Reflecting on the past decade, how much have I changed?

A decade ago I was 27 years old. I had a 4 year old and a 2 year old. I was a living a sweet life as a stay at home Mom, and a housewife. I spent my days spending all my time with my family. I would take my babies to the zoo, children’s museum, the park, the library, you name it. I was immensely blessed to be able to do this. They had plenty opportunity to develop and learn. I read to them at night. I miss this. I would work out 5 days a week, eat healthy, and was in tip top shape. Now I do not have time for this!

Now I have a soon to be 14 year old, and an 11 year old. I am working full time, in assisted living as a caregiver. I’m almost done with debt consolidation.

I am learning how to raise a preteen and a teenager, (daughters’). They are very intelligent and strong willed. They need to have a lot of freedom and choice, and keep busy. They are just like me.
This decade, by being a working Mom, and especially as a caregiver, I have grown so much.

I have learned to be more assertive, and not let people walk all over me. My social skills have defiantly improved. I have learned a lot about life by taking care of other people when they are in their last moments of life. I have learned how to deal with grief as well.
I have learned as a working Mom, how to detach from my job, and spend time with my kids. This is not easy. I have learned how to balance married, kids, and work.

I have learned how to take care of my health. I am around sick people all the time! I learned to eat healthy, exercise, and take supplements. I’ve had pneumonia twice since I have been a caregiver. I am sure my immune system is super strong, because I am around sick people constantly. At work, and sometimes my kids bring home sickness as well.

I have learned how to better manager my asthma by exercise like jogging, hiking and swimming to keep my lungs strong, and to remember to take my inhaler before exercise.

I have grown in my marriage. I now understand my husband, who he is and why he does what he does. I can predict what he will say and do usually. We’ve been together for a long time. We know how to communicate and work our problems out.

I have grown in my walk with God. He has seen me through a lot, and has been there for me when I didn’t expect it. He has always provided for me when I didn’t expect His providence.

I have learned how to budget, and not to apply for 10 credit cards and use them all to the max limit. I learned that lesson the hard way! I learned how to frugally shop for clothes and food. I have realized I really need to save for retirement.

I have learned how to manage anxiety and depression. I learned to relax and breathe, and to tell myself that I am OK when I’m having a panic attack. I have learned to get outside in the sun and exercise, and seek social interaction with positive people when I am down, and how to utilize mental help through my health care provider.

I have learned a lot of maintaining cars. Oil changes, alignment, fluid levels, snow tires, and so on.

I am still living in the same house, which was my Grandmother’s house. I am still married to the same man, on Valentines Day, we will be together for 17 years.

I have learned a lot about people, that we all are a lot alike, and go through the same things. I am more open, and not shy, with the right people that is.
I’ve learned to recognize manipulation, and so on.

I am getting older and wiser. I have white hairs now to prove this, as I reach my 40’s. My back hurts bad sometimes as well!!!! 😀

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11 thoughts on “Reflecting on the past decade, how much have I changed?”

  1. Oh, that finance lesson is a hard one!! My parents never loaned me money, not a penny, in order to teach me “the value of a dollar”. Unfortunately, that meant I also never learned about the perils of credit and paying for things long after they were gone. In my 20s I ended up with credit line that exceeded my annual income… and was maxed out. My min payment due exceeded my monthly paycheck. I filed bankruptcy and felt like the biggest loser ever. But, for me, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Unlike friends, who immediately resumed getting cards and maxing them out, I learned my lesson and, 30yrs later, still only use cash or an AmEx.

    Congrats on your many areas of growth… and for recognizing them!!

  2. What a lovely reflective article. I think it’s a disgrace that we aren’t taught how to budget at school and especially the dangers of credit cards. The cynic in me thinks it’s because governments want us up to our eyes in debt – it makes us far more biddable… But I love how you have charted your growth as a human being, as a caregiver, a mother and a wife. Here’s hoping the coming decade is full of good things for you and yours, Michelle.

  3. Make sure you pass everything you’ve learned to your children. I think I was lucky that way. My dad taught me to never borrow money and when I receive my paycheck to pay for the utilities, food and if I still have money for fun, to have fun. If not, no biggy. Saving money for rainy days was another thing that he taught me.

  4. Enjoy the journey. I studied every book on childhood development, but nothing prepared me for the joys and constant transitions parenthood brings. I think we learn as much from them as they do from us. Thank you for sharing this wonderfully reflective article.

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