up hanging out with these two girls who would eventually fly to Florida to come to my wedding.

Oh, yes, I just realized I forgot to tell you where my husband fit into all of this! We had met in college, in 1990-something and had broken up 150 times before I finally left Florida (no, he was not The Jackass.) When I went to New York, he went somewhere overseas to live, but we still kept in touch through e-mail. Besides my parents, he was the first to contact me on September 11th.

He came back to the states and visited me in New York and we rekindled things. I kind of knew then that he really was the one, but he wasn't up for talking about that yet and wasn't sure about long distance. I was toying with the idea of moving back to Florida to get my Masters or finding a job somewhere else and I knew that since he wasn't jumping for joy about my coming back that I might as well take that really good job way out across the country. Yeah, that's right. I called his bluff. That was 2003.

In 2004, a year later, he ended my stay out in Utah by proposing on our weekend in Napa. Tricky fella. I really liked that job, too. So I moved back to Florida without a job, which by the way was so unlike me. 2004 was the year my husband lost his father to cancer and I lost my grandfather. It was a very emotional year.

In 2005, four months after I moved back to Florida, we were married. I freelanced for a while, we bought a house, I got pregnant and we had our preemie little boy in 2006.

I stayed home with him and when we celebrated our 2 year anniversary in 2007, I got knocked up again and had a full-term little man that fall! Funny how that works.

2008 I was still trying to figure out who I was as a mother, as a career-woman who no longer was, and I was staying home with both of these little boys. I learned about postpartum depression, I met some wonderful mommies from a preemie mom's group and I grew very, very close with my mother.

That's also the year that picture surfaced of me and I realized that I was on a terrible path toward obesity! My sister had gotten married and I was a huge bridesmaid! Huge! I was crying in dressing rooms, relatives didn't recognize me anymore, oh it was bad. My self-esteem was at an all-time low, my normal social self was now a recluse hiding behind my computer in fat clothes. So I logged onto the computer, found a 5k, did the Couch to 5k, put a question out into bloggyland, "Is anyone up for a Biggest Loser-Blog edition??" (and what do you know! They were!) I had some weight-loss challenges on my blog, I got about halfway there by losing 20-something pounds and celebrated 2009 by training for a half-marathon with my husband. Whew. That was close.

2009 was the year of fitness for me. I joined The Sisterhood. If I were a music artist, this would have been my 'breakout year.' I came out of my comfort zone and challenged myself to run, to do things like swim and bike and even try out a triathlon, and I met the most wonderful bloggers in the world! I came out of my shell, have almost gotten to my maintence weight and I did a lot of soul-searching. I had spent so much time searching for happiness through my work, my marriage, through my children, and when the dust finally settled, I finally found it when I found me. I can't explain it. It probably would have happened sooner if I realized that happiness was within me all along and that moving to New York or Utah wouldn't have changed that. But you learn a thing or two with age.

Which brings me to now.

If I'd have told that 20-something who moved to New York that I'd eventually be a stay at home mom who made her own babyfood, held babyshowers for NICU parents, would do a triathlon, would find peace and relaxation in things like baking and cooking and sewing and making tablescapes and namecards for holidays, I'd have fallen over in my chair.

So I don't know what 2010 holds for me. Or the decade of 2010. At the end of every year, I look back in disbelief at all that's happened or all that I'd made happen. I realized that even though so many things are not in my control, so many other things are. I know I had discovered that early on, but I never really believed that until 2009. So I take that with me into 2010 and hope that it carries me through, whatever 2010 holds in store for me.

In the end, I grew up in the 2000's. I have no regrets.
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