Where Will This Decade Take You?

Much is being made of our sitting on the cusp of another decade. I am old enough to remember the fuss and fanfare made at the turn of the millennia, and all of the unfounded fears that seemed to come along with it. The Big Y2K--and yes, I am aware of how lame it sounds now. So much superstition and futuristic fears being bandied about! All of the computers will fail--planes will crash and all electronics will stop working! Aliens will land and abduct us! The world may come to an end! So we partied like it was 1999 (Thank you, Prince). None of these fears came to fruition as far as I am aware, so we flipped the calendar page, swilled the last of the champagne and swept up the confetti without global catastrophe. I can't say I performed any self-examination at the time--blame the rose-colored goggles and self-centeredness of youth. Being a child of the 80's, I think we (I) expected to be wearing space suits and driving flying cars but the year 2000, so it was all a bit disappointing. I was really excited to experience the turning of a thousand years during my lifetime. Once a nerd, always a...well...you know...I am what I am.

It has been *gasp* twenty years since then, and here we face the dawn of a new decade. I didn't think much of the "new decade" until just a couple of weeks ago, and December is always so crazy that I haven't spent much time considering the idea of taking stock of the last one.

In the past decade, we lived in Kentucky, Ohio and Texas, and rounded out with our move to Pennsylvania. We added two beautiful daughters to our family during this time, and the boys just kept getting bigger. Lots of fun times--vacations and visits with family and joy and many celebrations, and lots of hard moments--learning and growing and changing, some of which have been really hard lessons, which I will share at a later time. And loss, too, with the passing of my mom in 2013. I have felt ALL the feelings during this last ten years, as I am sure is true in your life, too.

I have grown up a lot through all of this time. I think I have (largely) shed some of the fears and concern over other people's opinions. I can credit a lot of reasons, but I am just glad to be able to say it. All the hats I have tried on--some have fit, some haven't. I have become more myself in this past decade, and that feels good.

It has frequently been said that we overestimate what we can do in a year, and underestimate what we can do in a lifetime. I know this is true by anecdote--my daily calendar is chock full of stuff, but at the end of a week, I normally look around the house and wonder what actually was accomplished when the groceries need replenished (again) and the house is a wreck (again) and kids need picked up somewhere and dropped off somewhere else (again). I probably do not need to over-dissect the past 10 years to jump into the next. It was mostly mothering and focussing on my family, which we all understand means long days and years that pass quickly. Lots of experiences of frustration, but lots of grace and beauty in the mundane, as well.

When I started this blog, I was given some good advice that I ought to be writing the things I need to hear myself. Lucky for both of us, I need to hear a lot things. I need pretty steady encouragement to stay disciplined on some stuff, and to let some other stuff go. This seems like the perfect time to think on these things.

I want to spend some time this January laying some plans for the new year, and some goals/aims for the next 10. I may be the least qualified person to advise you on any sort of planning, so believe me when I say I am not telling you what to do. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants on most things (no comment on whether that is the best method), but whether you like to make bucket lists or mind map, or whatever brain-dump mechanism you like to employ, I would love to hear from you about what things made your list, or things you want to eliminate in your life. This is a great time to take stock of where you are in life, and whether it is where you WANT to be, and HOW you want to make moves to align these. Personally, I have a few things in mind already.

Will you join me in making this a thoughtful time? While my life (and I am guessing yours, too) moves at high speed much of the time, I really don't spend lots of time thinking about the bigger life questions.

I would like to write down a few questions/prompts for us to consider as we make our way into this next phase of our lives. Also, please share some ideas that you have for how/what you want to map out for yourself. Do you make a Word of the Year? I think that is a superb focus, but in my brain it is hard to distill all the ideas down to one word! I may have to work on that one.

I would love to hear from you! Jump over to the Facebook page and share your method or plans for this year and beyond. Let's keep the conversation and encouragement flowing!

Cheers to the New Year!

xo, Ann Marie

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