What have you done this decade that you're proud of? December 29, 2019 9:15 AM   Subscribe

The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt):
If everyone is doing that what’s one thing you’ve done this decade that you’re proud of, I saved my life by quitting drinking.
Same here. What about y'all?
posted by Johnny Wallflower to MetaFilter-Related at 9:15 AM (137 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

It’s between three things. Graduated college, got my first job, joined metafilter.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:12 AM on December 29, 2019 [28 favorites]


A lot of small things, mostly relating to doing things that the person I want to be would do. But the big one is probably leaving my job, and deciding not to get another one.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 10:42 AM on December 29, 2019 [9 favorites]


I moved to a country halfway across the world that I'd never been to by myself, and did a lot of solo traveling over the decade and learned that I love it. I sold everything I owned and moved to a new city. I rescued a dog, and went back to school, and learned how to drive!

And there was that brief period when I was Tumblr famous. These kids today and their TikToks...
posted by mollywas at 11:19 AM on December 29, 2019 [11 favorites]


I quit my job and went to law school, spent all my savings on tuition, and then got a new job where I make less money.

And yet, mysteriously, still proud of that!
posted by jacquilynne at 11:30 AM on December 29, 2019 [23 favorites]


Started teaching design.
posted by feckless at 11:55 AM on December 29, 2019 [8 favorites]


Stayed alive and mated and employed, had a kid we're quite fond of, and wrote lots of stuff I like.
posted by pracowity at 12:01 PM on December 29, 2019 [15 favorites]


Got married to someone I love who is working with me to figure out how we have a healthy, adult relationship (both of our previous partnerships were pretty dysfunctional). Started my phd. Sobered up.
posted by joycehealy at 12:02 PM on December 29, 2019 [15 favorites]


Raised a beautiful boy through his teenage years into the fine young man he has become. I’m such proud mom.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 12:15 PM on December 29, 2019 [20 favorites]


I learned to drive a stick shift car. I learned because I had to buy a car and it was the only one I could afford so I bought it and then learned to drive it. Buying a car I actively couldn’t drive was scary, but I did it!
posted by Weeping_angel at 12:23 PM on December 29, 2019 [16 favorites]


Received my permanent residence in Finland in early 2019 as a self employed entrepreneur - the most difficult path where two ministries have to approve the original application - Immigration *and* Employment & Labour, and thereafter for four consecutive years maintain the same visa status while you generate revenue over a certain cut off amount each year, as officially verified by tax returns submitted by your official bookkeeper. As a startup, you're expected to fail so the first year's visa is for one year, then, based on your tax returns, for another two, and then they'll give it to you for four years. You need four consecutive years in the residence track (A) before you can apply for a passport (language certifications required) or a permanent residence. As a tax payer, you can vote in the municipal elections after two tax paying years but not for general elections.

I did this is a woman, alone. Starting at age 48. In 2014. I carry a 'third world' passport so no extra pass for being from the EU or USA or OECD developed ASEAN tiger. No sponsors. No loans. No credit. They check your debts and outstanding too. Bootstrapped completely.

Yeah!
posted by Mrs Potato at 12:28 PM on December 29, 2019 [149 favorites]


I founded a local sports club, trained so that I can coach people to competition standard, and am now (I hope) in a position to let other people take on the running of the club. It'll be interesting to see how well I can keep my hands off the wheel...
posted by pipeski at 12:55 PM on December 29, 2019 [11 favorites]


Mrs Potato, that is amazing!
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:59 PM on December 29, 2019 [3 favorites]


My accomplishment is that, when I’ve been in leadership and management positions, I’ve worked for the good of those reporting to me first and the best interests of my institution, rather than my own aggrandizement. I’ve also held to my principles and pushed back at upper management, even when that was hard. This hasn’t made me happy, but at least my sleepless nights are due to stress, not moral guilt.

I’ve housed three cats and mostly kept them happy, barring illness.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:06 PM on December 29, 2019 [18 favorites]


Moved abroad twice and quit drinking!
posted by ellieBOA at 1:12 PM on December 29, 2019 [15 favorites]


I bought property with my sister and we started a farm and have had 2 successful seasons of strawberry sales! Apple sales start next fall!
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:21 PM on December 29, 2019 [43 favorites]


My partner and I bought a house. Or rather, a building. We started using the office to sleep in, and the pantry to cook and live in. We started building it into a house, slowly. Adding infrastructure, walls, floors... bit by bit. When we moved in, most of it was an empty box with windows.

Now we have a lovely roomy bedroom, a très retro bathroom and a cosy guestroom. The house is nowhere near done, but we've got time.
I tiled the bathroom: light yellow with blue mosaic fish. I'm rather proud of how that turned out.
The kitchen is going to be all vintage and pretty spectacular, if you like that kind of thing.

Oh, and around 10 years ago, I helped found a hackerspace. I was the first chairperson we had, and stayed on the board for five years. We're still going strong. I'm rather proud of my part in that, too.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:27 PM on December 29, 2019 [30 favorites]


I've been at my current job for five years and things have been going exceptionally well. I really turned around the organization I work for and put us at the forefront of our field, and I'm really proud of that. And to do that I finally left a job I hated (in a place I loved) because the organization was run by a manager who felt that fear and humiliation were the only effective motivators. Then again, I suppose it did motivate me to find another job and leave that toxic hellhole. In the process, I took a step up the organizational ladder, doubled my salary, and now I do my old boss's job at a different organization and I'm clearly doing it better than he does, and I've managed to do it while respecting every staff member and creating a much healthier environment that people seem to flourish in.

But I think I'm more proud of the fact that I have finally accepted that I'm a decent writer. I like what I'm writing and that makes me really happy because that's all I ever really wanted to do, ever since I was a kid. Now, in my mid-fifties, I'm finally doing it, even getting pieces placed, sometimes getting paid. And Metafilter kind of had something to do with that. I started using the Talktail Hours as writing prompts a few years ago and I've written some nice little autobiographical essays in those threads disguised as comments. Those led to staring points for a memoir which has been incredibly rewarding to work on. I even had a friend who works in publishing ask me for a first look at the finished manuscript based on the first 40 pages I showed him. It's not a contract, but it's not nothing either. I'm really hoping I can get the first full draft completed sometime next year. Fingers crossed, and if you have any spare time you're not using, could you pop it in the mail to me?
posted by Stanczyk at 2:13 PM on December 29, 2019 [22 favorites]


Worked off 100 lbs and kept them off. Went back to college, graduated, got a job I wanted as a result.
posted by curious nu at 2:14 PM on December 29, 2019 [37 favorites]


I stopped avoiding conflict so much. These are skills I learned from the man I started dating this decade and the new job I took 5 years ago. It's made my life a lot better overall.
posted by vespabelle at 2:25 PM on December 29, 2019 [13 favorites]


I got a masters degree in a technical field, one for which I was mathematically unprepared, while pregnant with and parenting my first child; and although some of the coursework was a major struggle, I kicked major ass at the capstone exam. And I didn’t give up even when I was really afraid I would fail.

The other thing I am proud of, although it is a very mixed sort of pride, is that I kind of saved my mother’s life (with a major assist from modern medical technology). She was in the ICU in a deep coma and her doctors told me it was hopeless but my read of the medical literature on her particular problem told me it wasn’t. I argued, I was right, and she recovered. I was seven months pregnant; if I hadn’t intervened, she would never have known her only grandchild.
posted by eirias at 2:34 PM on December 29, 2019 [46 favorites]


Realized that I spent about $50 a month on cigarettes and that that money would be better used by organizations such as the SPLC, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, RAINN, etc.
posted by Etrigan at 2:50 PM on December 29, 2019 [31 favorites]


Boring answer: I finally transitioned.

Interesting answer: long after having given up on it as a pointless, impractical childhood dream, I finally got to attend a concert where music I composed was on the program.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:54 PM on December 29, 2019 [68 favorites]


Hey! Shoutout to everyone who's posted in this thread, and who will be posting in this thread when I'm asleep ( = soon):

You're amazing! It's good that you're proud of [thing you posted about], because you totally deserve to be. Go, you! You rock!

To everyone who has not yet posted in this thread because they think they don't have enough to be proud of:

You're amazing! You should really be proud of [thing you need to post about], because you totally deserve to be. Go, you! You rock!


Why, yes, I am in fact enjoying an alcoholic beverage currently. And I'm using what's left of it to toast to all y'alls health. Proost! And post about the thing!
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:06 PM on December 29, 2019 [23 favorites]


Just about ten years ago I wrote this AskMe. At the time I had a few hand tools and the world's shittiest bandsaw. Most of my tools fit into a single 5 gallon bucket and an old desk with some pegboard behind it served as my "shop." I had no real skills, no training or education in anything useful. I'd built a couple things but nothing I was too proud of. If my snowblower stopped working I didn't have a snowblower until The Snowblower Guy could get around to coming by, picking it up, and fixing it.

I posted that thread because I wanted to begin a journey to acquire skills and tools so that I could make or do anything. As the title of the thread suggested, I wanted to be an Adam Savage type, a master of all skills with a shop that would let me practice them.

It's now ten years later. Most of my basement is filled with woodworking tools, acquired as I needed them and all of them get used. I have a sixteen foot bench that I built myself. There are outlets and good lights everywhere, all wired up by me. I have dust collection and compressed air. It's not my dream shop, but it's a pretty damn good shop that I built myself.

I've taken classes at the North Bennet Street School in Boston. I spent a weekend learning bowl and spoon carving out at Jimmy Diresta's farmhouse in the Catskills. A half hour banging on an anvil that weekend inspired me to take a nine week blacksmithing class. At some point I discovered I don't like working with electronics. In two weeks I'll be taking a bowl turning class so I can use the used lathe I acquired this morning.

I learned to fix small engines and I haven't had to call The Snowblower Guy since. I started building guitars. Seven of them at last count. The last one was a bass that I built on commission, the first thing I ever sold. I've made gifts and sent them off to internet strangers and they have been loved. I keep making stuff and doing stuff and every time I do I feel a little more confident, a little more skilled. People sometimes call me to help them do stuff. I'm becoming That Guy. I've always wanted to be That Guy.

