We are coming up to the end of the year which is wonderful reflective time, but we are also coming up to the end of a decade. This morning I was trying to recollect where I was at the beginning of this decade and what my hopes and dreams might have been.
I was living in Memphis, and I was yet to purchase a home there. I had rented a little apartment on Carr Avenue. I lived above a couple who would eventually split. He was a drummer on the Memphis music scene who had a crush on the older women who lived upstairs. I, however, was still healing from a divorce and had absolutely no interest in entertaining any kind of male energy. I was single and, for the first time in my life, truly happy and content.
A decade seems to go by really fast. But when I started to look at the blog posts and pictures I have collected over these last 10 years, I realize a lot can happen. I’m still single, and I’m still in the learning and development field. But almost everything else has changed – often multiple times. I was miserable in my career in 2010 but pretty happy in my personal life. Now, my career is in a great place, and I feel content but not perfectly happy with my personal life.
In this decade, I lost my beloved Simba Kitty and acquired my anxious canine companion, Ashok. I bought and sold a house on the same street in Memphis, moved to Louisiana for three years and am now three years in a house in Michigan. I loved all three of these homes. I must say I am pretty lucky in finding homes that suit me. Lately, I’ve been noodling selling this one and getting a condo, but I’m still on the fence about that. I guess we’ll see what this decade brings.
My beautiful house in Memphis
The sweetest time of my life would have been about this time ten years ago. I was busy with my recovery work and rooted firmly in the present. I wasn’t anxious about meeting anybody new. I liked my life, and I was surrounded by loads of women friends and a few gay ones. My friend Michael was close by, and I could pop in anytime. Now, a visit with him is a plane flight or a very long drive and a long effort in coordinating schedules. One of my girlfriends completed suicide in this decade. It was a lesson for me to cherish the time we have with each other. No matter how close you are with a friend, there are often things you just don’t know.
I’ve probably built as many new relationships as I’ve lost. And, in this decade, I started losing more and more people to death. The tapestry of my life is changing rapidly as people exit once and for all. In 2009, I did not understand the brevity of a lifespan. I would not start to contemplate that until I turned 50. And even then it was still just an idea. I made a commitment to be more intentional with my time and efforts. I simplified, prioritized and consolidated – relationships, possessions, work goals and life dreams.
So here we are on the precipice of another decade. By the end of this one, I’ll be approaching 70. That’s sort of crazy to think about. I’ve considered lately renaming this blog Senior Moments, but, honestly, I just don’t feel it yet. I wonder if I ever will, or if I will always feel 16 or 22 or 35 inside. I know I will lose Ashok and Buster and maybe even Bella this decade. I consider going to teach overseas after I retire from my corporate life. I also noodle hiking the Appalachian Trail. I wonder about getting into a new relationship but it’s difficult to move in that direction. There’s so much water under the bridge in that area. It feels like I’d be choosing to drown. It would have to be the right person at the right time, I suppose.
My beautiful life in 2019….
I was happy and content in 2010 with my life. That ebbed and flowed in the past decade, but I have to say it was my happiest yet. Even when I was struggling with the variety of challenges I was dealt, I knew there was a path out. I never lost hope like I had in my younger years. I had learned in the previous decade that what we think might be the worst thing that could happen always has a silver lining. Often I have absolutely no clue what is best for me. So, I don’t try to control the agenda anymore. That seems to have made all the difference.
In this decade, I:
- Learned how to backpack.
- Experienced how meditation and yoga could take the place of my anti-depressants and literally change my brain.
- Got off all medications and began using Chinese medicine as a preventative health practice.
- Learned to balance physical activity and exercise with rest.
- Achieved peace in the war with my body.
- Learned how to manage my beautiful curls and establish a manageable relationship with them.
- Started writing Midlife Moments and experienced the carthatic results of writing about my life and not hiding who I am.
- Became comfortable with solo traveling and enjoying what the day brings.
- Backpacked Pictured Rocks Lakeshore.
- Became a functional manager in the field I love.
- Accepted that I will always have things I must improve, traits I will never be able to change and strengths that I should leverage to the hilt.
- Realized that life is truly short. I must be present.
What are your thoughts and memories about the past decade? What would you do differently? What did you learn? Who did you love and who did you let pass on by?