Decade in Review

Less than half a day from now the 2010’s will come to an end.  Ten years ago today I posted this Decade in Review for the 2000’s.  I thought it would be nice to do that again for the new decade.  Be prepared, this one is going to be all over the place.

The first big events of the 10’s happened quickly.  We bought a house in 2010 and adopted a cat a few days later.  The house became a home quickly and the cat became the focus of about a billion crappy photographs.  The kids finished elementary school and middle school.  One finished high school (first in her class) and started college.  The other has a couple of years of high school left to go.  They both earned their drivers license and started embracing the larger world around them.  Personally I’d like them to stay a little closer to home, but that’s not gonna happen.

Both kids embraced music in a way that will never stop making me proud.  They both are accomplished pianists.  Harry is also a percussionist who wails on mallets and a guitarist.  Bellana is a vocalist whose skill level is world class.  She’s stunningly good.  There have been countless school concerts.  There have been a bunch of school plays.  Bellana was the lead in her last middle school play and one of the main characters in her last high school play.  They both also took turns in the pit band for the theater group on top of all of their other musical obligations.

We traveled a ton this decade.  So many destinations I can barely keep track.  We explored all over New England, especially the mountains in New Hampshire.  We went to New York more times than I can count.  We took trips to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, Ontario, Quebec, and California.  I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch too.  San Diego is still my favorite destination.  Orlando and Disney World is probably the top destination for the four of us.

My wife, my beloved, has been tearing up the world professionally.  I’ve always known she was brilliant, but not so long ago her company gave her what is effectively an employee of the year award.  When I talk to her coworkers they universally tell me that she is the best in her field.  I’ve had all sorts of executives tell me that she is amazing and indispensable.  It’s never been a surprise to me.  I mean, I know.  I’ve known it for years.  I’ve known it for more than a decade, in fact.  It’s always great to hear her coworkers gush about her greatness though.  I love it.  I love her.  On top of all of her professional triumphs she also managed to sneak in finishing her bachelors degree.  I am so proud of her I can’t even deal with it.  I just love her so much.

I’ve somehow managed to make the past decade a musical one for myself as well as the kids.  After Harry started playing in a band his guitar teacher put together I got jealous and joined a band myself.  Amazingly we’ve actually been able to get a little bit of work here and there.  I’ve let myself go a little nuts with gear, but it’s all in good fun.  I still love to play and have no desire to stop.  I stress out when the band’s schedule conflicts with the family schedule.  It doesn’t happen often but it tears me up when it does.  Family clearly comes first.  Always always always, but it still bothers me.  We haven’t had much work over the last year or so.  We’re hoping to pick things up in 2020 which means I’ll likely be conflicting more.  I’m looking forward to playing, but not looking forward to the stress.  I’ll work it all out though.

I should also mention, musically speaking, that thanks to my wonderful wife I was able to see my favorite band ever about 200 times (slight exaggeration).  Rush called it quits in 2015, but before then I got to see them a ton of times.  I shared them all with Jen, and shared two of them with Bellana and Harry.  I’m so incredibly thankful that my family indulged me with all of that.

What else.  I became an uncle two more times.  My brother and my sister each had their second child.  I’m Uncle Robbie four times over now.  Three nephews and a niece.  I love them all very much.

My mother had a health scare that she recovered from.  Jen’s aunt had one that she likely will never recover from, and her uncle passed away.  All in all we’ve been pretty lucky with our family’s health.  The one terrifying exception being Harry’s diabetes.  It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced and it was the most difficult week of my life bar none.  Nothing even comes close.  The positive that’s come out of that is how Harry has responded.  Words cannot express how proud I am of the way he’s tackled his condition.  He’s owned it and showed it who’s boss.  I’m never far from entering a state of diabetic freak out for him, and that pisses him off (as I type this, his continuous glucose monitor isn’t updating and a teeny tiny part of my brain is preparing to panic.  It won’t, but it’s ready to if need be), but I can’t help it.  I never want him to go through anything like he did that fateful week again.  If that means he gets mad at me now and then, I’ll take it.

What else, what else.  I’m still working for the same company.  I did get a promotion and I am much more comfortable with my situation than I was the last time I wrote a decade in review.  I have a great group of guys working for me.  Things are going well for the group.  I’m pretty pleased.

I have to say this… it’s silly to say this, but I have to say this… Star Wars came back.  We got a full trilogy.  After Obi-Wan passed The Force torch to Luke, Luke passed it to Rey and Rey ran with it.  Glorious movie goodness.  That probably belongs in a Lifetime in Review post more than a decade in review post, but this is what we’ve got.  Also, Baby Yoda.

We had a Stanley Cup.  We came within a heartbeat of three but we got one with two heartbreaks instead.  We also got a couple of World Series.  There was a softball championship and a little league championship too (I’m pretty sure they were both this decade).  The kids didn’t take to baseball quite the way I was secretly hoping, but that’s okay.  I’d much rather have a couple of bad ass musicians than baseball stars.  No contest.

What can we expect in the 20’s?  More of the same, I hope.  Another high school graduation in 2021, a couple more college degrees (at least), lots more music from everyone, more professional greatness from my love is guaranteed, obviously more pictures of the cat.  More love for my wife.  More love for my step kids.  The usual.  There will be ups and downs but the goal is for those ups to drastically outweigh those downs.  I’m looking forward to finding out what happens.

I said in the 2009 post that it was The Decade of Jen.  The 2010’s was also the Decade of Jen.  Everything I have, I owe to her.  She’s the love of my life.  She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.  I adore her.  I’m crazy about her.  I love her so much.

Here’s to the 2010’s, and here’s to the 2020’s.

Happy New Year.

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