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The Decade in Review

Ten years ago, I had moved to Dayton from Johnson City. I was living with Judy, waiting for the power to fail along with everyone else (thanks to Y2K), though I didn't expect any problems and didn't get them. I created and ran the Rust Belt in 2000 and '01, broke up with Judy, started over on my own, met Amy, divorced Linda (only married on paper), got my MA, married Amy, and moved to Chattanooga to be near my dad as the muscular dystrophy slowly sucked him down. I started teaching college English, wrote a book, had a daughter, moved back to Dayton, lost my brother to a surprise heart attack, lost my dad to the muscular dystrophy, lost my grandfather, had a son. Along the way, I performed a lot of poetry, wrote a fair amount of it (and much of my best), watched a lot of Floating Men concerts (not nearly as many as when I was in Johnson City), started and stopped the Chattanooga Slam owing to a lack of caring audience, taught a lot of college English, got my teaching certificate that I never really used, defaulted and recovered on my student loans, quit having so many cats and got a dog, and got so busy that I could barely keep up with family obligations, much less the poetry scene that I started.

I'm sure there's more. Lots more. There's all the material things I acquired or finally upgraded, but they're just things. The real joy (and frustration) is in the family I have. I want more and different things at times, but I don't have time or money to do them. That's fine. Priorities and all. I don't regret much of the last decade at all, except I wish I could make more money so I could care better for us. I never could find the secret of making money, except for getting a degree in something besides English.

In the next two years, Amy plans to finish nursing classes. After that, we'll be able to really care for this family properly and meet our obligations. Until then, things are going to stay difficult, but there's a goal in sight. I'll still be on the fringes of the poetry scene, I think, but I have children on which I need to spend my time. I have a beautiful wife on which I need to give lots of attention. Life is good at 40, and I expect it only to get better. Maybe that's overly optimistic of me, but I believe we're making the best of it. Eventually, we may even be able to save for retirement, but one thing at a time.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Jan. 2nd, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
It's a journey
Keep doing it and getting there, brother. Though the context has changed, you've always been a beacon in my life, whether it was when you introduced me to poetry through the slam, or as it is now, as we both continue to mature, just two geeks growing up.

Goals are good. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of yours and Amy's.

Take care,

Robert
nerak_g
Jan. 2nd, 2010 03:14 am (UTC)
That's a whole helluva lot! Ten years' time manages to pack it in, though, when you look at it.
<3 to you and family.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )