2010 - Looking Back

I was just sitting here in my recliner, watching my almost-two-year old daughter bounce off the walls -- she's fighting off a nap by trying to stay in motion -- and it occurred to me that this has been a pretty eventful year, 2010. Maybe we always think that when looking back on the previous year... but this one sure seems to have been more full than many in recent memory.

I think it's important to erect mental milestones so that we can look back and see where we've been. Looking back on where I've been helps me to better see where I'm going. I want to go back and document some of the biggies -- partly for my own recollection later, partly so that anyone who cares to can share in our gratitude.

You'll remember I was unemployed when 2010 started... and I stayed that way for the first half of the year. I applied for a great many jobs all over the world; we were ready for a last-minute call for me to move anywhere. We thought we might end up defaulting on a lot of our financial obligations. We were utterly dependent on the generosity of others, and had to let go of a lot of our hopes and dreams.

Aylin had her first birthday in February, and as you who are parents realize, our life largely revolves around her developmental milestones: learning to walk, learning to talk, beginning to identify shapes, colors, animals, letters and numbers. This second year of her life has seen her move from being a baby to a toddler with a personality and a developing mind of her own.

Kristina and I celebrated our fifth year of marriage this year. We're finding that our capacity to love each other has far outgrown anything we knew to be possible.

I got a job with a local company, working as close to home as I can reasonably hope for, at the end of June; that's been huge for us. Though our credit has certainly taken a beating, it's nothing we can't repair with a couple of years' hard work. Since I went back to work, Aylin went back into daycare, and we've been thrilled with our experiences with the new folks who we've entrusted with her. I've lost by working most of the 20 pounds I gained while staying at home with Aylin. My job is far less stressful than the last several I've had, since I'm not in any kind of supervisory role for the first time in five or six years. We've been slowly repairing the destruction inflicted by three or four years of increasingly bad luck on the state of our finances.

Just a couple of weeks ago, then, Kristina had a wonderful new job fall into her lap. It promises to significantly speed our financial recovery, and to provide Kristina with a less stressful place to work. Besides all that, it's given us occasion to revisit many of those hopes and dreams we thought were out of reach.

That's obviously a 90mph fly-by of our last year... but none of us need to ride the whole roller-coaster again, do we? If I were to sum up this year in one word, it would be "grace".