Monday, January 03, 2011

Ten from 2010: Introduction

The first of the New Year is always a fascinating time to me. People take down Christmas trees and make resolutions about the coming year. We are always hopeful, always excited about the future. No one says, “This year, I’m going to gain twenty pounds” or “This year I am not getting into school.” If you looked at facebook statuses all last weekend you would have seen projections of how good the upcoming twelve months will be. As the lyrics in “Long December” go, we all hope that this year will be better than the last. We always look ahead with hope.

The problem, I think at least, is that we do too much looking ahead and not enough looking back. I guess it is because we are too anxious about what will (maybe) happen to reflect on what did (for real) happen. That’s a travesty. If you ask me, we can’t forget to look back because we are so busy looking ahead. Looking back is how we make the present make sense. Looking back is the only way we know that we’ve grown. Like they say, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I don’t know who “they” are but I agree with “they”, ahem, I mean them.

With this in mind, I asked a few of my favorite people to write down what 2010 taught them. Are they experts in anything? Maybe on a good day. But they are real. They each think well and always ask the right questions. I value their opinion in my own life. Basically they are all smarter than me. So I figured that they would have something to say from their experiences over the last 365 days.

The prompt was simple, “Give me ten things you learned in 2010 and count them down.” That’s it. When the lessons started coming in this evening, I knew I picked the right group. Some lessons are the big, life-changing type. Some are insignificant. Some are both.

Here’s how it will go down. Each day for the next week, I’ll post a new list from a different contributor. Simple enough, right? I think so. Hopefully you’ll learn as much from my friends as I have.

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