I don't have all the skills yet, my time, space and money are limited, but I sure feel like this journey has been successful so far. I'm really fucking proud of that.

There's been other things that have made me proud, including a huge one this year, but maybe I'll save those for another time.
posted by bondcliff at 3:07 PM on December 29, 2019 [70 favorites]


bondcliff, I hope you feel a little extra proud that this stranger read a couple sentences into your post and knew for sure it was you posting! Yep, that’s the amazing woodworking person, no question. :)
posted by eirias at 3:16 PM on December 29, 2019 [8 favorites]


Hmmm. I got married, had three kids (well, my partner did the heavy lifting), got a master's degree, entered a doctoral program (still working on it), bought two investment apartments...settled down, we have lived in the same apartment for 4 years now, the longest I have lived anywhere as an adult.

I started coding (as a hobby) again, writing poetry, running (again). I don't know what I am most proud of, really. Life has been hard (see three kids), and I guess I the best thing is that I am still here.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:42 PM on December 29, 2019 [14 favorites]


I have survived.

After losing my soulmate, I was certain that I could will myself dead. It didn't happen, and even with a backup plan, I stayed around because I had critters to look after; but there's always the plan as a backup.

And I quit a job that was horrible; I was afraid the out-of-control boss would strike in anger one day.... so I quit. I'm proud of that because I needed the income. I'm really pleased that I did something for myself.

Now I work 3 part time jobs. One place is a dream job with sterling boss but no opportunity for full time employment but it is the job that I lucked into after horrible job.

And I'm continuing to survive.

I've rescued 3 kitty foundlings and have made their lives good; there's a huge outdoor kitty kompond I built so they have outside time. I am usually rewarded with catlap..... so good.

I have good neighbors across the street who are more friends than just neighbors. We're there for each other. Never had that before and it is sustaining me through difficult times as I deal with my mother's worsening dementia.

I survive even though there is evil and doom in this world. It seems to be worsening and I fear for the future so many people I care about and those who I don't even know. Our land and animals are in peril but I am keeping on for some unknown .....

I am looking after those near me. And begrudgingly, I am looking after me with just enough necessary to keep my soul alive. I don't know why.
posted by mightshould at 3:57 PM on December 29, 2019 [52 favorites]


At the beginning of this decade my life was kind of a mess, I had quit college to write a novel, I was living in a room my former roommate let me cheaply in the apartment he’d bought, and I had no fall-back plan for what might happen if a career as a writer didn’t work out, and by the way I was living in the US and writing in Icelandic, so I was very invisible. Oh, and my work hours were cut back to 10 per week.

Also, I had comically low self-esteem, to the point where my main self-preservation mechanism was to laugh at how extreme my self-hatred would get.

But my first book came out, and three and a half have followed it. I moved back to Iceland, finished my BA degree, and found a role for myself in all kinds of organizing of literary events and co-editing and -publishing a line of chapbooks which ran from 2012 until last year. I’ve managed to live off writing for the last few years, which is more than I ever dreamed of, and which a part of me always think is some kind of cosmic mistake.

Also, and this is most important, I met and fell in love with the woman who’s now my wife, and we had two children. My son and daughter are what I’m proudest of in life, and being able to take care of them and provide for them seems like a miracle.

Sometime in the last few years I mislaid my self-hatred which had been a constant companion since my childhood, and being able to feel genuine pride in myself is an emotion that still surprises me with joy.
posted by Kattullus at 4:14 PM on December 29, 2019 [60 favorites]


I found a sport I love to participate in, for the first time in my life. It's changed how I feel about exercise, being competitive, nutrition, what my body should be like, and aging.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:31 PM on December 29, 2019 [20 favorites]


I too quit drinking! Coming on ten years sober now. I also improved my lifestyle in other ways, lost weight, found joy in exercise, learnt to cook. I’m so very much happier now than I was at the beginning of the decade. I also started freelancing in 2012 and surprised myself with my self-discipline. That’s now the longest “job” I’ve held and I love it. And the kitties I can spend my days with cuz I work from home. :)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 4:35 PM on December 29, 2019 [15 favorites]


Holy shit what a decade. I've lived in three states, adopted four cats, bought a house, found my person, and generally made excellent progress on figuring out who I am and who I want to be and how to close the gap between the two.

Can't really think of a single big thing I'm proud of, but I'm pleased that I've managed to mature where it's important and avoid it where it's not (if wearing loud cat-themed cat shirts is wrong, I don't want to be right), and learned how to be in a functional relationship. My mantra is "What would Mr. Rogers do?" and I plan to keep at that over the next decade.
posted by jzb at 5:21 PM on December 29, 2019 [11 favorites]


I saw a doctor about my anxiety, and then did therapy for a number of weeks, and the work associated with that, and made an effort to turn the direction I was heading around. And I think I have been (mostly) successful at not pushing that anxiety on to my children.

That will make more difference than anything else this decade.
posted by smoke at 5:22 PM on December 29, 2019 [22 favorites]


Completed my PhD, became a Step-Dad, passed my driving test, got a rescue dog, supervised several PhD students to successful completions and got married, in that order (chronologically)!
posted by Chairboy at 5:24 PM on December 29, 2019 [12 favorites]


Kiddo will be 12 in April. That the kiddo is not only surviving but thriving sums up what I am most proud of this decade.

Indeed, it was the only thing I could really think of until I read other comments here. Come February, I will be 2 years tobacco free. About 4.5 years ago, I was offered an amazing job opportunity that got me out of food service and into a career that aligns with one of my passions as well as offering PTO, medical/dental, retirement, etc.

And, yet, all I could initially think of is how this whole decade was to make a safe space for the kiddo to best foster the ability for them to grow and be the best they could be.

I am pretty proud for what I have done to raise the kiddo (acknowledging spouse, grandparents, teachers, etc. have also played a role.)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:10 PM on December 29, 2019 [22 favorites]


I am really proud of myself for being emotionally resilient, and surviving (thriving, even!) during my ex-husband's sliding into drug abuse and addiction, leaving him, and living by myself for the first time ever in my life. Within the first year of solo living I've had 2 plumbing emergencies, had a cat move in and a dog pass away. I'm still here and doing great, overall! I'm very proud of that.

I'm also proud of putting together Card Club and what it evolved into, which is this very relaxed organization that is about either helping others celebrate, or helping each other out through tough times via the postal services of the world. There's very little drama (that I've seen, anyhow) and it's all about making small connections and building community. It's work, but it's so fulfilling and I love doing it. As of February, it'll have been up and running for 2 years, yay!
posted by Sparky Buttons at 6:15 PM on December 29, 2019 [49 favorites]


Also, all of you are amazing, and y'all should be proud of yourselves.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 6:16 PM on December 29, 2019 [13 favorites]


I’m very proud of helping my home-educated son in successfully graduating and launching into college as a competent, kind, fun person. (Yay! I didn’t screw up too bad!)

Also published three books, a lifelong and continuing goal. Rescued a rather astonishing number of cats and dogs, and a few wild animals. Managed to remain sane and humane despite political mayhem and life’s eternal plot twists.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 6:31 PM on December 29, 2019 [13 favorites]


I put all four of my parents in the ground in the span of 15 months. I settled their estates, bought and remodeled a house. I'm managing to keep my marriage alive despite a year and a half (so far) of involuntary separation.

It hasn't been fun, but I now know beyond a doubt that I am one tough bitch.

On preview: this has all occurred in the last three and a half years. The first six years of the decade were pretty easy, I guess.
posted by workerant at 6:39 PM on December 29, 2019 [26 favorites]


Ten years and a handful of days ago I came out to MeFi and more importantly myself.

It's been a trip, a struggle and a bit of a march, but I'm here.
posted by loquacious at 7:01 PM on December 29, 2019 [42 favorites]


I don't have one, but two that are intertwined. I wrote a novel that made me finally realize I was trans, and as a result, I (after a couple of years delay) transitioned.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 7:20 PM on December 29, 2019 [26 favorites]


Decided to take care of myself, lost 100 lbs and started running. I've gained about 40 back, but am still running on and off. Passed 16 years as a volunteer advocate with an amazing domestic violence org, and help found an anti-gender-based violence program teaching men about things like "toxic masculinity" and healthy relationships. So that's three things.

Y'all are amazing, and so's this space.
posted by Gorgik at 7:27 PM on December 29, 2019 [25 favorites]


You get a favorite, and you get a favorite! Everybody gets a favorite! I love all of your stories, and I hope the 20s are even better than the last decade for each and every MeFite.
posted by skycrashesdown at 7:29 PM on December 29, 2019 [16 favorites]


I had a baby, who is now 7 and a second grade whirlwind of amazing and exasperating and amazingly exasperating qualities. He's super cool.

I changed jobs five years ago from one that was a complete dead end to one where I've been promoted twice, received a staff award and am on track to be promoted again. I've never been promoted in my life, nor have I ever managed people, so these past couple years have been a whole new experience. I am battling a lot of imposter syndrome and my afab socialization that is constantly telling me to downplay my accomplishments. I'm really thankful for a bunch of mentors at my job who gently push back against that and help me develop better habits of mind.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:35 PM on December 29, 2019 [15 favorites]


Finally got a couple of promotions I really wanted, made a bunch of new friends I really feel close to, and bought an apartment.
posted by holborne at 7:57 PM on December 29, 2019 [11 favorites]


On the 3rd day of 2010, I left New Hampshire to fly to southeastern Peru, take a boat for 8 hours, climb up a cliff, and start chasing very small monkeys. While I was there, I fell in love with the rain forest. I was also raped by a colleague. I got home, started grad school, swallowed my fear, and less than two years later I left Ohio to fly to Cote d'Ivoire, drive across the country, trust five strange men with whom I sort of shared a common language, and chase slightly larger monkeys. I managed the project. I protected myself. I survived malaria twice. I made friends and family. I finished my PhD, went back to Cote d'Ivoire, and made it through malaria again. I came home, started a new job, flew across the world to chase actually very large apes, managed the project in yet another language, advocated for other people too, and when the events of nearly ten years ago started insinuating themselves into my life in a way that became untenable, I swallowed my fear again and got therapy.

