I have already addressed my dislike for New Year's Day in an earlier blog. After thinking about the holiday, I realized that there is one aspect that I enjoy. Yes, I am indeed a sucker for the retrospective specials.
I become a captive audience when the "Year in Review" segments come on the television news programs. I have been avidly reading all of the "Decade in Review" and "Who we lost this year" articles. I am not sure why I have to read them all, but I feel compelled.
All of the news compilations have spurred me to reflect upon the drastic life changes that have occurred during my past decade. I have come up with Peggy's top 5 "Changes within the Decade."
1. My established family.
I met Scott in 2000. We were married in 2004. Robby was born in 2006. I started the decade single and happily "playing the field." I am ending the decade as a happily married stay-at-home Mommy. What a difference 10 short years can make!
2. My amputation.
I began the decade on crutches, reliant upon pain medication and in constant pain. I was unable to walk without assistance. I was adamant that I keep my foot at all costs. I was terrified of becoming an amputee and of being permanently disabled.
In 2002 I began to consider an amputation. I was tired of the pain and the dependence upon crutches. Pain is exhausting, and I needed to move beyond the injury. I began to realize that I was already disabled because of the nature of the injury. It became clear that the extent of my handicap would actually be diminished by having the limb amputated.
Exactly one year to the date that I first uttered "maybe I should just amputate," I was in the hospital for the procedure. What a scary day. I look back on that event and I can remember the terror that I felt.
I also feel a sense of pride. I am proud that I was able to make the difficult decision. I am proud that I rebounded and recovered. I am proud that I am realizing dreams that I couldn't even fathom 10 short years ago.
3. Professional changes.
At the onset of the millennium I was a young teacher. Since I was in the third grade I was set on my profession. I always wanted to be a teacher for blind and visually impaired children.
I was a dedicated educator who loved her students and her work. I was passionate about my job. I even received statewide recognition as "Special Educator of the Year" for 2004.
When Robby was born I knew that I wanted to stay home with him during the early years. He is now three, and people are beginning to inquire about my returning to my profession. I no longer know if I want to return to teaching.
I loved teaching, but I have lost my passion. A teacher without passion is mediocre, and I know that my students would deserve better. For the first time in my life, I have been lacking a professional goal. After a lot of soul searching, I think I found my new passion.
What would I love to do in upcoming decade?
Should I dare to dream of writing professionally? I would love to author a book or perhaps contribute to a column. The notion that other people would be interested in my viewpoint or entertained by my words is exhilarating.
4. Personal Growth.
I feel as if I am the same person that rang in the Millennium in Holland. I hold the same basic beliefs and values. This is not to say that I haven't grown personally.
I am 35 years old now. I feel that I am beginning to find my voice. I am no longer timid about relaying my thoughts and feelings (although my friends would say that this has never been an issue). I know that my ideas have value and I am worth being heard.
I am not as fearful as I was 10 years ago. In the past decade I have survived cancer and the devastating treatments required to eradicate the disease. I have experienced limb loss and have developed into an amputee woman who is both happy and capable. I am now confident that I have the personal fortitude to navigate through the obstacles presented in life and to come through as not only happier, but enlightened. Knowing this is empowering.
5. Friends and Family.
I have discovered how much I cherish my family and friends. I have been able to rely upon them for strength when my reserves were low. Because of their love and support, I know that I never have to be alone.
10 years ago my friends list was exhaustive. Anybody who was available to go out to eat, go shopping or was ready for fun I considered a friend. When life becomes difficult, I learned that many of those individuals slowly drop away, revealing a smaller yet more loyal group.
I find that now, a decade later, my definition of a "friend" has narrowed. I am lucky to have survived through the last ten years with a handful of individuals whom I can call my friends. I am better a better person because they are in my life.
This has been a decade full of changes that I could not have imagined. I am entering the new decade with a sense of optimism and a mind and heart open to all the changes which will come my way. I am excited to experience my evolution during the next 10 years.
- I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.