Decade in Review

I don't even know if I'll end up posting this, but I just read Lynn's and thought I'd give it a shot.

2009: I started a blog (one of the best decisions of my entire life); Angus went into grade 3, Eve into senior kindergarten; Matt traveled a lot; I reviewed a lot of books; Both kids played baseball and Matt tried to get Eve to play hockey even though she did two rounds of Can Skate and, well, still couldn't; We did an epic road trip to the East coast with our four-family friend group, partly because we knew Angus would probably be playing summer baseball soon, and it was absolutely wonderful; I did NaBloPoMo for the first time which led to me meeting someone from online in person for the first time AND doing World Trivia Night with Lynn for the first time (and not being found dead in an alley, as was my husband's fear when I went skipping off to meet a 'friend from the internet').

2010: Eve started a short-lived Irish dancing experiment, which was fine but we both sensed it wasn't going to be a long-term thing, unlike for one of our close friends who now competes at a national level. "It's kind of same-ish" said little Eve, "and I'm more of a free-styler"; I signed up for the very first course in my library tech diploma, unsure if I would ever finish it and get an actual related job (spoiler alert I TOTALLY DID); I started getting books mailed to me for review by publishers - this seemed insanely cool for a bit, and then turned into a giant pain in the ass; Eve had a fairy that lived in her bookcase headboard and I kept the magic going for a good while and then she found something in my drawer that was fairy-related and she was fine and I was devastated; Angus was still playing hockey and the 6 a.m. ice times were killing us, but he got a hat trick a couple of times which SORT OF made it all worthwhile.

2011: I did my first version of a year-end book review list which kind of Started Something; We went on a Disney cruise with my mom and dad and my sister's family; both kids were in piano lessons, which we have since termed "a dark time in our family's history"; I did a treetop course of climbing and whimpering and ziplining with friends - one thing in a long list of friends spurring me on to do things that terrify me and me being alternately grateful and filled with anger and loathing; we took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Montreal for March break to see the Biodome and laugh at our GPS's pronunciation of French street names; Angus got a fire-red fauxhawk for hockey playoffs; Eve wore a polar-bear hat non-stop for all of the winter months.

2012: Angus moved to a new school for grade seven, which made me sad because we LOVED their elementary school, but the high school has also been pretty great. We took a family vacation to St. Lucia and it was glorious. We met a nice family from Ontario but mostly we hung out together and really enjoyed it. The tour we took was one of our favourite ever; I did my first writing challenge, something called the Scintilla project, and it was incredibly rewarding, but I still never did another one because I'm just not that bright; I went to BlogHer in New York and roomed with Marilyn and it was an amazing experience that I never felt the need to repeat, but I'm so happy I did it. We went for a walk in Central Park in August and it is the wettest I have ever been while still wearing clothes; Eve switched to a much more process-based dance company and loved it and I loved hanging out with a couple of really great mothers at Chapters the nights our daughters danced; I did an overnight sleep study and found out I have chronic severe sleep apnea and was told that I might lose a bunch of weight, wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed every morning and be able to go off my anti-depressants -  none of that happened, but I snore less, so yay for Matt I guess?

2013: We had a lovely downtown family getaway for Winterlude and stayed in a hotel and it was magical - the next day I woke up with the flu and it was appallingly bad except for the time I thought I had turned into Spiderman; We visited Matt's brother and his wife and their wonderful children in Alberta and went to Drumheller and were sad that they don't live closer as always; I went to Blissdom (Ontario blogging conference) and got to squish Nicole and Hannah (HI NICOLE AND HANNAH) in person for the very first time, and it was everything I had imagined and more; LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES, BABY - one of the defining experiences of my son's life; We lost Matt's Grandpa, who was a wonderful, wonderful man and closer to me than my own grandparents, and it was heartbreaking but coming together for his funeral was really lovely and we laughed more than I would have expected.

