What ‘2010’ Taught Me

On Saturday, we’ll step into a brand new year.  A new beginning.  Another chance to turn dreams into reality and goals into accomplishments.  And I find myself welcoming it.  I love New Year’s resolutions and clean slates.  I love new adventures, new experiences, and all the memories that follow them.  I love anticipating that this will be THE best year yet.  But in all my excitement over a new year, I haven’t forgotten that 2010 was pretty memorable itself. 

The thing about starting a new year is that you don’t know what the next 365 days will bring.  And I wouldn’t want to.  I wouldn’t want to miss out on the surprises that remain hidden until the very end, only to burst out in all their glory.  2010 was full of surprises and first-time experiences.  Like buying our first house.  Or starting my first blog and making new blogger friends. Or even buying my first pair of skinny pants and being brave enough to finally wear them.  😉

Some years have a bit more heart-ache and struggle than others.  2010 brought to light the frailty of life.  Had you told me last year, on New Year’s Eve, that my Memere was going to be diagnosed with cancer in April of 2010 and then pass away just weeks later, I would have refused to believe it.  Refused to believe that my family could make it through that.  Refused to believe that I could make it through that.  And had you told me that my cousin, just weeks after my Memere’s death, would also be diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, I would have prayed that God could let me skip 2010 and jump straight into the following year.  But God brought us all through.  And maybe we’re a bit closer and stronger because  of it.  (My cousin, by the way, is showing signs of improvement.  Praying for a complete recovery in the year 2011).  🙂 

And then, hidden by the larger moments, were the day-to-day routines.  The seemingly mundane rituals and schedules that let me know that life was moving forward as usual.  That everything was normal and okay.  The occasional fits of laughter.  The tender kiss before dinner.  A warm hug after a long day.  A smile to make someone feel welcome.  2010 was about family.  Nate and I learned a lot about each other this year and how we fit together in married life.  There were some humorous moments and some moments we both would have liked to avoid.  But 2010 was also about learning.  And learn together we did. 

We can never know what an upcoming year will hold.  Where I stand now, at the brink of a brand new year, I pray that God will provide His protection and offer His blessings.  Other than that, I feel excited.  Because I see a year of possibilities before me.  And because this year, more than any other year, I want to make each moment count.  I think that the most important lesson I learned in 2010 is that life is a gift.  We never know how much time we have left on this earth or how much time we have left to share with family and friends.  And I don’t say that to be morbid or depressing.  🙂  I say that because I feel inspired to really live my life this year.

It’s so easy to live for the sparkly, over-the-top moments and to forget about every single day we’ve been blessed with.  And that’s what I want 2011 to be about.  I want my memory of 2011 to be that it was the year I really lived.  I don’t want to take one moment for granted.  I don’t want to fill my life with complaining or bad attitudes when I could have chosen to see the positive. I don’t want to spend my nights in front of the television when I could have been outside looking up at the stars.   And I don’t want to find myself thinking, “What if I had,” because I want to have already found the guts to try it. 

2010 taught me that life is precious.  So I’m stepping into 2011 with the desire to make every second count. 

What did 2010 teach you?

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5 Responses to What ‘2010’ Taught Me

  1. This was so beautiful to read! You’ve officially made me excited for 2011. I think living in each moment and living life to the fullest sounds like an awesome resolution. 😀

  2. Back in 2006 I had a really rough year because both my grandfather AND my mother passed away that year. I remember having a really difficult time moving on, being positive, and embracing my life again.
    You have a really great positive outlook on the upcoming year, Nicole.

  3. theclambroll says:

    Happy 2011 to you!! 🙂

    2010 also taught me the frailty of life, unfortunately, when my husband’s grandfather and my sister-in-law’s mother both passed within weeks of each other. A terrible lesson, but one that makes us cherish the good times that we DID have with them.

    Though we’ve had quite the dichotomy, since we also started learning about the miracles of new life this year too!! 🙂

  4. Oh my goodness, this was so precious to read. Thank you for sharing your heart and experiences. I hope that 2011 really will be the year that you are able to LIVE every moment to the fullest.

  5. Sarah says:

    Yay! I love the new year too–fresh beginnings and no mistakes…yet. This last year brought me a wonderful new job and a chance to try a new Bible study. It’s definitely been a year of spiritual growth.

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