In the past 10 years, I've finished college and graduate school. I met the love of my life and got married. Brian and I lived in four different states — moving all our belongings four times in a three-year span. We had our first child, adopted two dogs and created a wonderful home for ourselves in Lafayette, Ind. (a place I'd never have guessed I'd be living if someone asked me 10 years ago!)
The obvious highlights of my decade are Brian and Ellie. While Ellie just made it into the tail-end of the decade, I already have a hard time remembering what life was like without her. And I simply can't remember my life as a solo act. Brian and I have been such a great team for so long now! I hope we have decades and decades more time together.
I can remember, however, my life with my dad still in it. It's unbelievable that February will mark 10 years without him. Even though he died on Feb. 11, 2000, I can still feel him giving me a hug if I think about it hard enough. And I can picture his face when he laughed really hard at something. He would throw his head back and let out one of his signature belly laughs. It makes me smile every time I think about it. And my heart aches when I want to talk to him — I still remember his work phone number that I called all the time especially during my first semester away at college. And even though I can't share with him (in person) the amazing things from my life, and about Brian and Ellie, I try to think about those happy memories and share them with Brian. I hope I never forget that stuff and always feel like it was only yesterday that he was here.
I'm not sure what the next decade holds for me, Brian and Ellie. And I'm not big on resolutions, but here are some goals I have for the next year and maybe longer:
- Live more in the moment. I know that I worry too much. I even find myself worrying about the fact that I worry so much. I'm not expecting that to totally change, but I want to enjoy every second I have with my family and friends. And to do that, I need to relax a little more and have a little more faith.
- Spend more time outdoors and exercising. Brian and I spend too much time in front of the TV. And we waste too many sunny days. I want to teach Ellie (and the other kids I hope we have) to play, be creative and stay active. We need to lead by example. And I'm hoping as Ellie gets older, we'll have no more excuses for sitting on the couch when there's a whole lot of exploring we can do elsewhere.
- Complain less, appreciate more. Brian and I are both guilty of spending our nights complaining about rough patches in our days. I want to (try to) focus on the good parts more and the frustrating/annoying parts less. No, my job... family... bank account... life is never going to be perfect. And things won't always go according to plan. But we have a lot to be grateful for, and I need to remember that.