2014: Another family vacation with my sister's family and my parents (I didn't think we traveled this much, we are bougie as fuck) to the Dominican Republic that was wonderful of course, and notable because we were the friendly Canadians among a sea of surly European tourists and the resort staff mentioned it appreciatively several times; Eve took a Glee class at a nearby studio and sang in public for the first time, which took major fortitude; Hannah and Nicole and I went to Blissdom again and we still loved hanging out but the conference had lost its lustre a bit; We went camping for the first time with our friends who always go camping, tent and all, and my sister demanded photographic proof, and we've done it EVERY YEAR SINCE; I started my post series wherein I was going to review all the Newbery Award winners (spoiler alert: I have not).

2015: We brought Puppy Lucy home on Eve's 12th birthday - first dog for me and the kids, fourth for Matt. Matt and Angus were both indifferent until Lucy got here, whereupon they both became the dog's bitch; I went to Bluesfest for the first time since I had kids, and I brought Eve, and it's turned into one of our favourite yearly events; Eve joined Angus at the high school for grade seven and had funny stories about her homeroom group wandering the halls looking for classes and getting lost in construction zones; she also had some absolutely dreadful teachers and was admirably resilient in the fact of some unbelievable malpractice; Angus took a cooking class and became a world-class omelet maker.

2016: We went to Mexico with the same group we went out east with (we didn't go anywhere in 2015, we're not that spoiled, shut up). I got bamboozled into an excursion where there was rappelling into an underwater cave (as Hannah put it "YOU ROPE-CLIMBED INTO THE HELLMOUTH?) and ziplining; I read at Blogging Out Loud for the fourth (?) and last time because it had kind of run its course, which is sad; Eve had the exact opposite experience to the year before i.e. had the best teachers EVER; She also joined the school band playing the clarinet and finally found her instrument; Eve and I had a free week-end in the summer and some airmiles to burn so flew to Halifax for a really lovely week-end with old friends, walks along the water, live music and some funny driving misadventures; It seemed impossible that Trump would get elected, and then Trump got elected, wtf?

2017: I did my last work placement at the Ottawa Public Library, at three branches fairly close to me. It was fun and challenging and rewarding and scary because when I was done I would be ready to look for (gulp) an actual job; I went axe-throwing for the first time; and the second time. I rock at axe-throwing; I went on a work trip with Matt because the work trip was to Hawaii. Hawaii is, um, very nice; I applied for a job at Indigo figuring I could work there while looking for library work AND THEY REJECTED ME. This turned out to be a good thing, but wow, it stung at the time; Angus played on the high school volleyball team and they won the district championships - I went to the final and it was very exciting and very, very loud; I showed up for an exam at Algonquin, realized it was open book and I had NOT BROUGHT THE BOOK (I swear I'm usually really good at following instructions), still got 85%, ba-BAM; I had an interview to be put on the casual list for school librarian-ing and they did NOT reject me, even though I got lost several times looking for the interview location and arrived in Quite a State.

2018: I started working as a casual library tech in the Ottawa School Board. It was mostly really fun, with moments of confusion and sheer terror thrown in to make it exciting; I didn't blog for February or March, was briefly worried I had lost the desire to blog, then realized it was just depression and perimenopausal brain fog lying to me, which doesn't solve everything, but does mean I didn't quit blogging; In the fall I got an actual one-day permanent position in a school library, and the another actual one-day permanent position at another school library, and this has improved my life (without overwhelming easily-overwhelmed me) immeasurably. I still sub, but those two days and those classes are MINE, and it's quite dream-come-trueish, if that doesn't sound to cheesy (even if it does, honestly); A couple friends and I took a selection of our kids to Toronto for Ripley's Aquarium, The Old Spaghetti Factory and Canada's Wonderland in the all-day absolutely torrential downpouring rain, which is more fun than it sounds. Matt's Nana died - she was an exceptional woman and I miss her more than I can adequately describe. Angus went away to Elmira College in New York in the fall, which was a wild roller coaster of emotions, but he was happy so we were happy (also heartbroken and bereft and terribly, terribly sad, but also happy).

