good bye 2009, good bye decade

December 31, 2009 |  Category:   life

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I wasn’t going to do one of those photo retrospectives from the past year, but my friend Nita once said that no matter how many people start reading your blog, keep writing for yourself. Good advice, so well, here we are.

Time Magazine declared this the worst decade ever. Have to admit it took me by surprise, but when you consider that we started and ended the decade in deep recessions, suffered through 9/11, the Bush years, war (remember Shock and Awe? Ugh), monumentally tragic natural disasters, the disintegration of industries and jobs, well…when you put it that way, yeah, I guess the 2000s did suck.

On a personal level, this decade did not suck, but then again, moving from your 20s into your 30s meant that we became adults for real, and in that respect was totally different from the 90s when we could still consider ourselves kids to some degree. In this decade, I graduated from grad school, got married, had kids, bought an apartment, took out life insurance, started a business. In other words, I got all responsible and really grew up. No, the 2000s did not suck.

As for 2009, I don’t think we will ever forget watching the historic inauguration of President Obama at the beginning of the year. It was quite something, wasn’t it? Made you glad to be alive to witness something so significant in our lifetime.

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The second year of our business went as hoped and expected. We got more press and doubled our sales from our first year (though there were some painfully slow market days in the summer). I feel, however, like we coasted along trying to keep afloat and not get behind on orders, so there was little time to reflect, evaluate and make any changes or additions. This is what happens sometimes when you’re small and you’re doing every aspect of the work. Can’t necessarily be an R&D department when you’re also the delivery man and the Post Office runner. In this regard, nothing changed from the first year. Not sure how we can make any significant changes for the next year without sacrificing something. We shall see.

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Hard to imagine the hot days of summer when we’re so entrenched in snow and cold right now…and winter is just beginning. But I look back at these photos from our vacation and they instantly take me back to August, typically the slowest month for business, when life was more loose and carefree. We didn’t go very far or anywhere fancy or new. We just rented a house on the North Fork of Long Island, but it was the first time that we took a vacation with just the 4 of us, not visiting any family or having family tag along on our trips. When I look back on this year, what I remember is a whole lot of work, but this sole week in August, when we shut everything down, stands out as a week to savor. I can STILL smell the lavender from that field!

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If the beginning of the year was marked by the collective excitement and hope of the inauguration of Obama’s presidency which we universally experienced together in our communities and also as a nation, then the death of Michael Jackson mid-year was the day we all remembered exactly where we were when we heard the news. Many of us experienced it together online. These 2 events are what I will remember most about 2009. Not even I could have predicted how hard MJ’s death would hit me. I still don’t fully understand why and I’ve quit trying to figure out what this is about. It just is. At this point it’s beyond the music, the videos and the life-long connection which started as early as my first childhood memories can recollect. Maybe it’s about the resurfacing anger at the disappointing realization that so-called journalism and stories fed to us by the media are often motivated by dollar signs, greed and the fear of power; that in order to know the truth you have to open your eyes and seek out the truth. I know there are some of you out there that know exactly what I mean. Or maybe it is just the loss of a big part of my childhood like so many people are saying. Whatever it is, it makes me profoundly sad. But after finding my original Thriller record in the basement of my parent’s house over Christmas weekend, I feel like I did regain a tiny bit of my childhood back.

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This Fall, a few milestones for Mia: the first day of Kindergarten, the loss of a first tooth, reading a book by herself from cover to cover. And Claudine? Still continues to charm everyone she lets her guard down with (but unlike Mia, you have to earn it). Finally, one day after 3 months, she went to her drop off playgroup without trepidation and tears. Maybe there is hope that preschool next year won’t be such an exercise in painful, traumatic separation.

Once the holiday season hit, the days became a blur of cookies and boxes. And now…we’re at the last few hours of the year.

The start of any decade marks a milestone birthday for me and 2010 will be no different. It doesn’t really change anything though does it, but it does make you pause in its significance, even if it’s only a number. In 4 months I’ll be 40 (I told you I was old, didn’t I?). I am thoroughly curious to discover what’s in store for all of us in the new year and decade. Let’s make it count. If I learned anything from this past year, the events of 2009 taught me that. Happy New Year to all.

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  • sarahwl December 31, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    thank you Jenna for your always thoughtful and inspiring writings. you may be doing this for yourself, but I feel lucky that you’ve decided to share these memories and ponderings with the rest of us. best to you and your family in the new year!

  • christina December 31, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    what a beautiful post. you’re absolutely right–2009 did not suck in many ways. thanks for reminding me. happy new year!

  • Raquel January 1, 2010 at 12:01 am

    great snaps!
    happy new year!

  • CER January 1, 2010 at 1:07 am

    happy new year to you & yours jenna..!

    i’ll tell ya — i had a horrible evening & am feeling a bit bruised & battered. trying to simply breathe & not to continue thinking the worst, so i wandered over to your internet space. this was a really nice entry & put my head in a good spot again — your photography is always a joy, simple & clean. many thanks for writing [for yourself]. `;o)

  • Chai Ling January 1, 2010 at 2:57 am

    2009 contained alot of good moments for me. My hubby and I got married, siblings did well in school and that includes found your blog through Lecia’s link.

