You may or may not have heard that the decade is ending. It has already been ten years since we partied like it was in fact 1999. I was 27 when the last decade ended, which seems impossibly young to me now. I had one child, a toddler, which also seems impossible. I had spent the last year of the nineties regaining my equilibrium and trying to assemble some sense of identity after the first year of motherhood threw me for a loop. I did okay, and it's a good thing, because the aughts had some surprises in store for me.
Would I write a letter, if I could, to 27 year old me to give her a heads up on the coming decade? If I did, what would it say? "In the next decade, you will have three more children, open and close a business that will destroy you financially, spend about 2/3 of the decade breastfeeding, gain 20 pounds, teach at three different schools, make new and lasting friendships with people who will become immeasurably important to you, reconnect with part of your past that was almost lost to you forever, take emotional risks that would terrify most people and be rewarded beyond your expectations, feel amazed on a daily basis that you managed to marry the perfect man, outgrow your house, abandon it for a bigger house that you love, read a lot of books but not write one (what are you waiting for?), survive life with a three year old four times (barely), and struggle with what feels like never-ending baby and toddlerhood, but through it all you will hold on to your intrinsically hopeful and optimistic nature. Mostly."
Maybe it would be more productive to write a letter to current me about the new decade. "Dear Sassy, I can't help but suggest that you get off your ass. Which, as you may have noticed, is barely fitting in those jeans. I'm just sayin'. But I don't just mean that you need to be physically less sedentary. You are coasting and you know it. You've always done this, and you know you feel better when you challenge yourself more. You should be writing. You should be approaching your job with more energy and creativity. Ditto for motherhood. Ten years from now you'll be pushing 50. What will you have to show for it?
Did you hear what I just said? Then why are you still sitting at the computer? Go!"
Alright, alright! Here's to the...whatever we're supposed to call this oddly numbered decade. Happy New Year to all of you. May the surprises of the next decade all be good ones.