I don't think my primates can get any bigger. I don't know if I'll get to keep doing what I love in the next decade. But I'm proud of myself for the things I've done and the things I've survived and the things I've changed and the work I've done, and I hope that I can look back in 10 years and feel like I've used the time I've gotten as interestingly and usefully and satisfactorily as possible.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:05 PM on December 29, 2019 [78 favorites]


I went to bat for my kid, again and again and again. That's the biggest one.

I grew, a lot. I am kinder, more thoughtful, more careful with my words. I can step back and look at things more honestly, and with a gentler touch. I am less sure of what I think I know; I think that is a good thing.

44 is around the bend, and sometimes things look a little bleak on the road ahead. It won't be what I thought it would be. I made a choice, and I am doing the right thing, even if it is the hardest thing. I hope I can gracefully rise to meet the challenge. I believe it's called "another fucking growth opportunity"? Wish me luck.
posted by moira at 8:33 PM on December 29, 2019 [22 favorites]


I don't think my primates can get any bigger.

...GORILLAS. Remember- There are always Gorillas.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:56 PM on December 29, 2019 [10 favorites]


I moved to a better place, a better job, a better life. Got a mortgage, bought an apartment to call my own. Rid myself of some toxic relationships. That's all pretty good, I guess.

But this is so much cooler:

Mrs Potato:

> Received my permanent residence in Finland in early 2019 as a self employed entrepreneur
> I did this is a woman, alone. Starting at age 48. In 2014. I carry a 'third world' passport

Holy shit. Onneksi olkoon! Tervetuloa!

Sorry for all the racist-misogynist assholes we've sort of been infested with.
posted by Soi-hah at 10:53 PM on December 29, 2019 [15 favorites]


Living off-grid for 12 years now, 5 solo; navigating wilderness, harsh climate, solitude, wood stove, chainsaw, outhouse, skidoo etc; and best: getting to know the assorted creatures of the forest.
Its hella challenging at times, but full of quiet beauty, and I love it.
posted by cabin fever at 12:07 AM on December 30, 2019 [27 favorites]


Soi-hah, my sisu mantra is se on mita se on - sorry for the lack of umlauts, I've overlaid my finnish keyboard with an international layout better suited to my muscle memory
posted by Mrs Potato at 1:49 AM on December 30, 2019 [8 favorites]


I was ready to settle down. I had achieved another long term goal in 2017, one where I spent more than ten years building a brand big enough to be heard when i spoke up about women from the 'third world'. I've been investing in independence of judgement, reasoning, and critical thinking. I am so happy with myself these days that I wonder if that is not an achievement too? :p

Thank you to Kattullus' inspiring comment on that journey. He's been a good friend to me, I have attended a wedding and a christening, what more can one ask for to be part of a community?

Metafilter, y'all should all pat yourselves on the back - inspired by Too-Ticky's comment above (does she remember she's had a meetup with moi in utrecht once upon a time? ;p) - for still being here a decade later, given the upheavals of the digital world and the difficulties of staying afloat.

Three cheers for the metafilter team! Cortex and all the moderators and the computer guru too! I'm losing my facility for remembering names right now
posted by Mrs Potato at 2:00 AM on December 30, 2019 [12 favorites]


I can barely comprehend everything that's happened in the last ten years and it would be too painful to recount it all here. It feels not quite right to say I'm proud that I survived it all, because it wasn't really something I did--my stupid heart just kept beating and here I am. I guess maybe I'm proudest of the new life I've built for myself. It's a frequent topic of conversation with my dog on our early morning walks, as I recount all the serious magic I've worked in a few short months to make life good for both of us. I'm very proud of that. But I'm so tired.
posted by HotToddy at 2:18 AM on December 30, 2019 [26 favorites]


My proudest achievement of the decade is that I finally got my dream job working for MSF :) It's been damn hard, but so worth it. Also, I've fostered a lot of kitties in a lot of countries, which I'm pretty proud of.
posted by hasna at 2:30 AM on December 30, 2019 [11 favorites]


My decade, highlights:

Found (and hung onto!) the job that has become my beloved career and marked 10 years there this July.

Got my certification in Synergetic Play Therapy which opened up the world of interpersonal neurobiology to me and changed literally every aspect of my life, professional and personal.

Found my own path as a witch and intuitive and began writing and leading rituals and offering spiritual support to friends.

Went to therapy for 7 years and worked diligently to shift the patterns of my childhood and toxic family.

Let go of my biological family and fully allowed my friends and my wife's family to become the family I want and deserve.

Weathered awful heart-rending griefs over and over, and expanded gently around them until they became bearable.

Built with great effort a relationship, now marriage, that I am intensely happy with and proud to be a part of.

Made myself a real living life that is solid and stable and strong despite everything that conspired against me -- became a truly happy and remarkably well-adjusted human.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 2:33 AM on December 30, 2019 [15 favorites]


I quit smoking. I moved to Japan, and lived through the 2011 earthquake and tsunami (inland). I volunteered after the disaster, a lot, and that was how I found my husband. I got married to said husband, adopted two kitties, and said goodbye to one. I translated a book about crows (without permission, just for the hell of it). I finished an olympic distance triathlon with husband, in Kamaishi, the place that brought us together in the first place. I successfully applied for permanent residence in Japan. I translated all the maps and data book for a new long distance trail.
posted by sacchan at 2:44 AM on December 30, 2019 [22 favorites]


I auditioned for, was accepted to, and just (2019) completed a performing arts program -- the first one in my life. I was alive when Jimmy Carter was president.
posted by amtho at 3:00 AM on December 30, 2019 [25 favorites]


At 56, I had my first child.

I never wanted to bring kids into this world, but my then-girlfriend persuaded me with the promise that if we do that, we will stay together for the rest of our lives.
I had 5 marriages and more than 50 address-changes prior, so I agreed. I thought that 'Being a father' will be my final epitaph.
That was not to be: When Adora was 4, the mother left. It nearly destroyed me, but I had to go on. And even though she stayed with mom during the weekends, I was mostly a single dad for 6 years.
This July, I left her with the mom, and moved out of the US all together (after living there for 35 years, nearly half my life).

But I was a very good dad. I gave her everything I could, and I'm sure she'll always know it. We had crazy experiences together, wrote 3 books of poetry, Ringo Starr called her out from the stage - twice , Etc.

So giving her an awesome childhood in spite of tragedy is my proudest.
Also, I built an amazing art project around her, (that never found an audience, which still baffles me).

10 years ago I owned 200 apartments and houses in Southern California. Now I live like a monk in a rented room in Copenhagen on $500 a month.

But I survived (so far). And Adora just Skyped me to tell me about her dogs. So here's for sunshine in December.
posted by growabrain at 3:31 AM on December 30, 2019 [20 favorites]


Living off-grid for 12 years now, 5 solo [...]
posted by cabin fever at 9:07 on December 30 [3 favorites +] [!]

posted by pracowity at 3:46 AM on December 30, 2019 [6 favorites]


I quit drinking. My life is, as was promised, unrecognizable. Everything's coming up Kinsey. :)
posted by kinsey at 3:52 AM on December 30, 2019 [25 favorites]


Mrs Potato: does she remember she's had a meetup with moi in utrecht once upon a time? ;p

She sure does! That was fun. I wouldn't mind doing it again some time.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:05 AM on December 30, 2019 [1 favorite]


With the tireless help of Mrs. Ghidorah, we opened our own restaurant.

We failed, utterly and totally, and I’ve come to realize that Mrs. Ghidorah’s tireless help was not entirely something she was thrilled with being asked to give. I wallowed, for longer than I should have, in my failure.

After my wallowing, I’ve done my best to make amends with Mrs. Ghidorah, who I owe more than I can ever repay. I’ve worked hard at accepting the fact that life doesn’t end after your dream falls apart, and that true failure is wallowing in a mistake and refusing to accept what happened and figure out how to move foreword, how to live with the consequences. Some days, I do better than other days.

I’m sustained by a very vocal and beloved group of people I met while we had our restaurant, and who continue to give us their support, who have also grown into friends I always wish I had had.

Tldr, I failed, I wallowed, I realized the world and it’s demands hadn’t stopped, and that it was high time for me to get my shit together.

That, and during the short time we were opened, we were reviewed in a newspaper as having “maybe the best pulled pork in Tokyo”, which I’d be okay with having on my tombstone.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:32 AM on December 30, 2019 [46 favorites]


I started this decade a recent math grad school dropout in living in Hyde Park in a marriage that was just starting to blossom into its full abusiveness with a tremendous amount of unrecognized and untreated anxiety. I didn't have any kind of social circle, didn't have any meaningful employment, didn't have any notion of self worth outside of the approval of others.

I'm ending it a mid career software developer doing work I think is valuable. I'm ending it living with my wonderful kind funny gentle opera singer dba boyfriend. I'm ending it with the dog I kept in the divorce being retrieved tomorrow from the safekeeping of one of the many good friends I have made. I'm ending it not just having escaped that marriage, but pretty successfully cleaning up the mess I made in my pain immediately after the divorce. I'm ending it having become a novice practitioner of medieval Italian longsword. I'm ending it with a tremendously increased level of coping and survival skills and vocabulary for my internal state. I'm ending it cohesed.

Thank you for starting this thread.
posted by PMdixon at 5:05 AM on December 30, 2019 [23 favorites]


Every Friday, as my students leave my classroom for the weekend, I remind them to be kind to themselves and others. What’s always interesting to me though is how much tougher it is to do the first part. That’s why I love this exercise: it’s a chance to do both - to celebrate personal milestones with this small community, but also an opportunity to carve out time to acknowledge them for ourselves, too.

