LXXX – 2010s In Retrospect

Oh my hell, I just realized this is my eightieth post😱! I guess it’s fitting that this milestone post be a look back on some of the changes that have happened for me in the last 10 years. Please enjoy this retrospective.

I realize this post is being posted around the middle of February, but I feel the need to do a little retrospective of the last decade. The 2010s are now in the history books, and hopefully this new decade will be another “Roaring 20s”, even though many indicators are saying otherwise. Several sources are saying we’re in the brink of another economic meltdown, and we have the upcoming presidential election—will it be a Republican renewal or a Democrat coup? Only time will tell the story.

Ten years can bring many changes into a person’s life. Some changes can be for the better; others not so much. On 01 Jan 2010, I was 37 years old. Today, I’m 47. I already had four kids in 2010, albeit one was a wee baby. That little baby is now 11. I now have two teenagers. My oldest will be old enough to legally drink this year (how is she turning 21?!) and my second child will become a legal adult and graduate high school.

Since 2010, I have been involved in two accidents, one in January 2010 that totaled the Mazda van I had, and the other in February 2017, in which I got sandwiched between two cars, resulting the loss of the Chevy Spark I once owned. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt either time. As a result of the 2010 accident, I obtained a 2005 Toyota Sienna, which I still own to this day. Nearly ten years later, it’s damn close to registering 300,000 miles. So, I’ve put around 165,000 miles on that thing in ten years. Other than a couple of minor issues, like an O2 sensor and the normal tire/brake issues, it’s still going strong, somehow. I am just thankful the transmission and engine haven’t given out yet (*knocks on wood*).

In 2012, we moved into the house where we currently reside. Sure, I’ve been paying rent for the last 7½ years, but it’s a much better place than the old one we lived in, which is extremely old. There were a lot of issues with that house, and as my kids grow, it would have been way too cramped. Of course, I’m not knocking the fact that my parents let me live in that old house next door to them for all those years, which was a huge help at the time. I still only live about a mile from that old house, so I can get to my mom’s house fairly quickly when I need to.

On a more personal note, I don’t really talk about this much, as it is difficult to talk about some things. Okay, I don’t talk about much at all. But, ten years ago, my marriage still had a slight hope. Today, there is nothing. We live as roommates, still maintaining the household as we can. We sleep in separate rooms, as we have for several years now. I guess I’m more comfortable this way than trying to leave. Honestly, I couldn’t afford it, anyway.

On a brighter note, she is in the process of becoming a naturalized citizen. The paperwork is done, the interview was passed, but because there’s one little ding on her record (nothing serious, honestly—she’s never been in jail or anything, and this is as far as I will say anything about it currently), she is waiting for the feds to make their decision. I check her case status regularly, but currently it still says “we need nothing further at this time”, and estimated wait time May 2020. It shouldn’t take that long to decide, but they like to cover their ass, just in case. Fingers crossed they grant her citizenship🤞.

In 2010, I was working at a Burger King, and have held several jobs in the interim. Currently I work at Cracker Barrel, now for 5½ years, and Golden Corral, for almost 8 months. Unless we move somewhere else, I don’t plan on leaving the Barrel anytime in the foreseeable future. I enjoy where I work.

This decade brought me into the world of Facebook (I joined that in 2009, actually) and other social media. I’ve managed to connect with many people I went to school with, and finally in 2017, I was able to meet up with a couple of them on a family trip to California. It was a nice time to reminisce.

Speaking of high school, my 20th reunion was in 2010, but I was unable to attend, sadly. From the pictures it looked like it was a great time. This year, hopefully, there will be a 30th reunion. I really don’t want to miss that one. Even though I am super-introverted and have difficulty being social for any length of time, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. Perhaps with a little “incentive” while I’m there, I’ll be able to open up more🤭.

Just by looking at me and hearing me talk, one would never be able to tell that I was once a missionary for the Mormon church (about 27 years ago). Today, after some issues I’ve had with some of its members, I have completely stopped attending, and I don’t even consider myself a part of it anymore. It’s not anything against the religion in itself, but rather the way it’s run and handled in this area by its local leadership. And I guess it’s in part the way many of its members treat those who don’t go frequently or are visitors. To me, it seems like a fashion contest, or a popularity contest. Also, if you’re not related to the founding families of the area, you’re not considered to be in the “inside circle” of things. It’s kinda difficult to explain, but suffice it to say I don’t attend anymore. I actually don’t attend any sort of organized religion. They all have decent people, and they all have their flaws. However, I don’t think there’s a single person living today that can absolutely tell you what our purpose is here on this Earth, and what, if anything, follows after death. Anyone can give you a personal belief or an opinion, but I don’t think anyone knows the reality. I have my own thoughts, but they’re neither here nor there currently.

I think to wrap this look back in the 2010s, I think one of the most important changes has been that I finally decided to do something for myself, by getting my depression and mental health back in check. It’s too bad I waited until the last half of 2019, but better late than never, right? My mind is better off than it has been in a long time, and I’m feeling more “normal” again (however you might define normal). I also took a week off from work right before Christmas to rest from two jobs and have time for myself, being with my kids a little more, and getting back to doing some baking and making Christmas dinner. I do get enjoyment from baking cake, cookies, cheesecake and whatnot. I’m always trying to learn something new and try this or that differently. Some have told me I should open a bakery. Unfortunately, there’s too much commitment, financial issues and red tape to deal with. If I did do that, it would be the “Imperfect Bakery” with the disclaimer that nothing I make is Food Network quality, or totally smooth or without some kind of blemish. Imperfect baked goods for an imperfect world. You’ve probably seen some of the cakes I’ve made. Nothing is magnificent, none of them is without a flaw. I guess that’s just a part of my personality, and the fact that everything I do is self-taught, occasionally watching a YouTube tutorial or browsing the internet for ideas, and through trial-and-error.

That’s a look back on the last ten years, 2010-2019. Hopefully the next ten years will be eventful in the positive sense. I hope your next ten years brings great things, peace, prosperity and happiness. I won’t say it was an amazing decade, but it was interesting. Until next week’s post, to all you good people out there, be safe and be well.

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