Friday, January 01, 2010
Where Has the Time Gone?
January 1, 2010 - can the past year, much last the entire decade, have already passed that quickly? It doesn't seem like it's been 10 years since A. and I were camping with friends in rural Georgia, wondering if Y2K would really lead to the downfall of civilization and leave our little merry band around the campfire as the future of mankind (okay, nothing so dramatic; we were really wondering whether the gas stations would be open so that we could drive home). The past decade has certainly been eventful - for the country and the world, yes, but especially for my family.
September 11, 2001 - One of the days people will remember years from now by asking, "Where were you when you heard?" I was working as district representative for a member of Congress from Alabama, and on that particular morning I had left to travel the district after seeing the aftermath of the first plane in New York. Everyone knows how the day played out, but it is still vivid for me - the drive back to the office, the total silence as we all watched the events unfold on television, A. and I going to our favortie hangout that evening and listening to President Bush's speech while the entire bar was utterly silent.
2002 - My first boss in Congress announces his retirement, and my chief of staff runs for and wins the seat that November. It marked a big transition for me, from district representative to press secretary - and an entirely new world of opportunities.
April 2003 - A. and I leave Mobile, Alabama and move back to Northern Virginia so that I can embark on the next phase of my congressional career. It's the beginning of a great - and final - four years working for the public.
January 2004 - Our first daughter is born, and our lives are changed forever.
January 2007 - As a result of the changeover in the majority in Congress, my position is downsized, and I find myself out of work. It's the beginning of an eight-month period of unemployment, and one of the most stressful points of my life. The only welcome break?
February 2007 - Our second daughter is born, joining her sister as two bright spots in a very difficult career period for me and A.
August 2007 - I am blessed to be hired to work for a fantastic trade association in Washington, and I make a whole new set of friends (and professional contacts) and learn a lot about the hospitality industry.
April 2008 - I'm hired away by a large conglomerate to serve as their media and government relations director in Washington. Another big professional boost, and a whole new world of opportunities is opened up for me and my family.
And now, here we are at the beginning of 2010. I can honestly say that I have absolutely no idea of what the future holds; truthfully, had you asked me ten years ago what I thought would have unfolded in my life, I wouldn't have identified a majority of what is listed above. But that's been part of the joy and challenge of the last ten years - the surprise of how things have unfolded.
Here's to 2010, and an entirely new year - and decade - of joys, challenges, and surprises.