Over the past decade (!) I’ve gone to therapy for the first time, completed grad school debt free (three jobs, baby), found (I mean that literally - I searched for this man) my soulmate and married him, became a stepmom, made a huge job change, bought a house, survived (so far!) a chronic illness, and became a doggo momma for the first time as an adult. Each step has made other steps possible ... even if they were difficult ones. Cheers to moving forward - even when we can’t see the path.
posted by WaspEnterprises at 5:23 AM on December 30, 2019 [18 favorites]


What a great question! This last decade has been one of incredible change and of growing up, and framing it as a decade long thing is pretty cool.

In 2008 I had the realization that I should become a teacher, while on a gap year during uni. So 2009 was a year of figuring out how I would actually go about that. I traveled some more. I finished my undergrad and did what was then called the 'dip ed' - one of the last years to be able to do a 1 year teaching qualification- 2012. I applied everywhere and got a job in a rural-ish town.

So I moved out of home and had room-mates for the first time. I found a community. I fell in love. I bought a house, and lived by myself for the first time. I got married.

I moved offices multiple times as our school was rebuilt. I taught new things, I learned a lot about myself. I had some great mentors and friends. I began to mentor new teachers because I'm not a baby teacher anymore. I took on leadership roles, both at work and outside of work.

And as this decade comes to a close, it will all change again as I go on maternity leave mid year, which is just monumental and mind-blowing change coming at me.
posted by freethefeet at 5:23 AM on December 30, 2019 [13 favorites]


Still work to do, but keeping it together. There are a few accomplishments; none of which I would have done on my own. Conferences that brought good people together. Publishing a few things of my own but mostly the work of others. Helping start a new university faculty whose first cohort will graduate in March. (Whoo hoo! I am so proud of them.) (Note: I lost what I thought was my dream teaching job at the start of the decade. Got and left a "better" but toxic job. Then, mid-decade I got my real dream job that I'd worked years for, and I still feel lucky to have it.) Staying married, and recently staying more happily married. All of those include, I hope, living up to the trust that a few people placed in me.
posted by Gotanda at 5:55 AM on December 30, 2019 [15 favorites]


Also I will have given up smoking for 10 years in February.
posted by Chairboy at 5:56 AM on December 30, 2019 [25 favorites]


Succeeded in finally leaving my family and husband with all my children and building our home that's full of laughter and love. And so much pet hair. Seriously how does cat hair get everywhere.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:53 AM on December 30, 2019 [22 favorites]


Got divorced.
Bought a house.
Started a new job in a new field on a total leap of faith and it turns out I'm kinda good at it.
Spent 8 non-consecutive weeks in Hawaii.
Dated for the first time in my life.
Fell in love again.
Kept raising an incredible son.
Learned how to become a really good co-parent.
Took my first ever road trip (South Dakota).
Visited my first National Park (see above).
Worked to maintain long standing friendships and make some new ones too.
Became a worship leader at my UU fellowship.
Got a clearer understanding of what my needs are and the importance of vocalizing them.
Journaled through most of the above to help keep the memories clear.
posted by Twicketface at 9:02 AM on December 30, 2019 [16 favorites]


I'm a lot wiser than I was ten years ago. I really challenged myself and I'm proud of the perspective that I've gained.

There are a lot of accomplishments that I hope will come in the next decade. I want to marry and have children, publish fiction, finish a post-grad degree, and get a job doing fulfilling work. Those are things that I have been working toward for a long time and I'll just keep on keeping on. But for me, this past decade was mostly about maturing, and I'm proud of how hard I've worked at it and how far I've come.
posted by rue72 at 9:11 AM on December 30, 2019 [14 favorites]


I survived losing both my parents (slowly) and my brother-in-law (suddenly); survived multiple job changes and finally settled into what looks like a permanent position. Wrote some stuff. Lost a dog, gained a dog. Started doing agility with the dog, which is fun.

I also walked across England, climbed Kilimanjaro, and got back into mountain-biking after a 20+-year hiatus. And I learned how to make salad dressing from scratch.

I guess that's all pretty good?
posted by suelac at 9:44 AM on December 30, 2019 [18 favorites]


I quit drinking too.

A whole bunch of times.

Most recently this morning.
posted by nickmark at 9:51 AM on December 30, 2019 [13 favorites]


organized tenants association; ousted and replaced self-dealing board; sued landlord & won; negotiated variety of agreements with chastened landlord preserving low-income units.
bought house.
gardened, with some successes in strawberries and tomatoes.
ate edible weeds.
read many primary sources (us politics/jurisprudence-wise).
participated in creation and rearing of li'l lurk.
joined metafilter.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:11 AM on December 30, 2019 [17 favorites]


I did not post that one MeTa.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:40 AM on December 30, 2019 [24 favorites]


In the middle of the decade, I did some anger management therapy. I still slip sometimes, of course, but I'm a lot better than I used to be about not flying off the handle about stupid things.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:51 AM on December 30, 2019 [14 favorites]


My first thought was that I accomplished absolutely nothing but then I realized, a decade is a long time and there have been a few things.

Became board certified in two specialties (less impressive than it may sound - the second is a subspecialty, and I have let the first slide more or less).

Took care of my Dad in his final months of life. In the aftermath, after a lot of soul searching, I walked away from my faith when I realized it was making me sick and hurt rather than whole and sane.

Marie Kondo'ed my apartment and let go, among other things, of several hundred great books that I realized would bring more joy to someone else.

Attended my first political protest as an adult.

As someone who used to be really bad at sports - I started going to the gym this past summer and only missed one workout so far. Getting over one of my biggest hangups brings me a lot of joy and makes me truly proud.

Also, spent most of the last decade on Metafilter (though mostly via the non-sock account).

That's about all I can think of.
posted by SecondSock at 11:53 AM on December 30, 2019 [18 favorites]


I managed to "graduate" therapy after like 17 years working on my PTSD. I feel pretty emotionally centered.

Managed to finish school, become an LCSW end up in the career I am.

Got married in 2010, so coming up on ten years soon. That's been a wild and rewarding ride. O. O

Overall I'm happy. That's a pretty big deal I think.
posted by AlexiaSky at 12:41 PM on December 30, 2019 [20 favorites]


I was just thinking about this today, when I imported all my old 8tracks playlists over and thought of how far I'd come, in some ways, since I'd made them.

I've changed careers completely, from a go-nowhere retail gig that was burning me out but had me in a state of such anxiety about my uselessness that even looking at job listings gave me panic attacks, to a mid-level specialist job that's not world-changing but does give me more satisfaction. I mentor other people who have similar career crises. I've got actual marketable skills that I spent time honing, which feels really good. Plus now I get to listen to podcasts at work.

I've built a great social circle, and have three "best friends". That's a silly label but it means a bunch to someone who never had that growing up.

In January I'll get the training certificate I've been working on for 2 years, with 70+ hours of work experience under my belt.

And I gave up caffeine!
posted by Gin and Broadband at 1:13 PM on December 30, 2019 [12 favorites]


I started the decade by taking six months stress leave from a job that had turned out to encompass the worst five years of my working life (Computer Science) and moved instead to a faculty that suited me down to the ground (Music). Most importantly I found (or re-found; we first met in Seattle in 1996, when her then partner started library school with my then girlfriend-- ain't life strange) the person who I will marry in a year or two; we settled on future retirement plans, being both in our late fifties, and bought a house in the country where I sit now in front of the fire with a purring cat close by. We're going for a short hike this afternoon up the mountain. I read a lot of poetry. I have very few complaints and much gratitude.
posted by jokeefe at 2:19 PM on December 30, 2019 [10 favorites]


Wow, this question has made me realize what a ... very stable decade I've had, because I'm having a tough time coming up with things I achieved over the last 10 years. All my big stuff (moving to different countries, getting married, buying a house, having 3 kids) happened in previous decades.

So I guess since most of the big ticket items were already done, I'll be proud of the less sensational things I accomplished. Such as keeping a roof over our heads and the lights on for my family of 5, even when I was out of work for 6 months. Raising 3 amazing kids in a way I'm proud of. Going back to school to get my Master's. Creating a great circle of friends and being a good friend. Starting running and keeping it up. Improved my mental health. Started meditating on and off (more off lately, but I'm getting back into it).

All good stuff. But I'm also going to use this question to think about what I want out of the next 10 years; what kind of growth I want for myself. Stability is good, complacency not so much. And I think I've been slowly sliding towards complacency. So thank you for the opportunity for reflection!
posted by widdershins at 2:26 PM on December 30, 2019 [19 favorites]


I am incredibly proud of surviving. I have taken a lot of metaphorical punches and rolled with all of them this decade: four natural disasters that displaced me from my home for at least a month or two; developing advanced-level skill with insurance wrangling; a difficult PhD wrangling a species without a lot of study to create a foundation for further work.

I graduated from college. I started my PhD. I learned how to trust my own judgement, lost my faith in that judgement, and begun to get it back. I gambled on starting a life with my partner and I won. I took a chance on a little dog without a lot of options, and she's my constant companion and my shadow. I refused to stay around people who didn't treat me with respect, and things got better. I built a social network out of nothing that will go on without me when I leave. I founded two important blogging projects, got quoted in a book, and learned when not to trust people and when I really should.

I made mistakes, and I hit the ground and rolled. I got kicked in the teeth a lot and I spat out the blood and kept going. I handled mistakes that other people made, and I wrestled those and learned for the first time not to take on responsibility for mistakes that aren't mine. I took a few chances. I learned to ask for what I wanted, and sometimes I got it, and sometimes I didn't. I wrote two pieces that were very important to them and sent them off into the world, and they went out just fine.

And every fucking time I fell down, I got up and dusted myself off and got ready to hit the mat again. I'm so, so proud of that.
posted by sciatrix at 2:31 PM on December 30, 2019 [39 favorites]


I'm with you widdershins - I fell into a bit of a funk this weekend as I read about all the amazing things all these amazing people have accomplished in this decade, tried to come up with much of anything myself, and came up empty. Complacency indeed. So even though I hate the "new year, new me" thing I've decided I'm going to work a little harder to get out of the damn house and start doing more of the things I've told myself I love to do.

