Ten is a lot of years. More than a quarter of my life so far. For ambitious people, ten is long enough to start a new career and be able to put “a seasoned professional with ten years of experience” on a resume. Long enough to become a doctor almost.
For us it’s been long enough to buy and completely pay off two entire cars.
Six different homes.
Four jobs not counting freelance and self employment.
Three dogs, two cats, a gecko, a bird, and numerous fishes.
700 or more trips to buy groceries, thousands of miles in four vehicles
A handful of lost friends and some new friends and in some cases we even re-made the lost ones and then made new ones that were introduced to us as a result but then we got busy and sort of lost touch.
Seven website re-designs.
Thousands of nachos.
Three or four rounds of pile-up-debt-again, pay-it-all-off-again
Similarly: gained weight, lost most of it, gained more, lost it again, and gained it all back.
We bought an exercise bike.
We started a business.
We ditched our television and stayed clean for the first seven years. Then we got better internet and oh my god do you know there’s a show called Project Runway about all these designers who have to make everything in only one day?? And everything is Wars now. Back in the 90s there was Junkyard Wars and then Robot Wars, and then there was a dot com bust and we couldn’t afford cable. But now! Now there’s Storage Wars, Parking Wars, Chef Wars, Ballet Wars, Nose Wars, Nanny Wars… ten years is enough time for television to become very exciting.
A lot of mistakes, throwing smugness away, going from knowing a great many things to crap, what the hell do we know? Knowing things is for people in their 20s, people without kids, people who are on career paths. Then we turned 30 and had kids and lost jobs and got sick and got better and had to throw away a lot of pride. Humble wisdom and empathy are the consolation prizes.
Ten years, as all of the books predicted, is enough time to grow a human from a gummy bear all the way up to a 55-pound bundle of jump and words who swings under the spiral staircase while he talks, who loves birds and paradoxes and books, hates to wear a sweater and can’t do school work without climbing on the table.
It’s enough time to start a blog, build it into something pretty good, then let it fall into decline because at the end of each day when the house is quiet enough for writing, I fall unconscious until someone rouses me seven hours later with a rapid-fire series of urgent questions about the periodic table. You would think that ten years would also be enough time to teach a child how to get themselves a bowl of cereal with milk in the morning, but no. I mean, he knows how but he won’t do it unless he has someone to talk to. I think that milestone happens somewhere in the next ten years.
Tens of thousands of photos.
Tens of thousands of thousands of emails, loads of them spam.
Nearly 2,000 blog posts.
Millions of comments.
Billions of nice people being nice.
Jillions of something that ties up this post neatly.