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.
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.
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!
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.
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.