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Ten Lessons Learned in the 2010s

"2010s" sounds very strange, by the way.

As 2019 is coming to a close, I am both amazed at how quickly this year has gone by and also how much life has changed in the past decade.  Yes, I keep having to remind myself that we are, indeed, ending a decade!

I felt my spirit go back in time as I was re-reading my own 2009 "wrap-up post".  I was in school and still living at home at the time, and I guess I envisioned that "...come next decade... I will be in my mid-thirties, possibly 'married with children."  And here we are.  I have two beautiful children who have wholly amazed me, and I have been constantly working on maturing myself into the mother and partner that I want to be.

This is going to be one of those years where I won't be making lists of goals, because I'm very happy with most areas of my life and don't feel like I need to re-focus on them... for now.  As I just said, I am working on managing myself within my life's roles and am content with the progress.  Fitness-wise, I have settled into a moderate and regular routine that fits in with my current life.  The past me would be dissatisfied that I'm not out there doing more, but now I feel that I don't have anything to prove to anyone.  I'm happy with my current fitness level even if I have nothing to "show" for it.  I'm pretty comfortable in my skin right now, so I also don't have any weight-loss goals.  My career, on the other hand, is way behind where I wanted to be at this point, and while I hope that 2020 comes with more opportunities, I have competing priorities that make it difficult for me to make a plan to improve things. 

So I thought I'd wrap things up with another type of list, one that I hope in another 10 years, will make me smile and feel transported back to when I was in the thick of the early parenthood years.

Ten Lessons Learned in the 2010s

1. Speaking up doesn't mean people will dislike you, as long as you aren't being rude about it (and since this is 2019, extremely tactful, too.)  Some people might get defensive, but that has nothing to do with you.

2. Things like sleeping, staying home, and having an empty calendar are treasures.

3. Bodies are amazing.  As much as I used to berate mine for not running fast enough, not cramping mid-race, and for not being "thin enough," I have full respect for it now.  It created and fed two humans, recovered from a C-section and the second birth, and went on with itself as the vessel through which I live life.  Not everything is the same, but nonetheless, it carries me through the day, and I'm grateful for that.  I'm not sure how many more decades I'll be able to say that.

4. Achievements are relative.  I put myself fully into getting that doctorate, thinking it would "set" me for life.  However, since then, I have realized that I probably should have spent my time focusing on other things that might have set me up better, or even things that would have made me happier, even if short-lived.  Also, my greatest accomplishment was not that diploma -- it is my two babies. 

5. Things that are touted to be "healthy" may not be healthy at all.  At the beginning of the decade, I was all aboard the "oatmeal every morning" and "meat is bad for you" train.  Since the science on this is always changing, I won't go into specifics, but back when I was doing all the "healthy living" stuff, I was probably not very healthy at all.

6. Live your own life,  If you're not included in something, it might not mean anything, or if it means something, it just isn't worth the fuss.

7. Rats will chew almost anything.

8. Complaining does not make things go away.  What makes things go away is a combination of actions and time.  Complaining takes up valuable energy and mental space.

9. Things are not the same as they used to be, and that's completely fine/normal/good/expected.

10. Whatever you do for fun, enjoy it.  When it no longer becomes enjoyable, stop.  You can put so much energy into something you don't enjoy in order to garner a very disappointing amount of attention


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