And also something I hate to do: job hunting. I've been in my current position for 11 years, and while it's allowed me to be more financially stable than I've ever been before (a/k/a "damned by faint praise"), it's never really suited me and conditions/workload have gone from bad to worse over the last 2-3 years as people have started to jump ship. New decade, new job!
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:39 PM on December 30, 2019 [14 favorites]


Survived. Walked down this hellish road of trauma recovery which made me literally insane. Survived. Moved out from abusive family tho still enmeshed with them somewhat and still struggling with learning how to be alive at 44. Got diagnosed with DID and survived. Got diagnosed as celiac and having fibromyalgia. Survived. It's what I do. And this was the decade that taught me that. I've been surviving other people's shit and my own since 5 and I'm kind of proud of that on good days.
posted by kanata at 3:05 PM on December 30, 2019 [26 favorites]


Also, if anybody is thinking, "but I haven't accomplished anything!": every single person reading this has accomplished a lot in the bad ol' 2010s. This question got me to do a lot of soul-searching, and in case I'm not alone in that -- be proud of yourself.

Maybe you didn't accomplish what you set out to do in 2010, but that doesn't mean you didn't accomplish anything. Forget the bucket lists and bank accounts and all that shit for a second. A change in perspective also counts. Working to be kinder and more empathetic counts. Keeping your commitments counts. Doing your chores and running your errands and going to work and being responsible all count. Deepening your relationships counts. Trying over and over to be a good friend, partner, child, parent, pet owner, relative, community member, citizen, human being...that counts for a TON. Searching for happiness and love and inner peace count -- even if you didn't find it! Staying optimistic and open-minded counts. Just managing to keep getting up and hoping for better every day even when the hits keep coming, obviously that counts, that's pure resilience and grit. Especially with how hard a lot of these hits were. Maybe you can't hang photographic proof of those accomplishments on your walls but they're important accomplishments all the same. Those things that make your heart a little fuller and life a little happier make the world a little better, and as a fellow traveler in that world, I want to say thank you. Life is fucking hard, and those accomplishments were difficult, and long-term, and important -- and you haven't even gotten any plaudits for them, I bet!

So here they are, the plaudits. Because you deserve them, sincerely. And me, too. I deserve them, too. We're doing our best and it's actually pretty fucking good, you guys.

I mean, if your soul-searching is clarifying ways you want to change your life, that's cool! I don't want to dictate what anybody's experience is. But just doggedly keeping on day after day for ten years, trying and trying and trying, and growing and growing and growing, is objectively impressive -- and I don't want other people to do what I initially did and kind of wave off that genuine accomplishment with "eh, but that doesn't count." It counts, for real.
posted by rue72 at 3:10 PM on December 30, 2019 [34 favorites]


Walked my daughter down the aisle in her wedding.
Officiated my son’s wedding.

That two-for-two in my book.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:14 PM on December 30, 2019 [19 favorites]


you know, i think it was this decade that i finally stopped dialing-up and got broadband.
posted by 20 year lurk at 5:26 PM on December 30, 2019 [10 favorites]


I got married--meaning that a good person thought I was a decent enough human being to marry me, and to stay with me for two good years and counting.
Of the kids I('ve) taught, for just a tiny handful I provided a real meaningful difference without which they might not have been able to get where they wanted to go; for a few more than that, I was an adult who believed in them and liked them and hopefully helped them feel that way about themselves.
I developed real professional skills in my field (the non-teaching one), and now I'm earning a good living as a freelancer and doing work I love.
I did a lot of writing, mostly fanfiction, but hopefully working toward the next step.
I started conducting again, meaning I had to work really hard to do something I really wanted to.

(A lot of the above was possible because I was lucky enough to have stable finances and stable health. I'll hit fifty within the next decade, and at some point it won't be that easy, and I hope to have learned to cope.)
posted by huimangm at 6:06 PM on December 30, 2019 [14 favorites]


For my physical health: Stopped relying on fleeting youth & lucky genes and started exercising regularly, including weight-bearing exercises.

For my mental health: Finally cut off an abusive parent and started therapy to help with decades of severe anxiety.
posted by Knowyournuts at 7:47 PM on December 30, 2019 [13 favorites]


With the exception of a few months here and there this has been a pretty rough decade for me. But I am in the fifth year of a daily 365 photo project and that is something I am proud of and amazed it happened. I've literally never put this much time into a self direct project before and was pretty skeptical I'd last out the first year when I started.
posted by Mitheral at 8:02 PM on December 30, 2019 [12 favorites]


I guess I'm proud that I've kept my optimism gauge at a median of 70% in the 20-teens. I think that's the lowest it can get before I decide to shuffle off this mortal coil, run down the curtain and join the bleeding choir invisible.

It's been a shitty decade in way too many ways, too much to get into here.

I've embraced spending holidays alone which is fortunate. And I like it like I like staying up all night. It gets so quiet and the stream of traffic honking their horns and revving their engines at the five-way intersection just outside my windows is practically nonexistent. The basement of my giant old house is full of places to explore, like a junkroom that constantly seems to have cool new stuff.

I walk around outside at night if it's not too cold. The nighttime is when I have the fewest distractions and I can keep my mind somewhat on track.

In terms of personal growth, I've learned a lot about how to interact with people - setting boundaries, being more empathic, self-esteem. Also gaining confidence in new sexual proclivities. However, I feel like my efforts at getting better at all of this are useless since I have friends that I love but whom I don't see very often and I haven't had a partner in nine years.

Optimism speaking now: I feel like I have a pretty good chance of getting a real full-time job in the new year at a company I've been trying to get into for three years now. I interviewed for three roles there already this year, but if it doesn't work out I have some short term contract work starting the first week of January.

(I haven't spoken to anyone in a week now, so I get overly chatty...)

Thirty years ago some friends tried to "insult" me because I'm "way too fucking optimistic" and I'm still proud of that too.
posted by bendy at 8:17 PM on December 30, 2019 [15 favorites]


Soi-hah, my sisu mantra is se on mita se on

Mrs Potato your story is so exciting and I'm so happy for you. I'm one generation too far away from my great-grandparents to get Finnish citizenship but I've always wanted to do it.

My mom went there once and brought me back a sisu coffee mug and t-shirt and I love that word. I'm curious about what your mantra means. :)

And begrudgingly, I am looking after me with just enough necessary to keep my soul alive. I don't know why.

mightshould I feel you. Much love to you.
posted by bendy at 8:29 PM on December 30, 2019 [7 favorites]


Hey Bendy I got to hang out with you in 2019 and I thought you were the bee's motherfucking knees. Keep that optimism meter up there.
posted by bondcliff at 8:29 PM on December 30, 2019 [9 favorites]


Awww... that evening was definitely one of the high points in the teens. I'm just sorry I didn't get in on the blockchain before the price skyrocketed.

And I also knew in the first couple sentences of your post that it was you.
posted by bendy at 8:36 PM on December 30, 2019 [7 favorites]


I’m most proud of my wife’s business. She sold her house and started a magazine, and now she’s single handedly built it into an industry leading publication, with distribution into over 40 countries. And it’s still 100% independent. The New York Times once called her the “savior of print”!!

There are a lot of other things I’m proud of too, but first and foremost it’s her.
posted by chuntered inelegantly from a sedentary position at 8:41 PM on December 30, 2019 [18 favorites]


Thanks for this opportunity to reflect; I'm one of those who tend to focus much more on what I haven't done, in the past or yet to come, than on what I have. Reading others' reports above definitely reminded me of some I had forgotten. During the tweenies, I:

Helped keep a spawn of mine alive for that whole time. During 6 of those years, I homeschooled her; that wasn't easy, but it turned out to be even harder to let her go to middle school when that was what she wanted and I had to admit I thought she was ready to make the decision for herself. But I did let her go, and it was so much the right thing to happen. She has a circle of amazing (mostly queer) friends now, has dived into theater hardcore, and is constantly challenged in all kinds of ways I could never have provided for her. It's still tough sometimes, after (I realized in retrospect) having shaped a lot of my own identity as a devoted home educator. But I'm proud of her and of myself too.

I became fascinated with improv comedy, first following the local scene, then taking classes, performing, making many friends, forming a troupe, and finally realizing it wasn't really for me, that while I had a lot of fun and wasn't terrible at it I would never attain the level of ability of the performers who first hooked me on the form, and made a relatively graceful exit from the whole scene.

I stopped producing and hosting a relatively successful radio show on the local community radio station at least in part to make the (precious and finite) airtime on that station available to aspiring programmers who were not, as I am, possessed of almost every conceivable demographic privilege.

Ha, I'm realizing that all my achievements listed so far have been quitting things. This makes me happy. I love quitting things. In contrast, here are some things I actually did:

Began treating my diabetes seriously, after spending a night handcuffed to a hospital bed (a story for another time. I missed my improv show that night.) This includes starting up a regular exercise practice; these days I'm at the gym 4-5 times a week, which would have struck my younger self as a ridiculous impossibility.

I also survived (though almost didn't) a terrible condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, probably brought on by a new diabetes med I had just tried. When the EMS finally came to my house to take me to the hospital I couldn't tell them my name, the year, anything. When they asked me how old I was I said five ten, which is my height. I lost like 30 pounds in a week, was in the hospital for a few days, was weaker than I've ever been in my life when I got out and then was nursed back to health over 2-3 weeks by my amazing partner. I wouldn't have thought to list survival as an accomplishment if I hadn't read this thread.

Learned to play a little bass, and was part of a great band that actually played out a bunch for the first time in my life. Got kicked out of that band and started playing some jazz, necessitating a lot more learning. Continued playing guitar, grew somewhat in sensitivity as a player, wrote one good song.

