Somebody on Facebook posted a "what were things like10 years ago" questionnaire, and it made me think. What were things like 10 years ago? Specifically, what was true 10 years ago that is no longer true? Well, ten years ago today:
I still had functional knees, or thought I did. In fact, they were fated to blow out over Memorial Day weekend, but in January I thought they were fine. (I have perfectly functional knees now, but not the ones that came with the set.)
My mother, Mary Jean Henderson Ivy, was still alive. This was another situation about to change; she went into the hospital on her 88th birthday (Jan. 12) and died before the month was out.
I was still working for a paycheck. This continued for another 7 years; but on Jan. 1, 2000 I was still working as a technician, I hadn't become an "architect/system designer." In fact, I spent New Year's Eve 1999 on an intercontinental conference call, as Bank of America technicians all over the world watched their systems roll successfully past the date change in real time, just as they had in all the endless time-machine tests we'd done over the previous year. Our department boss had promised to sing Auld Lang Syne on the phone call but he got cold feet, so I sang it.
My mother-in-law, Florence Ringland, was still alive. She died in 2003.
I'd never been to Wales, or New Zealand, or Banff. I'd never gone on vacation in a remote resort and had a forest fire start the day I arrived. (Yes, now I have, and someday I may even get the photos posted.)
I hadn't exercised regularly in 15 years. Boy, has that changed, and for the better.
I'd neved had private singing lessons. I took a few weeks of private singing instruction last summer and enjoyed it thoroughly.
My husband drank only socially. Now he doesn't drink at all, which is a vast improvement over the period where he was drinking unsocially.
So where am I now?
I'm retired, which means I don't get a paycheck; but I don't have to get up at oh-dark-hundred every day, either.
By most measures, I'm now definitely a "senior citizen," although I still don't qualify for either Medicare or full Social Security.
I'm managing 4 non-profit web sites, on 2 boards of directors, and volunteering at the Food Bank. I'm the techie-in-residence for LifeRing Secular Recovery, managing things like the office network.
I exercise regularly and walk enough that I've bought a pedometer.
I could stand a more human contact. Most of the communicating I do is either through email or on FaceBook, and while I love my FaceBook friends, reading a post on a computer screen isn't really a substitute for a chat over a cup of coffee. (Tea for me.) I may need to do something about that this year.
I may sign up for more singing lessons, too. I'm beginning to get that old urge to stand by the piano and sing 20th century standards (Kern, Gershwin, Porter, Berlin), if only in retirement homes. If I can find a pianist who'll work for free.
I'm not sorry to see 2009 go. Let's all work to make 2010 better than the last year; come on, that's a very low standard to exceed!