Friday, January 8, 2010

Where did a decade go??

That was the question Isaiah asked me as we watched the ball drop, January 1, 2010.  I remembered quite well where the decade went, but I understood his question. The accomplishments of the 90's feel very clear.  We had life figured out.  It was a decade of many pleasant, life changing experiences. I graduated from college,moved to the U.S., went to graduate school, started a career, moved to Jamaica, got married, had a child and bought a house!  Perhaps the 90's represented us working towards and getting much of the stuff people typically set as goals.  We were steadily checking them off our list!  The external accomplishments.


The 2000's on the other hand, felt like smoke and mirrors  in many ways.  We discovered Jaedon's autism, lived apart in 2 separate countries for 2 years, then completely relocated to the U.S., sold our house, I became a stay-at-home  mom, Isaiah, having never worked for anyone but family in his life, got a job, we experienced our own personal recession, started a home business and started homeschooling.  That decade represents external and internal re-organization.  Much of  the accomplishments are somewhat invisible to all but those who know us well.  People on the periphery of our lives just saw the upheaval.  

I have some friends that have endured the renovation of their home for 2 years while living in it.  They replaced everything, including all the wiring, all the beams, re-insulated,'s a new house on the spot of their old house.  The challenge was living in the basement in the upheaval.  It was easy to lose sight of what is really happening,and why they were spending (a lot of) money to live in the basement of their house,with their stuff piled haphazardly around.  Last decade, I sometimes wondered the same thing.

This was Isaiah's first exposure to life in the U.S.,and his first experience of being on a budget.  I think I can safely say he had about 2 years of culture and economical shock..  I had a shock of my own.  Everything I had done previously was very obvious to everyone around me and I was used to being praised for my endevors at work, at church and in our community.  I didn't realize that what I did wasn't completely valid until others told me it was valid.  So, staying home, where the work was multiple times as hard, and the praise was zilch,was a personal shock to me too.  I felt such a sense of purpose and contentment when I was with the children, yet struggled with my community's response of incredulity,as they observed some of the choices we made.  I really wanted them to keep saying "You guys are amazing!" and they were saying "Bwoy...we couldn't do what you are doing" which didn't quite sound the same to me.   The limited number of reassuring voices was daunting.  If I wanted a pat on the back, I had to pay a professional!

Looking Through The Rubble....

It was a very useful upheaval.  I've discovered so many things, asked wonderful questions and found helpful answers.  I've gone through somewhat of a metamorphosis. Most things came relatively easily to me,before the 2000's. I've become more persistent, more tenacious than I was.  I would love to be even more persistent, to follow through and follow up on the things I would like to be doing, as well as persist in exploring the limits and obstacles in my path.  That will be my promise to myself for this decade.  More fundamentally, I developed a mentality I find difficult to describe.  It reminds me of my grandmother. She was a 'gangsta', a 'thug'. You know the type: relentless, determined, persistent, fierce, having a mentality that says there is no obstacle big enough, if this is something I really want.  Momsie was larger than life and I'm realizing that so am I!

Our New Building
So the 90's was like living in a beautiful building that seemed to meet all our needs.  The last decade was the gutting of that building to fortify and expand foundations, redo wiring and beams.  It's not a pretty sight to the outside world and the owners of the house can get distracted by the short (how short is short?) term upheaval.  This decade will be the construction of a whole new building, although I am sure there is still some gutting that will be done.  I'm really excited about that's ahead because I think the building will be even more beautiful and useful,certainly stronger,but also, it will be so much bigger and will serve, give shelter to many others, while keeping us dry and comfy in a variety of weather conditions..

Many construction projects get stalled. Resources run out or people change their minds.  I want to spend this month thinking about the resources needed for this project,the fuel I use as I go about my construction.  I really want to be intentional about having a steady supply and keeping my tank filled up.  I'll keep you posted on how that's going.

Thanks for listening to my new year musings.  Happy New Year!  The year isn't really new unless you are new, so make all your dreams come true in 2010 by continuing to be a New You every day!

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