Moved in with my partner's parents, allowing them to spend their final years in their own home. Helped to take care of them some, did more of supporting my partner as she did the bulk of it. Was there for the final minutes of life (or close to it) for each of them. Grieved with my partner. This was all pretty difficult, but resulted in us now being homeowners ourselves, which may well have never happened otherwise. It's a somewhat decrepit, jury-rigged pile of house, but it's ours and we love it. We've gradually been making some improvements, including now having a dedicated music room and small vegetable, herb, and ornamental gardens.

Six and a half years ago I helped to found a group of typewriter poets, and since then we have written literally tens of thousands of spontaneous custom poems on request, the vast majority of which were given away for free to their recipients (though these days we're most often paid to do our thing by event organizers.) We published a book together and have been invited all over the country to type poems, and can count both celebrity poets and celebrity typewriter enthusiasts among our fans. I still frequently find it difficult to think of myself as a poet, maybe because I get my inspiration from the person standing in front of me instead of some inner wellspring, maybe because my poems tend to be written in 3-7 minutes instead of agonized over for many hours, maybe because of imposter syndrome. I did have a rare moment just yesterday where I was able, for once, to objectively consider what my talents as a poet might be, and I had to admit to myself that my work is frequently clever, occasionally inspired, and almost always compassionate. And that, I forced myself to say out loud, is not too bad at all, and I started weeping in the kitchen. I mean I'm, like, never that nice to myself. So that's an accomplishment too.

Happy new year!
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 12:36 AM on December 31, 2019 [19 favorites]


bendy

se on mita se on means it is what it is
posted by Mrs Potato at 12:50 AM on December 31, 2019 [5 favorites]


Got an actual permanent job, rather than bouncing around from contract to contract, moved location twice - as part of both the job and the first move, moved in with my now husband (and survived four months living out of a suitcase in his studio flat as we negotiated my lease ending/packing up a flat and finding an non-studio flat). Got married! Bought a house (and moved again but just down the coast), got caaaaaaaaats (One is snoozing on my lap as I type, the other is crunch-munching in the kitchen), celebrated 10 years in total with t’husband. One parent successfully completed cancer treatment, baby brother got married (and recently announced incoming niblet of some sort arriving in 2020). Generally everyone important to me remained in good health. Several friends got married/had babies.

Actually felt like a stable adult. Who knew? Remain three cats in a trench coat though.
posted by halcyonday at 1:36 AM on December 31, 2019 [10 favorites]


Oh yeah, forgot one. Came out to myself and others as nonbinary. That slipped my mind for once. Hah.
posted by kanata at 2:24 AM on December 31, 2019 [17 favorites]


On second thought, I realized that I’d utterly forgotten something that has settled back into feeling like not that big a deal, but I got paid to write during this decade, for the first time in my life. (Links are in my profile if you’d like to read about pitfalls of opening a restaurant in Japan, or about the history of craft beer in Japan) It’s not a full time gig (literally once a month, at best) but at a recent year end party for the Life/Food/Entertainment section, my editor introduced me to other people as “the” beer guy, to which I tried to play it down, that I’m “a” beer guy, and she shot that right down, saying nope, I’m the only one, really, and then going on to tell everyone in our little cluster of people at the party that I’m responsible for everything she knows about beer.

The thing, probably the best thing that’s come out of this is realizing how terrible I am at being proud of things I do. I’ve mentioned this here before, but I’ve had a long term issue with thinking that if *I* can do something, it must not be all that amazing, and surely everyone else could do it. A friend from college was congratulating me on the articles I had written, and I tried to downplay it, when he reminded me that we both write/wrote, but that I was the only one in the room who had been published. When I told him that I just couldn’t feel great about it, because if I’d done it, dot, dot, dot, and he said “yeah, I know a lot of people whose brains try to sabotage them.” and it was like a light bulb in my head. So, yeah, I came to understand that’s a problem, and maybe the next decade is where I start to work on that.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:57 AM on December 31, 2019 [18 favorites]


I've read 1,947 books on Kindle, most of them more than once, plus probably a couple hundred or so paper books, lots of magazines, plus keeping up with Metafilter including megathreads, so I've consumed a lot of text in a decade. After a quarter century of dinking around as a self-taught guitarist, I got a teacher and started actually practicing; after 6 years of that I still can't say I'm good, but I'm definitely better than I was. Also got up the gumption to start performing in public for the first time since the early nineties. I've been a full-time parent while my son has grown from age 7 to age 17; I can't take credit for the amazing, bright, talented, funny, kind person he's become, but I do give myself credit for hanging on and staying afloat during what has been a sometimes very challenging ride.
posted by Daily Alice at 3:40 AM on December 31, 2019 [14 favorites]


I kept a job for ten years in a row. Really interesting one too, and I can now type like the fucking wind. The new decade means a new job for me which is terrifying and interesting and in line with my new found interest in making the next decade of my life count for something, for once, and actually doing something about it.
posted by h00py at 4:34 AM on December 31, 2019 [13 favorites]


I am loving reading all of these amazing accomplishments, both large and small. (And I can relate to the difficulty with "thinking that if *I* can do something, it must not be all that amazing, and surely everyone else could do it.")

In the last half of the decade, I would like to think that I finally became a much better partner. I wasn't terrible before, but "not terrible" isn't the goal state for a relationship and I finally got serious about doing better.

Also in this decade, I built myself an actual career that is, at least for the moment, providing financial stability. I get to work with a team of really smart people, and over the decade I have been able to work on a series of large and interesting projects that make concrete improvements to our world.

For my physical health: Stopped relying on fleeting youth & lucky genes and started exercising regularly, including weight-bearing exercises.

This, along with figuring out a big geographic move, needs to be my goals for the coming decade. I can feel the aging process taking hold and while that is fine and natural, I know it will take more effort on my part going forward than it has up to now to stay mostly healthy.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:41 AM on December 31, 2019 [8 favorites]


Lost 75 pounds, bought a house, quit smoking pot.
posted by porn in the woods at 7:11 AM on December 31, 2019 [9 favorites]


I got back into the newspaper business, strangely enough, after deciding at the end of the previous decade that it was a good business to be out of (after spending 30 years in it, on the business side). But in 2016 I was asked by a group of local investors to help them run a small group of newspapers they were buying from a large chain owned by hedge fund vultures. We've greatly improved journalistic quality, and are slowly rebuilding the trust of the communities and the viability of the business. It has been one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.
posted by beagle at 7:16 AM on December 31, 2019 [18 favorites]


Also this
posted by growabrain at 8:18 AM on December 31, 2019 [5 favorites]


Early in the decade I was living in a van. Decided to take some classes in speech and hearing science at night. Went to grad school. Got a doctorate. Now I'm halfway through a second one and I teach graduate courses in stuff I didn't know really anything about 10 years ago.

I got married. Adopted a rescue dog. Learned to cook and bake.

But, honestly, my biggest accomplishment is that I honestly think I'm a kinder, more patient, more understanding, less angry person than I was 10 years ago, and that probably matters most.
posted by Lutoslawski at 8:25 AM on December 31, 2019 [26 favorites]


I never thought I would study a martial art, and yet in the past decade I started taking karate. In 2017, I earned a black belt and this November earned a second-degree black belt. It's fun and keeps me challenged, mentally and physically.

Also, I never thought I would study another foreign language, but I started studying Japanese for a family vacation and I'm still studying it. Next year we'll be taking our third trip to Japan and while I am by no means proficient, I can at least get by.
posted by mogget at 8:41 AM on December 31, 2019 [14 favorites]


Finished my associate degree just in time to qualify for a promotion at work. Have since been promoted to a supervisory role. This was after 6 years in an unfulfilling receptionist position I thought I would never be able to leave behind.

Lost 50 pounds in 2016 and have mostly kept it off. Still have a way to go, but I’m grateful for the progress that was made.

Started attending church regularly and became part of the church life and community.

Completed level-three Reiki training, learned to read tarot cards, learned folk magic and worked on my spiritual and emotional growth.

Began making art, something I always wanted to do but never felt like I was good enough. I’m still not “good” but I have seen so much improvement and have enjoyed myself in the process.

Moved apartments after 18 years in the old one. It was a huge, huge undertaking that dominated 2019 but was desperately necessary as the old apartment had been falling apart around us for years. We moved into an updated version of the same apartment in a nicer part of the complex, and I really love our new place. It’s nothing fancy but it looks nice, everything works, it’s a much quieter building, we get more sunlight and we have a lovely view of the creek right outside our patio door. Bonus: we moved away from the noisy swimming pool/clubhouse construction that had been right outside our former back door for a couple of years and will probably be ongoing for at least the next year or so.

Bought furniture like a motherfucking adult – bought a new couch, two matching living room tables and a real grown-up bed. Seriously, I’m 54 years old and the only new furniture I’ve ever bought was our first couch 20 years ago, which we kept until it literally looked like it had been scavenged out of an alley somewhere.

I’ve regularly attended a weekly WW meeting for a little over a year now. I’ve only missed a couple of meetings and that was due to legit sickness or being out of town. My weight is actually up 2.6 pounds from when I started a year ago. I lost weight at the beginning but then gained some back when I started a new medication. Only being up 2.6 feels like a win, however. 2019 was an insanely stressful year all the way through. Having the support of my meeting helped motivate me to make healthy choices a lot more of the time, which is not normally the case as I am a stress-eater. I could easily have gained significantly more.

I feel like there should be more to report. 10 years is a long time. I do feel like we are significantly better off in a lot of ways, though my yearly resolution list never seems to change much from year to year: lose weight, get organized, pay off debt/save money. I really need to focus on health and finances in the coming year.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 9:46 AM on December 31, 2019 [16 favorites]


Got good at a new kind of music to the extent that I think I'm a valued participant, read an important work of world literature in a language I didn't really know when I started it, learned to knit and made dozens of things for people after most of my life not having felt I was giving people interesting/personal gifts, went from being a bad cook to being an ok cook, spent an entire decade in a relationship through some ups and downs...but these posts definitely run the risk of an Instagram gloaty quality. It's been a hard ten years in many ways, and there were a lot of things I failed to do.
posted by less of course at 10:09 AM on December 31, 2019 [8 favorites]


This is a weird question to answer. The inevitable problem is I've almost only done things this decade.

