New Year musings

First Posted: 12/31/2009

Today I welcome a new year and what some may call the start of a new decade.
My mind takes me back to 10 years ago, when I was just 12 years old. Things looked pretty different back then.
I was a tomboy who somehow still managed to fall in love with boy bands and Jane Austen novels. I wanted to be a high school math teacher who wrote novels in her spare time, and I was very dedicated to my Irish dance team and 4-H club.
I remember writing a list of predictions for 10 years later that I could not open until Jan. 1, 2010. Sadly, I cannot find that list, but I can remember most of what I expected to be by year 2010.
As a 12-year-old who still professed that boys were gross, I secretly expected to get married at 20 years old. So by the age of 22 I thought I would be married to a tall, handsome man and that I would have completed my degree in mathematics from Wake Forest University. I still expected to be best friends with a girl that I had known for years, and I just knew I would be a champion Irish dancer.
Out of the four specific expectations I listed above, Ive only fulfilled one of them. Im not married, I didnt graduate with a math degree from Wake Forest, and I dont talk to the girl who was my best friend in 2000. I did dance long enough to reach a championship level in Irish dance, though.
So now Im a single, newspaper reporter who graduated from Salem College and has several close friends rather than one best friend.
And Im the happiest Ive been in years.
Life definitely doesnt turn out how you plan, which I noted in the first column I ever wrote for this paper. And you definitely dont reach all of your goals. But thats because sometimes you realize that there are better paths for your life. My long-term goals or plans have turned out far different than I intended, and for that Im glad.
That 12-year-old comes through, though, when I map out my yearly goals.
Im pretty sure many of them are the same. As a young dancer, I wanted to get in better shape. Now as a much older dancer, I still want to get in better shape. Ive never achieved those elusive rock solid abs, but once again today I pledge to get in shape in the coming year.
I pledged to create and follow a budget for my finances even as a preteen. I was an entrepreneur who taught piano and dance lessons early on. And as a newspaper reporter, I pledge once again to create and follow a budget, a goal that Ive never reached.
I pledged to keep my room cleaner, and I realized when looking at my room yesterday that it would definitely benefit me to create the same goal again.
My list of goals ran pretty long that year, and they do again this year. My 2010 goals range from the basic weight loss goal to memorizing 50 Bible scriptures and learning how to check the oil in my car (go ahead and laugh; yes, Im horrible with cars).
Im sure many of you create goals for the new year. Remember that Surry County has plenty of resources to help you reach those goals. Want to get in shape? Join a local fitness center. Want to volunteer or give more money to charity? Agencies like the Salvation Army are always in need of more help.
And while youre at it, write out where you think youll be at the start of the 2020s. It may cause you to reevaluate where your life is headed. Or it might just be a carefree list that will cause you to chuckle 10 years down the road.
I have no idea what the next year or 10 holds for you. But I stick to the traditional Irish blessing when wishing people a happy New Years:
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Meghann Evans is a staff reporter with The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 719-1952.

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