In three hours, Tom and my third decade will begin. We’re beginning it with an infant daughter, hope for a second child before the decade is 1/3 over. Beginning it in good health, fine financial fettle, and with lots of promising things on the horizon. Yeah, I got laid off in May, but so did a lot of people. We knew as early as last December that it was coming down the pipe eventually, so we had lots of time to save our money. (PSA: You should always save your money like you’re going to get fired tomorrow and not get a new job for at least six months. /fin)
The aughts taught us how to be grown ups. Tom was halfway through college when the decade started; I was halfway through high school. We finished college, traveled internationally, went on to careers and living on our own and then marriage. We paid off two cars and are halfway to paying off a third. I lived in Maine, Washington DC, Spain, and Hawaii. Tom lived in DC, Belgium, Djibouti, and Hawaii. We had relationships that ended; we started the biggest relationship of our lives.
Then we had Maggie and all the rules changed. If I’ve learned nothing else from the last ten years and from the nine months I’ve been privileged to have her, it’s that expectations are useless. Set goals, work toward them, that’s fine. That’s true of teaching Maggie how to live in the world and how we live too. Teaching her correct behavior, managing finances, learning how to be and how to function: just set a goal and work as hard as you can toward fulfilling it. But don’t expect things. Don’t set massively unrealistic expectations; don’t be disappointed when things don’t work out the way you had planned. Plans are fun–plans are not ever set in stone.
Now back to a quiet New Year’s Eve with Tom and a box set of Monty Python DVDs. Happy 2010 to all.