As the "aughts" or the "zeroes" or whatever you want to call them come to a close, it seems to me that everyone's looking back over the past ten years with a lot of negativity. I actually saw an ABC Nightly News segment last week titled, "making a resolution to forget the past ten years". Wow. That's sad.
It has been a difficult decade, no doubt. 9/11, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Tsunami in 2004, Hurricane Katrina, the crash of the economy, etc... But we can't really forget. And even if we could, how would that benefit anyone? Hasn't anything good come out of the past decade?
In looking back over the past ten years of my life there are a lot of things I wish I could forget, or change...but I can't do that either. It has been quite a roller coaster to say the least, and to really get into the details I will have to write a book. I think I'm going to call it, "OMG! WTF?!" Well, maybe not...but that title is fitting.
Here are some of the major events:
2000: I got married and began a whole new life, sort of. Well, I got married.
2001: A month after 9/11, which changed everyone's world forever, I found out I was pregnant with Kate.
2002: Kate was born and changed my world forever - in the most wonderfully amazing way.
2003: I quit my job to become a stay-at-home mom (an extremely difficult transition, but one I'm glad I made) and found out a few days later I was pregnant with Peter.
2004: Peter was born, adding more love and wonderment to my life. 2 months later my family moved from Buffalo to Pittsburgh (another enormously challenging transition...especially because we knew NO ONE here).
2005: I figured out my husband, Steve, was gay. (this is where the OMG!, WTF?! part begins) He was not ready to admit it. I had a ten-month-old and a two-year-old and no job. I realized a divorce was on the horizon and I freaked out!
2006: Steve admitted he was gay so we separated. This, in and of itself, wasn't so bad. We managed to support each other and remain friends.
Re-entering the dating scene at that point in my life, however, was crazy. OMG!
2007: Steve moved back to Buffalo and I learned what it's really like to be a single parent. Fortunately, I had the best kids ever so they made it as easy for me as possible.
2008: This year was the only one of the decade that was relatively stable and somewhat uneventful. My kids and I really started to figure out how to be a family of three, spent lots of time with good friends and truly enjoyed our lives together.
2009: My kids died. Again, OMG!!! WTF?!!!! Things were just getting good. We made it through the divorce, Steve and I were able to stay friends, my kids and I were doing well and that happened?! Seriously?!!!
So, yes, in some ways it might seem like the decade to forget. But I can't. And neither can anyone else...at least not without some major drugs or a lobotomy. And if we could forget the bad, then we would lose all the good too! Even with all the shit that's gone down over the past ten years we're still here (at least those of us reading this are) so we might as well make the best of it.
When I figure out exactly how to make things better, I'll let you know. I'm committed to it. Seriously. For now, let me suggest that we all take a look at the past ten years and focus on the good, not the bad. And if we must think about the bad, let's figure out what lessons we can learn and how we've become stronger because of everything.
My New Year's resolution is to, EVERY DAY, come up with 10 things I'm thankful for. I know it's still 2009, but I'm going to start now. This may not be easy, but I'm giving it my best shot.
Here are 10 things I'm thankful for from the past decade:
1. My marriage to Steve. This may sound crazy because it turns out he's gay and now we're divorced, but I know I wouldn't be who I am today without him, and I certainly would've never known my kids.
2. Kate (there's so much about her to be thankful for, I can't possible write it all here...I'll put it in the book)
3. Peter (ditto)
4. My amazing friends and family.
5. Growing and changing spiritually. Being able to have faith that the universe is unfolding as it should, even when it doesn't seem that way.
6. Moving to Pittsburgh, which I am convinced is the best place in the world to live!
7. The hundreds of people who have supported me and helped me...especially over the past 9 months.
8. My health and the fact that I've actually gotten healthier in the past 10 years.
9. My therapist. I don't know that I'd still be here without her.
10. Hope, for more things to be thankful for in the coming years. And hope that someday I will be with my kids again!