I'm sitting here, on this last day of 2010, last day of a decade, and thinking about the new year.
I am in the midwest, so it is not even 7pm yet, still plenty of time to contemplate.
I thought about what I want for the new year and what I experienced over the last year, last ten years.
Ten years ago, waiting to bring in the new year, I was full of excitement, that was the year I graduated from the University of Iowa with my MBA and got married. And he got his PhD that year.
The chronicle of the ten years include things like graduating, moving, buying a house, starting a corporate job, losing a corporate job, having not one but two unexpected blessings in my girly girls, watching my three sons grow with two of them graduating and leaving home, losing someone immensely close to me, reconnecting with someone immeasurably close to me, making unexpected friends, being a part of history and watching that history being made, taking up the pen to find a national voice, nurturing life where it was threatening to end, and infusing an ancestral base to teach in different venues.
I also realized the years have felt like a roller coaster and I am still waiting to catch my breath.
There was rhetoric and the rise of everything from the social media reporting and news to iPods to eReaders to Facebook. We saw way too much reality television, a country brought to its knees with a crippling recession that threatens to still do more damage than 9/11 ever did, and too many loudmouths spouting too much racist, sexist, classist, and homophobic garbage on the radio, cable, television, and blogs.
The decade has been the one a lot of people would like to lock away and not look at again, there was just too much of too much everything. Again, the roller coaster. Citizens lost rights, cultures lost history, and class wars dominate.
I am hopeful, like many of us as we look ahead from the dark night of one year into the morning bright of another year, that we will collectively realize the precious gift of life, that it is to be cherished like a rare and unusual jewel, not squandered or wasted like a commodity that can be easily replaced at the corner grocery store.
One thing I have determined to do in the next year, next ten years, is not starve anymore. I'm not talking in the literal sense of food-to-mouth, in that I am blessed to be in this land of plenty (and sometimes, land of way too much), but in the spiritual, soulful, intimate, sense. There have been places in my life where I have been hungry to the point of pain waiting on someone else to fulfill a role or promise to feed me, I decided tonight that I am not waiting anymore, this life we have is to be lived and to the fullest extent possible. I'm still young and vibrant and hungry!
As we move from ten to eleven and ponder the year past and the one to come, some or all of us will have a moment of reflection, some people mend wrongs and heal hurts, others write down copious lists to be completed (and resolve to actually do it this time) and still others gather together to praise and honor the keeper of the day and night, and some, sadly, will barely make it into the new before their careless actions or careless actions of others snuff out their light before we see the new light, let us pause for a moment, while still in this ten, and feel where we have journeyed.
Ten to Eleven promises a new page, much like that shiny new planner or journal waiting to be filled with the record of days. In the promise is also an opportunity, a freshness, and a purpose.
Come, take the journey, and live fully the gift on this side of heaven!