Monday, February 1, 2010

Ten Years

I realize that I am about a month late with a post on the past decade. The truth is, I was so caught up in the craziness that was December 2009, I didn't even realize until I caught up with some blog-reading in mid-January that we'd actually completed the first decade of the 21st century. (Or not, if you want to be a bit contrary about it. Nonetheless...)

I've spent the past few weeks thinking and praying a lot. Here are some of the thoughts that have bounced around in my head regarding the past ten years.

Ten years ago this month, DH and I closed on the house we are living in. We didn't move in right away. The lease on our apartment went through April, so we took this time to paint, to pull up the yucky carpet, and to have the floors refinished. We bought a 1600 sq. ft., 3 bedroom, 1 bath house. We now live in a 2350 sq. ft., 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath house (with a stadium in our basement). Our address has not changed. Though, our property taxes have.

Ten years ago this month, I left a job I hated working for the government and started a job I loved working for a co-dependent, emotionally manipulative, very unhappy woman. Two years and two months later, I left that job for the best job I've ever had. Even when everyone is cranky, the weather is terrible, and there is no relief in sight, I would not trade one minute of this life as a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of three for any job at any salary.

Ten years ago this coming September, I woke up in my parents' house, put on a white dress, walked down a tree-lined path on my father's arm, stood in front of the Barnegat Lighthouse, and promised to spend the rest of my life with the most loving, generous, creative man I know. Today, I am happier than that 20-something woman ever thought would be possible.

Ten years ago, I defined myself this way: feminist, pro-choice, Democrat, independent, spiritual but not religious, quasi-vegetarian. Today, I would define myself this way: Catholic, Wife, Mother, Homeschooler, pro-life, politically independent (though happier these days if I am a fairly uninformed independent), reluctant carnivore, writer, blogger, retreat director, and sinner trying my best to get to Heaven someday. Who says God doesn't have a plan (and a sense of humor about it all?)

Ten years ago, I wouldn't have run around the block to avoid an axe-wielding murderer. (Who am I kidding, one year ago, I wouldn't have done that!) Today, I run miles every single week, crave it when I can't, and am eyeing the race calendars, wondering when the weather will cooperate for me to get back out there.

Today, I write this post, sitting on my bed, laptop on my lap. My children are 7 1/2, nearly 6 (two more weeks!), and 4. Ten years from now, they will be 17 1/2 (almost off to college!! YIKES!), just about 16 (and driving! YIKES!!) and 14. I know they will change and grow in all sorts of ways over the next decade. I have no doubt that I will as well.

But, above all, what I hope, what I pray for, is this: ten years from now, I would like to be a woman who prays first and often, who exercises regularly, whose marriage of nearly 20 years is still strong, whose children are growing into all God intends them to be, and whose friends will still happily pour the margaritas and throw the bunco dice as we laugh and cry and see each other through all the changes a decade of living can bring.

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