I received a post on my FB timeline from a former professor asking, “What have you done for the last decade?” We had had previous discussions about how I wasn’t using FB for theological or political discussions. He had said that it was a platform I should use to further the cause of educating people about Christ and the church. So when he posted that, I could hear the disappointment in his question, the accusation that I wasn’t doing enough. And for a couple of days, I admit I felt discouraged, depressed, meaningless, insignificant. Like life has passed me by and I’ll go to my grave unremembered and of no great consequence.
Then I got angry.
What have I done for the last decade? I lost myself for a while and then I found myself. I re-discovered God’s love when I walked away from evangelicalism. I made friends who are the most important people in my life. I’ve lost a few friends because of drifting apart and I’ve lost a few to death. I realized only after she died how much I love and need my mother.
I fought a crumbling marriage and had the reward of renewed love and commitment. It reminds me that relationships have ups and downs and ins and outs and all arounds, and if you stick around until the end of the ride, it’ll be worth it.
I watched my much loved daughter find love and get married. I grieved when she lost her first baby and found one of my greatest loves when she had another. I’ve watched my son grow and become more independent. I was there when he began having “episodes,” and spent a week in the hospital to determine if he had epilepsy.
I discovered a love of bike riding, which opened my eyes to a world of natural beauty. The beauty combined with working muscles has invigorated more than my physical body. It has been my mental health, my freedom, my joy.
I’ve written some books and some pieces that people have found meaningful and maybe even helped them, too, re-discover God’s love. I started my own publishing company (Dead Key Publishing) and am helping people launch their dreams.
I have played music loud and have sung even louder. I have learned to play the bongos and I play best when I let my body move with the music. I have experienced concerts I will remember for the rest of my days.
I have struggled with depression and diabetes. I had some scary moments after my cat passed away where I didn’t care if I lived or died. I came out the other side. I care now.
What have I done for the last decade? Loved, lost, struggled, achieved, laughed, prayed, cried, walked, danced, screamed, rode. Most of all loved. With all I have. Nothing earthshaking possibly. Nothing of great consequence maybe. But the ripples of what I have done — what any of us do — will continue even after I’m gone.
What have I done for the last decade? I’ve learned not to let myself be defined by someone else’s expectations. And I’ve learned that no one, absolutely no one, is insignificant.
So … what have you done for the last decade?