2019: I had fibroid surgery in January and a really bad bout of influenza in March, so the year started off a bit rough physically, but I also finally got treatment for the bone spur in my right foot; We went to a freezing cold baseball tournament just over the border in Canton and froze and got sunburned and fumed at the assholery of the other team, but the boys won and Angus pitched a last inning and did better than he had for months, so it was worth it; Angus came home for the summer and played baseball in Ottawa, came camping with us and hung out a bit, then went back for his second year and is settled in magnificently, doing well in school and baseball and has a lovely girlfriend who visited in the summer and completely charmed all of us; Eve was in the school musical of The Addams Family and the kids and teachers worked SO HARD on it and it was mind-blowingly well done; my blogging lagged badly again, but then I met a few new friends who are blogging regularly and right now I feel more engaged with blogging than I have in years. We'll see how that goes. I did my tenth year of NaBloPoMo. I did my tenth World Trivia Night with Lynn. I had my first endoscopy. I was employed part-time for the first full year (well, will be when I finish the school year).

Whew. I don't blame anyone who didn't feel like reading all of that. This decade wasn't quite as transformational as the last, which began with us making a whole new human that we were expected to keep alive (and then another one! As if we'd learned NOTHING!), but it did start with that first  new human being ten years old and end with him at nineteen so, you know, we've seen some things. Now as always, I have to conclude upon review that we have been given an embarrassment of riches, and if you ever see me being ungrateful, feel free to smack me. As ever, I hope the new year brings us all nourishment, challenge, fulfillment, comfort, joy, and laughter, inappropriate and otherwise.


Collette said…
A wonderful way to look back. I can't wait to see what amazing things those two incredible sprogs of yours do in the next 10 years. It's wonderful watching them all grow up. And it's just horrible watching them all grow up.
Busy Bee Suz said…
I read the whole post and loved it! I feel pretty caught up on your life as I'm 'new' to it.
How in the world did you remember it all? Or did you post about all of that over the years? I do find myself going back into my blog for memories that are fuzzy to me.
Happy 2020~ wishing you and yours all the best!!
Ernie said…
I read the whole thing too, because it is an amazing recap! So impressive that a) you did all that and b) that you remember it all. I was too lazy to look back at the decade. My reflection in a glimpse feels more grouchy than your is so probably best kept to myself. Love that you met someone on the internet and Matt worried because I envision meeting other bloggers but then figure other bloggers would be all, 'Are you crazy?' What is this MoPoPlan or whatever- phone not letting me scroll back up. I have never done a blogging or writing conference. I am dying to do the Erma Bombeck one but it is always when Curly dances at World Champs. Jealous that you escaped Irish dancing's longterm grip. Maybe that's why your look back is less grouchy than my would-be look back. Happiest of years in 2020!
So weird, I remember so many of these things but they don't seem that long ago. Like how was the Little League World Series almost seven years ago? Isn't Lucy still a puppy? I thought you were only just in Hawaii. How does time work?
Allison said…
Loved reading this as well! All the best in 2020 and for the next decade!
Lynn said…
SUCH a charming summary and review! It's been a busy decade with lots of ups, a few downs, and as always, amazing good humour. I'll be forever grateful that you dared come out to that first World Trivia Night and also happy I chose not to stab you to death and leave you at the site of the road (YOU'RE WELCOME, MATT). Looking forward to seeing what this next decade will bring!
DaniGirl said…
First, I love your new look. (I guess it's been a while - I'm not good at following the blogs anymore. But oh, so pretty!) And second, I love this idea, almost as much as I love your bloggy book reviews. I may steal it, if I can muster and sustain the attention. Some of the things you list were new to me, and most of them I was like, "Didn't that just happen a few days ago?"

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