Monday, January 4, 2010
Contrasting the Decades
We just hit a new decade last Friday. Or, as my husband insists, we are now just entering the last year of the decade, since AD would have started with year 1. Regardless, it's a banner year, because of the "0" at the end of it. My friend Sara wrote an email to me the other day and in it she contrasted her life between the last time the calender rolled to a "0" year and this time. So that made me start thinking of the contrasts between 10 years ago and now.
Of course, that was year 2000. And that was definitely a biggie. There were fears of Y2k and people were stockpiling water and non-perishables in their basement. I didn't do any of that. I was too busy!
As the millennium changed, I was the mother of 3 very little boys. You can see them above. I took that picture right after midnight on Jan. 1, 2000. Will was 5, Ben was 3, and David was 7 months. We had bought our first house 6 months earlier and were in the midst of renovations. Little did I know that would become a way of life for us! We're still in the midst of renovations, even though we're in a different house!
I was very involved in the church at the time. In fact, that's where that picture was taken. Once we had kids, we seemed to spend all our New Year's Eves at church. We still usually do, although we did not this year because Paul had to work. However, I did take and fetch Will and David from church that night! We're in a different church now and I am not nearly so involved as I was when we were in Council Bluffs. I don't have to be because it's a larger church. And that's a nice feeling, being able to just help out where and when I want. But even with that, I have still found myself over committed at times and am making a conscious effort now to scale back, which is why I haven't taken part in any ladies' Bible studies this year. So that may indicate that doing too much is a common occurrence in my life!
I was heavily involved with MOPS at the time of that picture. I still love that organization. I'm involved now, but in a different capacity. I'm just helping out with child care for a local group. This may be my last year of doing that. But at the time, MOPS was an absolute life-saver for me. I don't recall ever really feeling overwhelmed with motherhood, but I must have been because I would come away from every meetings feeling refreshed and ready to tackle motherhood once again.
I wasn't in as close of contact with my friends then as I am now. In fact, we had just purchased our very first computer just a few days before New Year's Eve, 1999. That changed everything! Suddenly, I could email friends. Later on, I discovered Yahoo groups and met friends that are still dear to me today. Now there's Facebook and -of course, my favorite - blogging!
My days were still pretty consumed with Ben's needs at the time. I didn't' have to do as much running around as I do now because his therapists still came to us at the time. But there were a lot of doctor's appointments. Ben had just taken his first steps about 5 months earlier and was still very wobbly. So, in this picture we were at the juncture where he fell repeatedly and had to be stitched up and glued over and over again. At this point, we still believed that Ben was going to be just fine down the road. We just needed to get him enough therapy to make up for his delays and all would be good later on. Of course, now, in 2010 we know better. I know at this time I couldn't go anywhere - not even for a quick run into the drugstore - without taking out and unfolding the double stroller and popping both boys into it. They were too little to ever leave alone in the van. I don't miss that!
I know I was pretty tired at this point of life. Just a month before this picture was taken David had ended up in the hospital overnight when I accidentally dosed him with Ben's sedative (for his severe eczema - a nightmare we were still dealing with at this point) - and simultaneously had given Ben a mouthful of baby food!
I know I didn't delight in my boys then like I do now. I complained a lot more about the work and energy that they took. I took their little lives for granted - even Ben's at times. Now I know differently. I still complain, but it's with more good humor. I learned in the last decade that nothing is a given or guaranteed, including children.
Oh, let's see - what else? My fashion sense, make-up and hair choices have improved greatly, I think, since 2000. I was in a bit of a fashion fog at that point! Just now, rooting around in my scrapbooks, looking for this picture, I had to shudder at my 2000 hair! I'm a lot more financially aware of things now. At that time, I knew nothing of our family finances and spending was always a point of contention between Paul and me. Now that's gone because I know more than he does about our finances!
I would say our marriage is probably 100% better now than it was then. We've both grown, matured, and become a lot more patient with eachother. Somewhere between 2000 and 2010 I quit trying to change my husband, and instead, focused on the changes I needed to make. That made all the difference in the world. It's a sweet life with him nowadays!
I think I'm a lot more confident these days. Oh, I'm still besieged by doubts at times with various things, but I can shake it off a lot more easily. I find it a lot easier to shrug my shoulders and not worry about what others think. I honestly like who I am. I don't like everything about me, of course, but those are areas I can change. The stuff that can't - I'm good with!
And spiritually, things are much better, which is how it should be. We should be able to look at each decade that passes and be grateful for our increased walk with the Lord. It's getting sweeter and closer. I especially like that. And I'm looking forward to the next decade of spiritual growth, I really am.
So, all in all, I'd have to say that life is definitely better now than it was as the new millennium dawned. It wasn't bad then, by any means, though. But, even with the struggles that I detail in my blogs, it's still a good life. I find myself looking forward now to 2020 - and 2011, 2012, 2013, and so on. By the time we get to the next decade, I'll be close to 50 years old. My boys will be 25, 23, 20, and 12. That will be different! And hopefully, I'll still have good hair...