10 years ago Friday I met Matt on the Mansfield Road Fire in Homer. The story of how we met and later got to know one and other is pretty much out there, but the date's arrival did cause me to get smacked hard by the passage of time. I know everyone says time passes fast, especially when you have kids, etc., etc. But 10 years? A decade? Really?
It made me think a lot about how my life has evolved. If I had met myself now 10 years ago, what would I have said? It raises lots of questions - was leaving journalism the right thing to do, for example? Ten-years-ago Carey would probably have keeled over at the notion of leaving a successful editor position. On the other hand, is journalism even going to be here 10 years from now? Or will blogs and instant messages become defined as news?
And what about the type of parent I am - would I have approved of that if 10-years-ago Carey came to hang out for the day? I think I would have been surprised at the fact that we've only been camping twice, that I rarely leave Homer. 10 years ago, I loved nothing more than a good road trip, and that's still the case, only it is infinitely more complicated - pack food, diapers, supplies, entertainment options ... you know the drill.
And what about the next 10 years - what do I want to do? Is the graphic and web design business I am now building fulfilling? Should I jump off a cliff and do something like go get a law degree in a couple years once Thea gets more independent? What about art? Photography? A graphic design degree? Web design? Take up the pen again? Try to finish that blasted book ( I have to do that anyway, just so I can say I tried.) Try to write another, maybe nonfiction?
How bout my parenting style - what can I do to help Liam and Thea move through life with relative success? Less sugar, more structure? Less structure, more sugar? It is truly exhausting to try to adjust one's parenting style, that is for sure. Because it takes so much work just doing what comes naturally, let alone having to think about your responses.
We are blessed with so many options in our lives - really. Sometimes it doesn't seem that way when you have your head down, plodding through life's daily routine. But once in a while, something comes along that causes us to pause, and hopefully realign your priorities for a long-term plan that suits where you are now.
And actually, when I think about it, 10-years-ago Carey would probably have been pretty OK with where I am now - surprised, but OK. The next 10 years? Who on earth knows. But hopefully I'll be standing in an equally sturdy place, where the smack from the passage of time leaves me upright.