Looking back on the last decade is quite a walk down memory lane. It's life -- the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, the joys and the sorrows, the ups and the downs.
What I remember from 2009 is that is the year my husband and I found and purchased our San Francisco condo, where we live today. Since we weren't ready to move in yet, we rented it to two recent Harvard grads who were great tenants. However, we kept it vacant for a few months and enjoyed "camping out" on numerous weekends and spent a 1-week vacation using it as our home base. What fun we had! Meanwhile life continued on the Peninsula with both of us working full time.
2010 and 2011 were years of work and play. Hiking trips to Yosemite, Kauai and other destinations; vacations to the East Coast, Maine, New Hampshire, Boston. Learning enough German to say and understand a few phrases on hiking trips to the Alps. Building my real estate business. 2011 was a fabulous year, business-wise and remains my highest net income year to date. On the home front, our granddaughter Rachael headed to Santa Barbara; we were empty-nesters. And--we made the move! We hadn't intended to move to San Francisco yet, but when our tenants gave notice and Rachael was off, we decided, "why not now?" What a great decision!
2012 - This was the year we sold our San Carlos house, home to me for 35 years! Where my two daughters and Rachael grew up, the town where my business was located. How excited we were to start a new chapter of our lives. We enjoy traveling to new places, but this year we felt no need to vacation elsewhere--we spent our vacation in our new home, exploring the neighborhoods, the staircases, the parks, the restaurants, the libraries, meeting new people.
2013 and 2014 - a good blend of work, family time, and adventures. We had more memorable hiking vacations in Europe, Hawaii, Canada and various parts of the USA. Gene started working from home 2 days a week, which made his commute to the Silicon Valley much easier; I had another great real estate year. Life was good; life was simple - although there was the nagging worry that Gene's back was getting worse.
2015 - the first year in a long time with challenges. Gene was a good candidate for a new surgical procedure to help correct his scoliosis and stop the progression. A grueling 9-hour surgery and many weeks (and months) of rehab were successful and once again he could sit, walk and hike without pain. Later that year I joined my yoga teacher and friends for a 5-day yoga retreat an hour away from Puerto Vallarta. Little did I know that on day 3 my appendix would burst and I'd spend the next 4 days in a hospital in Puerto Vallarta after life-saving surgery. The medical care I received was excellent, and so cost-friendly. Gene reduced his work to 50% time; I continued working both in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco, with Rachael beginning to assist me.
2016 - another calm year, time to regroup and continue on. A good year in real estate, and enjoyable working with Rachael. Another vacation to Switzerland and Prague, a New Year's trip to Manhattan to celebrate our 20th anniversary, hikes here and there, good times with friends, birthday celebrations and visits with family both near and far.
2017-a challenge year once again, although it didn't start out that way. My long-awaited dream of hiking the Inca Trail was set for May. It happened, but first I needed to deal with breast cancer. After being cancer-free for 24 years a second occurrence took me completely by surprise. 6 weeks after surgery, I hiked the Inca Trail, 4 days at 11,000 foot elevations, came home to start chemo 3 days later. Sharing this trek with my daughter Susan was the best thing ever. To make it more fun, Gene was on a less strenuous trip and our paths would cross every few days--how fun is that? I guess I like challenges, because I wasn't going to let this trek slip away from me! Through it all, work continued. I learned a lot about myself and what is important to me, how to prioritize things so the important things wouldn't be overlooked, and the benefit of taking naps when needed!
2018 - a year of new adventures and challenges, both at home and abroad. In May Gene and I spent two weeks in England, exporing London with CityWalks and on our own, and then at an HF Holiday house in the Cotswolds, where we'd head off for hikes each day. In June I changed offices; I still work in the Silicon Valley as well as San Francisco, but my office is 3-blocks from home. Great new energy! In August, it was time for another Dream List adventure of mine, hiking in the Dolomites with BackRoads, followed by a week on our own exploring parts of Croatia and Slovenia. The joy was tempered a few days after we returned home when I realized that a third occurrence of breast cancer needed to be dealt with. The good news was that the earlier cancer had not spread and it was localized; the bad news was that this cancer is very aggressive and needed to be treated as such. So, more surgery and more chemo brought the year to a close.
And that brings us to 2019 - Radiation treatments ended in February, followed by a trip to the East Coast and Pittsburgh in May to visit family and friends (with a day exploring Manhattan which I can't resist and a visit to Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's famous house). In Vancouver at present ready for an intense 3-days of learning with Richard Robbins International starting tomorrow, submitting a purchase offer while here (business doesn't stop, right?) An overnight hiking adventure with Gene in the Marin Headlands is planned later this month--transportation by foot, ferry boat, and bus back home. August will find us in the Sierra Nevada mountains for a few days with friends, then in September a road trip to the Pacific Northwest to visit more friends and family is planned.
Through it all work continues while priorities shift more to regaining strength, maintaining my health and finding the joy in every day.
It's life -- the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, the joys and the sorrows, the ups and the downs.