So I guess this is my last column of the decade. Apparently 10 years went by when I wasn’t paying attention, and this Friday will mark the beginning of the 2010s.
So I guess this is my last column of the decade.
Apparently 10 years went by when I wasn’t paying attention, and this Friday will mark the beginning of the 2010s.
What’s the right way to say that? “Twenty-Tens?” “Two-Thousand-and-Tens?” Or should we save time and just say “the Tens” or “the Teens?”
Come to think of it, what are we supposed to call the departing decade? “The Two-Thousands?” “The Aughts?” “The Ohs?” I think I like the Ohs.
Whatever it’s called, I didn’t really realize this decade was ending until about a month ago.
When you think about it, it’s kind of a big deal: A 10-year chapter of history is coming to a close, and the world is getting a fresh start with a whole new 10 years.
Even the most menial tasks and everyday events take on a whole new meaning when viewed through the end-of-the-decade lens: the last trip to the grocery store of the decade, the last rent check of the decade, the last laundry day of the decade.
And, like I said before, this is my last column of the decade, which makes it seem much more significant than any of my previous columns. Suddenly I feel a lot of pressure to write something epic.
Maybe I should reflect on the last decade of my life. After all, 10 years is a long time.
Over the past decade, I’ve graduated from three schools, lived in three states, worked for four newspapers, seen three friends get married and visited eight countries — but I guess it would be kind of difficult to condense the last 10 years of my lift into approximately 600 words.
Maybe I should compile some lists reflecting the decade’s highlights. That’s apparently the trendy thing to do right now — over the past month, it seems that every newspaper and magazine and Web site has released some biggest or best or worst or whatever of the decade countdown.
Although I love organizing things into lists, I’m not sure if that’s the best approach for my end-of-the-decade column either.
First of all, I feel like 2009 is getting the short end of the stick. Usually the conclusion of a year gets lots of attention, but 2009 has been absorbed into the rest of the Ohs. Sure, there are plenty of biggest or best or worst or whatever of 2009 lists out there, but they just don’t seem as exciting when placed next to the decade lists.
Plus, the idea of identifying the most noteworthy parts of the past 10 years and prioritizing them is a little intimidating. A decade is a long time to sort through, and I would almost certainly forget some things.
Plus, a lot of end-of-the-decade countdowns seem to ignore the fact that the decade technically doesn’t end until Thursday. Should we really be reflecting on it before it’s officially over?
Maybe instead of looking back on the past 10 years and organizing them into tidy little lists, we should focus on enjoying the last few days of 2009 and the Ohs. As celebrated scholar Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
So I guess this column wasn’t exactly the decade-ending masterpiece that I was hoping for, but that’s OK. There’s a whole new decade just around the corner (followed by a few more, if I’ve calculated correctly), so I should have plenty of time to come up with something ground-breaking at a later date.
For now, I think I’ll just focus on enjoying the rest of this year and the start of the next one, and I hope you will, too.
Happy New Year, and Happy New Decade.
Contact Amanda Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org.