…and, I’m thinking, good riddance. Really. Did ANYONE have a good 2010? I mean, the year wasn’t “bad”, but L O R D Y, it wasn’t good. Even last summer, a time when teachers should be regenerating, rejuvenating, and reconnecting was “eh”.
Here’s what I know from friends and myself.
- Work has been painful. Many of us in education felt a seismic shift. While there is the normal “us versus them” push and pull that comes in education, all of a sudden it seemed everyone was on board with the idea that it was US (teachers) who were the national bad guys. You could hear hearts breaking throughout the land. However, it was the break in morale that is doing us in. I’ve met more teachers ready to pack up and leave. That’s scary to me.
- Personal relationships took a complete nosedive. I’ve seen friendships and marriages take hit after hit this year. People have been struggling in their private lives. Perhaps this is due to the economy, or other factors may be at play, but uniformly it seemed that people were pretty unhappy.
- The job front was taxing all the way around. People who were trying to find jobs weren’t successful. People in jobs were unhappy and ready to quit. People who often had jobs all of a sudden didn’t. There are also the people who would love to quit, but where would they go? Jobs weren’t providing that “home away from home” atmosphere that people had grown accustomed to, nor that sense of hope that one could go elsewhere and make it.
- Dealing with the economy. No one felt secure this year. Most wanted to do something fun, but were afraid of the financial fall-out that would happen if they did. There has been palpable fear in decision making. So people didn’t. The flip-side were the “grasshoppers” who spent and spent and spent and everything came due in 2010. However, with changes to bankruptcy and walking away from debt, more were stuck with the consequences of their playing. It was miserable to watch and worse to listen to.
- Politics! People didn’t even want to discuss them. No longer is there discourse. There is YELLING, a whole lot of yelling. It’s not fixing anything. This year, more than most, it appeared that NO ONE cared about FIXING anything. It appeared that everyone was fixated on BEING RIGHT. In the meantime, confidence in our country went to hell in a handbasket. At least with HDC, DYI, and other shows, we can pimp our handbasket.
- Homes — I think people are tired of their homes. Whether through staycations, Netflix, or hosting in, people seemed more annoyed to deal with life on the range. It’s almost like their homes became a symbol of the recession and the struggle most have felt this year. Add to that unplanned repair expenses and people were UNGLUED.
I am hoping that 2011 brings a fresh sense of renewal to everyone. Hopefully the economy will turn around, the pendulum will swing a bit back toward center, and that we will focus on working together to build community. Let’s be both hopeful and helpful.