Hmmm, reflecting on the decade hey, a challenging undertaking. Initially I thought, “nah, I’ll do it when I turn 40, because age 26 to 36 seems a bit weird......(and maybe it gives me a few more years for something significant to happen)”. But then my brain ticked over a few things....
45% of it fatigued, the rest running round like a crazy person doing all the things and having all the adventures with my pack, bike or sea kayak, which was very fun. CFS the mystery illness, introducing me to slowness and health humility, vulnerability and dependency, with over a year housebound between 2016 and 2017.
90% of it in Tasmania, still my most favourite island. A long, lonely, hot 8 months in Indonesia in 2012, and a few little pops over to the mainland for adventures, weddings and funerals. It was always good to come home to kunanyi/mt. Wellington.
No marriages. >80% of it single, and the pros and cons of that, in contrast to the mostly long-term-partnered previous decade. Was initially pretty sad about this, but when I got really sick and the option of going on dates or whatevs was wiped off the table, I kinda felt relieved to be free of the niggling shoulds, needs, doubts and wants about finding a person. Nowadays I’m pretty content, and/or still a big wuss and/or still a but too sick for the emotional intensity of the whole endeavor. More open to the idea of non-conventional relationships too. And grateful for my family and community for looking after me when I was really sick.
No kids, and coming to terms with that most probably not happening. Four new nephews and nieces, but they are far away and I have not been a very involved aunt. Many many friends’ kids, and how that changed, or sometimes paused friendships. The waxing, waning and changing of various friendships and the influence of CFS on that. 35 housemates: they come, we share our lives, they go. The rise of Facebook to global dominance. In 2010 I didn’t have a smartphone or home internet and did all my internetting at the library, max 2 hours a week. Big big big change there! Screens! Agrhgh!
Mostly casual field ecology and seasonal parks work, a couple of years of salvaging through the plentiful waste of our society at the tip shop. Nothing directional in my career. Decided I needed more employment options for an aging body than running round in the bush with a heavy pack and/or trying to work towards a hen’s tooth rare, hotly sought-after ecology job in Tassie, that would be mostly on a computer anyway. So against all my parents advice (who were both teachers), I did a teaching diploma in 2015, but got sick in early 2016 and haven’t used it yet. Not sure what I’d do if I got better. I discovered teaching involves an incredibly epic amount of work, not to mention emotional labor. Maybe I’ll try it part time one day.
Maybe lots of intangible stuff. I listened to a lot of podcasts and read a lot of books over the decade, so surely I have learnt many things and became far more wise! That’s how it’s done, isn’t it?
The one ‘adult’ achievement = house, swimming pool and garden co-ownership since 2014. We have increased its green area by at least 75% I reckon. Fruit trees, wicking beds, rewilding the pool and the verge. Gardening has probably been entirely uneconomical for me, in terms of food produced for money and effort, but home grown things are always so exciting and far more delicious than shop food! Feel very lucky to have bought a property just before prices went really silly. Owning a house is a lot more work than renting, coz of ongoing maintenance and things that break and cost lots to fix, but overall having a home and garden is great.
Source, our food co-op and community garden of which I was a co-founder has been open since 2010. I haven’t been involved much since 2015, but I am chuffed and proud and grateful that many other people have loved it and taken on the work of keeping it alive and thriving. I wish I could say I/we have achieved more in healing humanity’s relationship with our environment, to be more sensible and less shit. I think that’s the most important work there is to be done. A lot of the things I was doing last decade are a now much more mainstream now, like waste-minimization and worrying yourself sick about climate change. It’s still not enough. But it can be so hard to figure out what to do to get us to where we need to be, without being counterproductive. When I was healthy I just went out and did shit anyway, but nowadays I sit and home and worry about it all a lot more. You can never know the consequences of your actions though. A girl who is now one of the power-houses of the youth climate movement told me she was inspired by a school-workshop I helped run back in the early part of the decade. So while I take very very VERY little credit for her becoming so awesome, maybe those three days were the best thing I did
I‘m greyer and fatter, but the latter I can mostly blame on CFS, and I’m hoping for a cool-looking silver streak with the former, as it’s mostly over my right temple. I did a somersault today. It wasn’t a very comfortable experience. I wonder if I’ll still be able to do that in 10 years. As well as I wonder if our house will still be here or will have burned down, and what the sea level rise and refugee situation will be like in 10 years.
It’s pretty worrying, but it’s still good to be alive.
My hopes for the 20s are: Carbon drawdown, unplasticed oceans, reduced inequality, lots of laughing, berries, snorkeling and apricots.....