reverb10, Day 1

Author Gwen Bell

Prompt: One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you're choosing that word. Now, imagine it's one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

2010 Survival. We took on so much this year, between the two of us. Wyl's in his last year of his undergraduate. He's TAing and planning out grad school and beyond (as much as anyone can plan that). We rented a house and spent a few frantic weeks remodeling it (in exchange for free rent). We've got seriously ill parents and relatives on both sides. We tried (and often failed) to stay on budget. I've been in a flare since July. W's been battling with red tape and errors with the VA. We've got medical bills and other debt out the ears.

But there's been joy. My sister in law is engaged to a wonderful man and she's graduating in a couple of weeks. Two brothers in law graduated high school and headed to college. My father in law is thriving longer and better than his doctors ever expected him to. My brother is happy and stable, even if he doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up yet. Friends are thriving and reproducing and marrying and bettering themselves. We have an incredibly supportive family of friends and colleagues through the university. I have a stable job that covers our expenses in a very scary economy. I've been blessed with a "practice house" to learn on. I'm learning new things and growing every day. Every day I spend with my husband makes me so full of happiness I can't stand it.

2011 Flourish. When I look back on 2011, I want us to not only make it through but to thrive and grow and succeed. Less debt, less illness. More participation in our loved ones' lives. 2011 will be a year of personal growth regardless. A lot does depend on the economy, which there's nothing I can do about. But what I can care for, I will. I will take charge of my little family's well-being. I will be a matriarch. We will flourish.