Hey – did you know that it’s going to be 2010 in a little while? And oh, hey – did you know that it’s going to be a new decade, too? Honestly, I don’t pay attention to the years enough to be aware of the fact that this is a new decade that we’re entering. I guess that’s somewhat exciting, but it makes you reflect back on what the last ten years gave to (and took away from) all of us…
Personally, the biggest event for me in the last decade was my Father’s passing. I suppose that anyone who has lost a parent would understand how that’s a huge event in a person’s life. So in terms of what the biggest event of the last ten years was for me – it was definitely losing my Dad to Alzheimer’s and lung cancer.
However, let’s try to think happy thoughts as this year and this decade come to a close. Some big, happy events for me in the last ten years include being the first in my family to graduate from college and then the first in my family to graduate from Graduate School. Those two days were pretty great (although the undergraduate graduation ceremony itself wasn’t really that great since it was a downpour and they messed up the reserved parking for my family). I was also pretty excited to be my buddy’s best man at his wedding this past summer – so that ranks up there somewhere in the Top 10 moments of the last decade for me.
I’d also put the announcement that my older brother was engaged as well as my younger brother’s graduation from high school on that list (those events are always fun). I was also glad to be hired by the current company that I work for as well as the local college to do some teaching. I’ll be beginning the New Year teaching an online course at a second college, but I was hired by that college a few months ago so it still counts as an event for this decade.
The last decade also introduced me to the realities of trying to be healthy in a fast-paced professional world. I went from weighing some 385 pounds when I graduated college in 2003 to weighing 260 pounds by the summer of 2005 – that’s a 125 pound weight loss. I worked out and ate less (I didn’t really “diet” – I just controlled my portions) for about a year starting in March 2004 and ending with my gall bladder being removed in June 2005. My doctor told me that my gall bladder was creating huge gallstones because I lost too much weight too fast. You just can’t win, right? Since the summer of 2005, I’ve gained back about 80 pounds. I attribute that weight gain to getting hired full time in the summer of 2006 in a location that was an hour’s drive from my house. In other words, the two hours that I used to spend in the gym each day I now spend in the car…sitting…doing nothing. Not good. Plus, two or three nights during the week I wind up at the local college either taking a class or teaching a class. In the coming decade (really in the coming year), I have to figure out how to spend more time in the gym.
Finally, like the rest of America I would suggest that September 11th was a major turning point in all of our lives. It made us realize that there is real evil in this world and that those evil people don’t like the idea of America so they choose to attack that idea as it is manifested each and every day – in other words, they choose to attack innocent people.
Let’s hope for greater prosperity in 2010 and for the whole upcoming decade!