I was 13 when it kicked off after all. Am I proud of who I've been since then? No, but I have hope in my heart and an idea now of what I could be proud of.
That's a very different idea to the ideas I had when I was 13, and honestly the worst curse I could imagine being delivered unto me is the return the understanding I had when I came into the decade.

So if that a plus? Did it work out? Is this just what aging is? I'm fucked if I know. At least now I know the dishes are done.
posted by Acid Communist at 10:33 AM on December 31, 2019 [15 favorites]


I lost a lot of hope this decade. At the beginning of the decade, I had a lot of confidence in my national and global political and social institutions, and had a basic belief in the goodness and selflessness of most people. Now there are protofacist regimes popping up across the Western world and institutions in my country have proven to be unable to effectively provide for my fellow citizens. I think that global institutions will not be able to sufficiently reckon with global warming. I have observed that my own efforts to create change are insignificant and small; that the collective efforts of people trying to make change have proved insignificant and small. I watched our first black president fail, watched his failed milquetoast centrism get painted as successful and dangerous socialism; watched a rightwing backlash invented almost entirely of well-funded lies succeed; watched millions of people momentarily rise against our current corrupt, obviously unfit leader, and then get used to the temperature of the water and sit back down. Donald Trump is just as popular right now as he was three years ago.

Like my parents, I'm trying my best to refuse to do work that isn't premised on stepping on the face of someone below me, while too many of my peers cash checks, stare blankly into the distance, and vote for lower taxes and worse services. But I expect my material circumstances to continue to get worse than that of my parents. I expect my children to receive a worse education than the one that I got. I expect my country to build literal and metaphorical walls against climate refugees, and I expect our forever wars to expand. I expect to file for medical bankruptcy sometime in the next couple of decades, and I expect to be part of the steady decline in American life expectancy.

I am excited to become a father this spring, but ashamed of the world that I've helped to create for my child.
posted by Kwine at 10:59 AM on December 31, 2019 [11 favorites]


Ages 31-40. Chose my career over my then-husband, came out as queer, moved to a new city where I knew no one, built some solid friendships, gave fewer fucks, got therapy, and became much more self-assured.
posted by sugarbomb at 11:23 AM on December 31, 2019 [18 favorites]


Last Christmas, my eldest child hosted the family at her home in Vermont. Sitting around one morning, I mentioned how perfectly lovely it was and how I was so jealous of where she lived, and my eldest turned to me and said, "Why don't you shut up and DO SOMETHING about it, then?"

At that time, I was a broke ass single mom living in a horrible studio apartment in MA, working in an incredibly poorly run therapeutic high school. Living paycheck to paycheck to pay rent on a terrible apartment--I knew moving it that it wasn't a long term plan, but I also had no ideas.

6 months later, I had a new hip, I was living in an antique farmhouse in Southern Vermont with views of the West River and three mountains (Stratton, Magic, Bromley), and an ass-kicking new job as a school administrator.

My kids came to visit me over the holiday and they're all very proud.

Having my kids be proud of me felt like I have done a Very Good Thing--I raised some really nice kids.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 1:13 PM on December 31, 2019 [44 favorites]


At the age of 53, I quit my job, sold most of my belongings, and left Massachusetts behind for a sojourn in South America... on my own.

Why? I never did the year-abroad thing when most people do, and I had a great intensive Spanish language class in college that had gone unused for decades. And I couldn't face one more Massachusetts winter.

My Spanish is greatly improved, and in the new year and beyond I hope to be able to use it to help Central American folks who want to emigrate northward.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 2:28 PM on December 31, 2019 [27 favorites]


In 2010 I started my first full-time job in my first career. Since then I've moved halfway across the country and back again, changed jobs once, and now left that career behind to go back to graduate school. I am happier now than I have been since I was a small child, and sometimes I can barely believe my luck. I thought I would regret some of the lows of the past decade, but at least right now I can embrace them as learning experiences that have prepared me to love the now even more.
posted by Mouse Army at 3:58 PM on December 31, 2019 [11 favorites]


I quit drinking, I quit smoking, I actually learned how to drive and bought a car--never in a million years did I think I could overcome that fear, but it turns out that I'm fucking great at it and driving fast to loud music is a thing I LOVE.

I also acquired a favorite favorite person and we not only spawned but bought a house like real grownups. I learned to cook like a BOSS--a fucking vegan, gluten-free at-home master chef, y'all.

I quit all the jobs (never working for anyone else again!) and somehow managed to become a person who gets paid to write words in my house in my jammies. A dream realized.

And, first thing next decade, I'm getting certified to be a personal trainer. I look forward to being proud of that in 10 years.
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 6:25 PM on December 31, 2019 [18 favorites]


Most proud, above all things: our kiddos. Parenting is exhausting, and serious props (and hugs, and well-wishing) to those who are doing it alone.

Other things: we moved from California to New Mexico, after experiencing four seasons in a week of April, and meeting MeFites who sold us on this diverse and interesting place. We came before we had jobs lined up, but my wife was hired quickly, and I followed soon there-after, in a field that was somewhat new to me, but I now love. We bought a house, and have slowly been fixing it up. I'm now a vocal advocate for our adopted home state, and I've convinced at least one person to move here :)

Most recently, I've become a Cub Scout Pack Leader, helping a few 3rd graders become more inquisitive about the world.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:55 PM on December 31, 2019 [14 favorites]


It's been a rough decade. I'm proud of:
• surviving intense professional bullying, both at my institution and internationally.
• fighting hard to keep my very ill husband alive.
• spending the past few years nursing my dying father.
• supporting my minority students in the face of ridiculous institutional racism.
posted by tumbling at 9:33 PM on December 31, 2019 [19 favorites]


We are less than an hour into 2020 where I live and I have to say that I am loving reading how proud of ourselves we all are and how proud of each other we are. This is really great.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 9:54 PM on December 31, 2019 [12 favorites]


Discovered that I was a writer at 37 years old. Wrote 6 books. Busy with the 7th.
posted by Zumbador at 12:40 AM on January 1 [19 favorites]


Ten years ago today, I had a really great life: living in my dream home in ski country, happily raising a 2-year-old and a 2-month-old, running a nice little business, and living with a man who I thought was the perfect husband & father, but was actually carrying on a secret life and was stabbing me in the back the whole time. Added a wonderful third baby 5 years after that, then a few months later, my now-former husband tricked all of us into a cross country move and, very shortly after arriving, he walked out and abandoned the four of us.

That was over 3 years ago. By some strange miracle, many awesome people were put on my path: l found Chump Lady via MeFi, and immediately recognized our story amongst the many stories of infidelity abuse on her site. I had the good fortune to find an excellent divorce lawyer who had refused to let my ex attempt to conflict her out. She would successfully defend me through 3 vexatious family court cases he kept filing. After his smear campaign, I lost a lot of fake friends who never bothered to verify any of the crazy lies he told about me, but now I have a small circle of legit, reciprocal people.

I took and passed my second bar exam at age 42, and will soon take my third bar exam at age 43. The kids are thriving. It’s all gonna be ok. I am tired AF, but I have done the work and will keep at it. We are all moving to TN this summer, and we will start all over again making new friends and finding our way. Here’s to a fresh start in 2020.
posted by edithkeeler at 7:09 AM on January 1 [25 favorites]


I got married and my wife had our amazing daughter - she has brought with her more challenges than I ever thought I could possibly get through but she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me
posted by mrbenn at 8:48 AM on January 1 [8 favorites]


In some ways this was the most boring decade of my life and that's a not a bad thing. I entered and exited the 2010s married to a wonderful person and still living in our house and even driving the same car. I changed jobs a few times but am still doing basically the same thing and adjusting for inflation, for basically the same pay.

One big good thing is that I asked for and got a decent camera for my fiftieth birthday and in my frustration with teaching myself to use it, I entered an 11 course certificate program for photography. Unfortunately the school imploded financially when I had one more class to go so I never finished but I learned so much in the process. Almost as importantly, I've made a lot of great artist friends from my classmates and teachers. I even had a little "show" of my own at a diner and sold a few pieces. I've gone from not knowing how to operate the simplest digital camera to knowing how to get great images out of a 60 year old Graflex 4x5; making tintypes; printing in a darkroom and lots of other arcana.
posted by octothorpe at 9:10 AM on January 1 [16 favorites]


I had bariatric surgery and lost 260 pounds. I got my mental health back thanks to intensive therapy and intensive medication. I started working again in 2018 and I have a job I love. I'm damn proud of myself.
posted by kathrynm at 9:44 AM on January 1 [26 favorites]


I had a baby in the past decade and was almost immediately dropped into the world of complex medical needs, orphan drugs, specialty pharmacies, and insurance battles. I am most proud of my battle versus big pharma and their “preferred” specialty pharmacies that ultimately resulted in the pharma company loosening their control of medication distribution and allowing my local university hospital pharmacy to stock and dispense the drug. While this made it much easier for my child to get refills locally and on time, and we’re still the only family getting meds this way on a regular basis, it also means that other kids with this rare genetic disorder who are hospitalized at the local university hospital can get their meds from the hospital pharmacy and not have to rely on meds packed from home.

It only impacts a couple dozen kids, but when I think of them on their worst days in the hospital, it really does warm my heart to know that at least one part of their stay has been made less stressful because of me. I’m proud that I was able to navigate the system, document our problems with the pharma cabal, file complaints with state boards of pharmacies, and hold my own when the VP of the pharma company called me personally. I wish I had the bandwidth or power to do more, but having a tangible victory versus the man was great.
posted by Maarika at 11:34 AM on January 1 [22 favorites]


Not to toot my own horn, but I accomplished a ton of things this decade. But none of them made me feel good about myself for very long. So perhaps my best accomplishment was recently finding a therapist to work on this with me.
posted by ferret branca at 2:19 PM on January 1 [16 favorites]


I got a divorce from my husband of 11 years. I figured out who I was as a single adult and spent a lot of time learning how to get a handle on my anxiety and depression. Part of that involved a mostly solo trip through mexico, central, and south America for a year. I spent a lot of time in the jungle.

