Decade in Review

KathyBruce_1998 KathyBruceNina_2010

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to a new decade!   I can’t believe the aughts are over as I clearly remember New Years Eve 1999 and being so excited to ring in the new millennium.  And now the first ten years are over.   How fast it has gone.


My friend Ken sent out an email highlighting his personal accomplishments over the decade and it was clear that he had blossomed from a tiny sapling with little feeler roots into a fine strong tree with long roots that sprawled over great lengths.  And I’ve had the privilege of witnessing his growth.     Well, his email spawned off a host of emails as folks started sharing their stories.   It was quite moving and awesome to read about and remember with friends all that they’d done and to learn a few tidbits about them as well.


For the last two weeks, I’ve been pondering his email and been reviewing in my mind all that I and we (Bruce & I) had done in ten years.    While I would categorize the 90’s as the decade of being serious, focusing on my education, landing my first professional job, working to climb the corporate ladder, slowly saving my hard-earned money, and being very LEFT brained;  I’d categorize the 00’s as the decade of having more fun, exploring lots of RIGHT brained activities, and climbing the consciousness/spiritual ladder, pushing my boundaries as a soul, looking for my higher purpose.     Physically I think this change has manifested through my hair – in my business, corporate days (which was from my mid- 20’s to 40) I had very short, tidy, professional hair; and now, in my new incarnation, I’ve let my hair down so to speak and it’s the longest it’s been since I was a teenager!


It’s been a wild ride Mr. Toad!   Here, in no particular order, are some of my achievements:


  • Bought on a whim in 2000 a beautiful 5-bedroom house on the garden isle of Kauai.  Turned it into a vacation rental property, learning as I went, to manage people and manage a property.  Had the opportunity to go there 12 – 15 times, hosting most of my friends and family over five years.   Saw bioluminescence in action, was proposed to on my birthday on the back porch, swam in the Blue Room many times, laughed a lot and drank many, many fine blender drinks.   Sold it in 2005, miraculously at the height of the market, and made quite a bit of money which has subsequently changed my life.


  • Co-created with Bruce our wedding in 2002 soliciting the help of many of our friends.  What a great party it was!   Who can forget Bruce’s speech (titled “Love Is Cheap”; transcripts available for those that missed it!), the bloodletting part of the ceremony, and the after-party on the Green Tortoise bus?   I also witnessed the joining of many, many of our friends and family including L&S, P&D, J&D, L&D, K&D, J&K, L&S.


  • Went to five Burning Mans and three Kiwiburns.  What a liberating, mind-opening, life changing experience that first one was!  It shattered all my perceptions of what ‘adulthood’ was supposed to be about:  hard work, saving for the future, being serious.  NO!  What I saw and witnessed was that it was perfectly okay for adults of all ages and all walks of life to tap in to their ‘inner child’ and play, experiment, dance, sing, make art, wear shiny glittery outfits, and have FUN!   That spawned off my foray into sewing, hoola hooping, poi spinning, and lots of other right brain activities and helped me become a much fuller and dynamic person.


  • Slowly and finally came to love the Elf tribe (you all know who you are).  This merry fine tribe of friends in San Francisco brought much laughter into my life.    There were years of Monday night gaming where I’d join in on ‘boys night’ and whooped ya’all’s butts in RA and sometimes in others; many fine New Years and ski trips at the Jimhaus in Tahoe; many, many parties and gatherings at our place on 23rd Street; several en masse holidays to Kauai, New Zealand, Iceland, and Paris;  the building of the dome and the creation of Elfenland theme camp at Burning Man (who can forget the bullhorn exchange program, Martina’s 40th birthday party, Jell-O shots, and all the frantic ups and downs of logistically getting 25 people’s stuff to and from the playa!  Oh the drama sometimes!);  the beer festival at the Toronado;  evil jungle prince at Suriya Thai;  Kelly’s birthday drag parties; 4th of July parties at Tom’s;  and much, much more.   My life has been enriched because of you.


  • Saw many of my friends bring wonderful new beings into the world.  Had the honor to attend one birth and have had the privilege of being an auntie to several friends’ children (H, M, & E) and finally at the end of 2009, became a full-fledged blood auntie to my niece Sienna.   It has been great to watch these littlies grow and I hope to be a good mentor to them some day.


  • In a very short period of time (1 ½ years start to finish), thought about, discussed, researched, and moved & migrated to New Zealand.  Radical life change!  Sold our SF flat (a VERY traumatic experience getting out of our TIC-partnership and lost a 15-year friendship because of it) and shipped a 40’ container filled with our life to NZ.   Needless-to-say, it was a very emotional journey to make this decision, to leave our warm comfortable San Francisco nest, and strike out together, into new land, new territory, new lifestyle.   I still sometimes think I’m in a dream, not really believing this is my life.     Soon to be four years gone, it has been a tremendous adventure.   I live in the country, I am semi-retired at 46, I attempt to grow my own food.  I own a ride-upon mower, three cars, and have a dog.   I know a lot about growing vegetables, fruits, and herbs.  I can build a compost pile, hammer a nail, make a mean jam, and wield a chainsaw.  Oh my gosh, it’s so fun (usually!).


  • It has been a decade with Bruce, my crazy mad-scientist life partner who has loved me, challenged me, and shown me so much.   We are incredibly different people and together we are an incredibly powerful couple.   There has been much joy, much sadness, much emotional everything with Bruce.  It is never boring.   I have learned a lot about myself, pushed and confronted my emotional baggage, and worked hard to evolve into a higher-conscious being.   These four years in New Zealand have allowed us to deeply explore our purpose and ourselves.  Who are we?  How do we want to be in this world?  How do we want to live?   I’ve been introduced to many new concepts such as permaculture, biodynamics, and metaphysics; I’ve read books and attended workshops on meditation, anusara yoga, nature spirits and devas, laughter yoga, tonal healing, drumming, reiki, non-violent communication (NVC),  emotional freedom technique (EFT), and oneness blessing;  we’ve taken singing lessons together and performed a duet at my sister’s wedding, something I NEVER thought I could or ever would do.   We keep pushing the envelope seeking deep knowledge of ourselves and deep connection to our surroundings.


I can’t wait to see what the next decade brings.  2012 is in the collective consciousness whether you believe in it, whatever ‘it’ is, or not, something big is happening, right now, right here.


Would you like to share some of your accomplishments from the decade?  I’d love to hear from you!