Yesterday I posted a youtube video with worldwide events/stories about past decade. That made me think about my past decade and I decided to I wanted to see it on paper. (Actually I would like a video of it, but writing it down is easier)
- 2000 – Regular running – with a short race every few months – continued to keep my sanity as it had for the past six years. Seventh year as owners of Meadow Gardens – large retail garden center that kept both Jerry and I working a zillion hours a week. Joshua (7th grade) started doing school at home.
- 2001– Also started teaching Joseph (6th grade) and Jonathan (2nd grade) at home. Sadden by 9/11. Realized I compromised more than I wanted to with never being able to go home from work (and having a hard time saying no) Meadow Gardens was on the same property as our house.
- 2002 – Took first family vacation in a decade. Loved it – reinforced my thinking that something in our life needs to change. Thrilled to get a call from developer wanting our property. Began dreaming of life beyond the stress of being business owners. Negotiations for property and business sale began.
- 2003 – Negotiations provided a roller coaster ride as they start and stop numerous times. November brings celebrating as papers are finally signed. Motorhome is bought and packed with necessities for about nine months of resting/relaxing/reconnecting as we travel across the country. Other stuff is put in storage and we hit the road – yes!
- 2004 – Best time of my life, endless summer as we road trip the southern states. Relaxing runs on the beach are heaven on earth. Worst time of my life begins in May – woke up from a ten day coma, in a California hospital. Learned I almost died and might never walk again. Legs/hips are a mess of fractures and soft tissues wounds. I don’t remember my first steps when I was two, but I’ll never forget my first steps when I was 38 that August. Docs are thrilled, but cautious – all say running won’t happen again.
- 2005 – Physical recovery goes well, but an emotional/spiritual hurricane hits with force as I try to come to terms with the pain/limitations/scars and their affect on my life. Death looks appealing. Wisdom from counselors and care from loved ones helps me cope. Begin writing my story.
- 2006 – Bump along between depression and gratitude. Experimental surgeries to reduce pain and increase mobility are successful – thank God! Slowly I get back to life, even walking and biking short distances. Joshua graduates from high school. Begin helping at church and in my community by organizing events. I start and stop writing my story many times. Thrilled to spend a few hours with author Philip Yancy in a ‘Living Room Conversation.’
- 2007 – Happy to spend a week in Florida with friend/family. Become Director of Women of Hope (my church’s women’s group) and we start iHope. I write sporadically. I learn to live in the tension of celebrating the miracles that happened, while being honest about grieving the disappointments I continue to live with.
- 2008 – Don’t like the pain I live with, so I try another surgery. Thank God, it’s successful and allows me to stop taking pain meds and begin walking more. Running begins to look possible. In April – just God and I on a trail – I run again! It feels odd and hurts, but I can run. Step-by-step I get stronger and the pain subsides. Joseph graduates from high school. October brought sadness as I said good-bye to my younger sister.
- 2009 – Started a running club with a friend and showed my scared legs to the world for the first time. Local paper did an article about me. Went to Synergy Conference in Florida and met my namesake. Completed 4.6 miles in a marathon relay. Began writing more seriously. Attended STORY conference in October. Email with “Welcome to Dream Year” in subject ends the decade on a high note.
If I picked one word to describe this past decade for me … it would be change. Everything changed in this decade – from my career to my physical body to my views about wine, religion and politics.