    Fancy meeting you here, Jenna. Thank you for sharing all the precious moments of you and yours. I love Mia; husband loves Claudine πŸ™‚

    Wishing you and family a happy, healthy and hooray 2010!

  • Lara January 1, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Beautiful, Jenna. Happy New Year to you, Mark, Mia and Claudine!

  • Jeanny January 1, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Jenna, happy new year, happy new decade to you and your lovely little family. I’ve been enjoying your posts a lot and would definitely order some of your sweet treats (just don’t know how marshmallows “change” during a flight from N.Y. to Bremen/Germany :)).

  • dawn January 1, 2010 at 7:34 am

    lovely pictures. and remember 40 is not old~ it’s the new 30 πŸ™‚ happy new year to you and yours!

  • Christie January 1, 2010 at 9:25 am

    You not only take beautiful pictures, but you are an incredibly gifted writer, as well. Everything you said about Michael Jackson really resonates with me. I feel the exact same way. I love the way you express yourself time and time again. It’s so clear and precise, Jenna. I wish you & your family all the best. Please continue doing what you are doing. I love, love, love this blog.

  • Tamara (from Austria) January 1, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Jenna, thank you for sharing personal stories and photos through your blog (Your last post was just hilarious and so cute). Your blog has become one of my favorites. Wish you and your family just the best for 2010!!

  • Lecia/A Day That is Dessert January 1, 2010 at 11:27 am

    I had many of the thoughts you expressed over the course of the past week – thank you for articulating them so well. The past decade was also one of growing up for me in many of the same ways. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  • Chery January 1, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Happy New Year! Best wishes to you and your family for 2010!!
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos and stories.

    Cheers !

  • hammocks January 1, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Jenna,

    I know we joked about this just a couple weeks ago, but I’m grateful that you do blog. Often, I come over here first when I’m catching up on my blog reading and find that you have said something that really resonates with me..or often puts me at ease. It can be rough in this small business boat, wearing every single hat, but having a community really helps. Glad you’re blogging for you, but of course you know you’re blogging for so many more than you know πŸ™‚

    Catch you on the tweet side!

    Karen

  • .amanda. January 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    reading this post brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. Life is a fleeting and beautiful thing and you have captured this delight so wonderfully. I fondly remember reading your August posts and may it be because it is my favorite time of year, I too have special thoughts about the summer. I look forward to your girls growing, your business soaring and your blog continuing.

    Happy New Year!
    xo

  • Nina January 1, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    My goodness I can’t get over mia’s photo with the birthday banner behind her! awesome picture!

  • Dinah January 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Loved this post. Happy New Year, Jenna! And to Mark and Mia and Ms. Claudine, too. Joy and health and prosperity and all kinds of wunnerfulness to you all.

  • janet January 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    wonderful post!! happy and blessed new year to you and your family…

  • Claudia January 1, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    IΒ΄m so glad that I could follow all the these events that you reviewed in this post through your blog. As I told you before, reading Sweet Fine Day is part of my daily routine and in the most of the times I identify myself with your stories and reflections expressed through your posts. I wish to you, Mark and girls a really Happy New Year, with a lot of love, health, new great happenings with the kids and, why not, much success and prosperity to Whimsy&Spice!

  • chris January 1, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Lovely pictures (of course) and interesting post. I was moved not by MJ’s death (of drug overdose and personal weakness), but rather by Farrah’s (who died on the same day as MJ) and her long struggle against cancer – something, unfortunately, some of us will face in the future, either ourselves or our loved ones. The discussion of media and its motivation by greed was also interesting and I will stretch the implications a bit further. How does that apply to the Obama-fawning and the lack of truths (in the “mainstream” media) about his shady associations and dealings, most particularly those which will cost our children billions in the years to come and ruin old age/retirement for many? While most had a fairly good 2009, on a personal level, I certainly do hope we all have a healthy and prosperous 2010, and new decade, although there are many doubts which loom, given the fact that “O” has spent more in his first year than all the presidents combined up until his service (if you can call it service…maybe self-service).

  • Shanessence January 3, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Happy 2010 to Jenna, Mark, Mia and Claudine! Best wishes – thanks for sharing your lovely thoughts with us.

  • patricia January 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Wonderful post Jenna! What a beautiful year you had.
    I’ll be joining you in the 4-0 club in 5 months. πŸ˜‰

  • RJ January 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I love this. Happy New Year Jenna + Mark + Mia + Claudine!

  • Beth January 4, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months now and just wanted to send out my best to you in 2010. Your pictures capture such a wonderful spirit. And, it must be said, your kids are the coolest dressers I have ever seen. How do you keep them out of the mauve/pink crap that seems to be a universal uniform for girls? They always look so fashionably laid back.

  • Nanna Luna March 4, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Those cupcakes looks delicious, are they homemade?!:)

  • Jenna March 4, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Nanna, they are homemade…

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