I founded a successful nonprofit in Guatemala and handed it off to a team of locals who are doing a fantastic job.

I made a 5 year plan. I'm 4 years into it and I've hit almost every goal so far. I've never been able to work towards longterm goals like this before, so I'm pretty happy about it. The last step is moving to Canada, which is set to happen this summer.
posted by ananci at 6:41 PM on January 1 [17 favorites]


I also was one of those who truly didn't think they accomplished much, but as I went through the thread, I am very grateful for everyone's perspectives.

I think I did a lot of internal work to be kinder and more generous. In the last two years, I've started requesting my closest group of friends to club together donations to a charity of my own choice rather than buying me anything. That has consistently improved my mood. I've started the process of emotionally disengaging from certain members of my family, who I've realised will take a while to overcome their own chip on their shoulder.

But externally I've done a lot as well. It's just that I've always wanted to be a writer, and I never got quite there. So everything I have done, I've apparently discounted. Yet, I've helped a little with uni students in 2018 to go back to vote for our general elections, part of the hashtag/socmed-led GOTV, both with my own money and coordinating other people's. Despite the general fear the authoritarian government put in us the people, I showed up at two public rallies, and basically got tear gassed in both. I wrote sociopolitical comedic sketches as part of a theatre troupe. That one, I've been informed, have landed my name in the Special Branch files, not the public protesting. I've even performed standup comedy, including that one time at the Edinburgh Fringe. I did theatre, though nothing major or memorable. Somewhere in between there I finished my Masters. Unrelatedly, ended up in Washington DC, and visited the US State Department during the Obama years (I noted this because the layout struck me as very 1960s instead of anything more current). Much later back home, there was a major flood happening up north of the peninsula, and I contribute to some of the aid. I was even there was part of UN fact-finding mission (as translator). In fact, I was working full time within the UN! A moment when my mother stopped being embarrassed that her eldest isn't a doctor, an accountant, or an engineer. But I also realised until some things changed, I had no career within the system, and left. Now I'm somewhere where I took a pay cut but has better working conditions, and still very much within that development world.

But I still very much want to write. Even act sometimes? I don't know. All I know, thanks to this FPP on a fellow Mefite*'s newsletter (subscribed!), I took the plunge and started one too. (quite proud of that pun, I can't believe that name hasn't been sniped yet)

*I distinctly recalled the attribution, but the FPP text has since been edited to remove it, but it's clear in the comments.
posted by cendawanita at 11:25 PM on January 1 [13 favorites]


I’m enjoying reading these stories of accomplishments, every one of them amazing and the product of very real personal pain, struggle, persistence, and survival. I am impressed with the whole lot of you.

The last decade is kind of a lot to think about, filled with a lot of highs and lows for me. Usually I’m a person who has no trouble finding what’s meaningful and selling my experience to others, but it’s all ending on a down note — not losing faith, just getting a dose of perspective — and I’m discovering the virtues of shutting up and being humble and reading about everyone’s proud moments is like Valium for a restless soul.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:46 AM on January 2 [15 favorites]


In the last few years I started taking visual art seriously in a way I hadn't before, making a lot of oil paintings and more recently watercolor and last year in particular taking up stained glass. I'm still sort of figuring out what to do with that, and whether and how to try and push that into an actual professional pursuit, because that's all entirely outside my realm of experience. I've sold a handful of things, but mostly what I'm doing at this point is filling up my house with canvases and glass panes. But I've been making work that I'm happy with, and it's been kind of a lifeline while navigating everything else the last few years.

I have what I've realized is fair to call a paralyzing degree of conflicted feelings—like I've been struggling for days to even figure out what to write and where and how about this—about what the last ten years of my life and MetaFilter has been and meant and what to be proud of and not there, and that's been a difficult thing to sit with. The totality of this place in my life is hard to overstate, and as times here have gotten more difficult and my responsibilities here have gotten greater the weight of all that has gotten, well, heavy. And one of the things I've managed to accomplish the last few months or so is taking that more seriously as far as looking after and actively getting help with my own mental health. That's a work in progress but I'm proud of myself for having gotten in progress there, and for having gotten over at least a couple small humps in terms of actually talking about it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:17 AM on January 2 [26 favorites]


In 2010, right after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, I founded a nonprofit with my wife to educate and engage folks on the clean energy transition, and that is still going strong. In 2012 I worked as staff on Obama's reelection campaign and helped re-elect the greatest president of the 21st century. In 2014 I was elected to a downballot public office. In 2018 I ran a statewide voter education project that helped change the dialog on climate change in Florida and was re-elected to the Soil & Water Conservation District board. In 2019 I started working more seriously on my mental health. We sent our kids to college/tech school and they're independent young adults with jobs and apartments and such. We buried 4 out of 5 of our beloved pets, and the 5th ran away when our house burned down. We have the house mostly rebuilt. It's been a mixed bag, which I guess is normal.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:54 AM on January 2 [14 favorites]


Held the same job for the last five years of the decade, after having 4 in quick succession in the previous five years.
Stayed married, though that was easy - we're in our 26th year together now.
Visited Italy again, and again, and again...
Remodeled our kitchen (mostly providing funding for it - but I did do *some* of the work).
Somehow managed to save enough money to be able to retire later this year - I still pinch myself on this one.
posted by dbmcd at 11:09 AM on January 2 [10 favorites]


I got my motherfucking PhD! At the beginning of the decade, I thought (with some justification) that I'd probably end up dropping out or getting kicked out of grad school. I ended up doing a bunch of hard work I'm really pretty proud of, and I'm really lucky that that's resulted in publications, talks, and fellowships. It's been a dumpster fire of a decade, but to my surprise and relief, that hasn't been reflected in my professional life.

I also got swine flu, got burgled, listened to a staggering amount of music, got a little better at playing some myself, made some art (some of which might actually be okay since it doesn't embarrass me several years on), bike commuted 12 miles a day (eventually spanning some Chicago winters!), learned to live like a hermit, lost a close relative, unexpectedly lost a place that had been a home to me, picked up a tea habit, paid off my student loans, broke a rib, moved and realized how much Chicago had gotten under my skin and how much I missed it, and started all over again in a different lab and a different city. The usual ups and downs of life, I guess.

Fuck if I know where I'll be in a decade. While I'd like to start my own lab, there's no way of knowing whether that'll work out, and if it does, where that lab'll be. Everything else is even less clear. No matter what, I need to get better at working around the bits of my brain that are trying to sabotage me, at not isolating myself, at adulting in general, at balancing work and life, and so much more. But I managed to do something I really didn't think was possible over the last decade, and I hope I can remember that as I - with a great deal of trepidation - start making my way through this one.

Damn, MeFi's been with me from high school to postdoc. Five cities, two countries, eight and a half universities, three degrees, too many labs... I would have been a different (and worse) person without everything I've learned here. Thanks for being an unexpected constant in my life, MetaFilter!
posted by ASF Tod und Schwerkraft at 3:30 PM on January 2 [16 favorites]


Cortex, whatever feelings you have about Metafilter or missteps in its management. It would not be here right now, people would not be celebrating a new decade here, with each other, as part of this community, if not for your efforts.

I may not always agree with everything you do, but fuck man, it's not my website so who cares? No one can doubt your goodwill, generosity, empathy, whimsy, creativity, friendship, and respect.

You should be immensely proud of the work and relationships you've built through metafilter.
posted by smoke at 3:31 PM on January 2 [23 favorites]


I applied to grad school on 12/30.

I'm proud of driving my mom from South Carolina to Iowa when my dad died. I flew down, helped clean the winter vacation house and got her home. It was very stressful, but I sang and got her to sing. I started a tradition of shouting FUCK whenever we felt like it that she really loved. I had the thought that if I could do this, I could do anything.

I did a lot of emotional work, and now I have a partner who I love and I think I'm a positive influence on the world.

I adopted a new cat in early December, and I'm proud of myself for being brave for many reasons on that I won't get into. He's amazing.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:44 AM on January 3 [8 favorites]


Almost finished my MSc. Didn't quite make it before the new year, but I'll be done in a week or two. CLOSE ENOUGH.
posted by klanawa at 1:59 PM on January 3 [8 favorites]


I'm proud of:

- Perfecting my smashburger (on a cast-iron skillet, placed on a grill, gotta be fatty meat)
- Creating a grilled chicken sandwich so delicious that just today, months after it was consumed, grumpybearbride announced without prompting that she still thought about it
- Consistently improving my running to the point that I smashed all of my PRs in 2019 multiple times
- Getting my 18-month-old nephew to love nose boops so much that he attempted to boop my sister-in-law's dog (that's the real gem!)
posted by grumpybear69 at 2:40 PM on January 3 [9 favorites]


About this time 10 years ago, I was getting ready to pack my daughter off to college in the fall. It took her 5 years to get her EE degree on a shoestring budget, & even with the partial scholarship, tuition about killed me, but between all the loans & grants & all the money I could save, she did it, landed a (paid!) internship that turned into a job job at Lockheed & is currently finishing up the Orion crew capsule & getting ready to start on the second, down there at Canaveral. I mean, I didn't do all that, she did, but from where I came from, to be able to be the father she needed (her mom had a bad relapse when she was 15 & was out of the picture more or less for 10 years) is the most satisfying & important work I've done in my life. Lockheed is paying for her to go back for her master's in space systems & I'm just beaming with pride.

Also, my weird semi-band Carbon 7 recorded 22 albums-worth of improvisational space jazz that I think has some stellar moments. I like it better than anything I've done as a musician, because it's devoid of expectations -- what happens happens, & that is my happy place.

Also, I stayed married & I stayed sober the whole damn decade. If you'd known me when I was 20, you'd have laughed out loud at the idea.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:10 PM on January 3 [18 favorites]


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