A new decade in a new economic, social and geopolitical world.
The year 2010 turned a page into a new chapter of my life in momentous ways that I did not expect but could not have hoped for a better outcome. Life is much better now. I clearly remember New Year's Eve and Day 2010 because it was a long and difficult weekend with a pending decision weighing heavily on my mind. On Monday, January 4th, I went into work for a few hours and then confirmed my instincts by resigning from my job. It was the right choice but difficult in these economic times and seemingly unwise from a personal financial standpoint. I had to do it to be free to move on in a new year, the last in a Biblically epic long decade in my life, that began in 2000 when my life was radically altered also by a work decision, one I did not choose. Like hundreds of thousands of others I was "separated" from the company I worked for almost 30 years.
The Economic Crisis started early for me, in hindsight I am very glad, it gave me a long running head start on what was to follow in this country and is not over yet.
This past year has been extremes of highs and lows, ups and downs and everything in between. At times I was in complete control of my situation and in others I was not. In the dead heat of summer I was struck by a virus that kept me bed-ridden for two weeks and during that same month I serendipitously found a job that suits me perfectly. It was a classic time that epitomized the characteristics of the entire year, simultaneously flowing triumph and disaster.
In the end it has been a richly rewarding and fulfilling year furnishing me with optimism, positive thinking and confidence. Regardless of what 2011 and the next decade brings I have at last returned to the summer roots of my inner self and in harmony with my true nature, after a decade of a mostly estranged winter. I say that with an assurance, that I did not have but was yearning for, this time last year. I knew then where I had been for a decade and did not want to continue but rather move on to another journey and I can say that I have.
One of the best decisions I made at the end of 2009 was to set a goal to begin posting to this website blog daily and start creating and uploading videos on YouTube again. It was part of documenting my life that served as a release valve, a steadying constant, as well as a confidence builder and confirming my ability to be original and self-reliant. Through expressing myself it reminded me I am a unique individual in my own right.
Another good determination made this past spring was to get off most of the social web, especially Twitter and Facebook. I never cared for Facebook and was reluctantly coaxed into it and Twitter became a time-killer, full of unwashed masses bubbling out a constant stream of babbling junk. That is not a judgment on other people who choose to be on those sites, those sites just weren't right for me at the time or even now. That choice, by it's very nature, also meant limiting my interaction online but I've found the remaining interaction to be of better quality.
The time I had spent online and with other things I chose to stop doing was spent reading good books in a self-designed "Great Books" list. What a wonderful determination that has turned out to be. My mind has not only been enriched but it has had an unexpected but welcome calming of my soul.
"He not busy being born is busy dying"
How very fortuitous it has turned out to be that on that day, Friday the 13th in October 2000, I was surplussed and laid off from the company I had worked for since high school, through my college degrees and experienced my thirties and forties. My involuntary "separation" (their term) actually was not accompanied with anxiety but rather rejoicing at being freed from the institutional madness of the only place I had really ever worked. That does not mean there was not angst of learning as I traversed down the road in the decade ahead. It prepared me in too many ways to enumerate to cope with the new world of 21st century economic, social and geopolitical circumstances.
Although this year and this decade has ended with a finality specific to me, it does not mean an end to always learning and facing new challenges moving forward. Now I look ahead to them with a renewed freedom I once had and have revived. It is certain that the Great Disruption that became obvious to the world in mid-2007 will continue and perpetuate the economic distress that challenges us all and disturbs other social institutions. We live in an exciting time as our universe is reborn anew once again, following in the footprints of world history. That does not bother me since I know that as an individual I have the determination, will and ability to overthrow adversity. Also I have a perception of others difficulties and an ability to understand what some may need help in learning to cope for themselves.
If there is anything I am able to impart to others, it is that we all have something within us that allows us to rise above and overcome. My hope is that in my own small way I can do that.
"He not being busy born is busy dying" quote from "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" [Dylan]