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December 31, 2009 / Maleesha Kovnesky

2000-2009: Highlights of my decade


It was December 31, 1999 – I was spending Y2K with my closest friends – we had vowed to protect each other once the stoplights started flickering on and off uncontrollably, and we were all prepared to go down together when nuclear bombs started launching themselves toward elementary schools, all thanks to lazy computer programmers with no foresight.  Alas, we stood frozen on the National Mall and saw some pretty cool fireworks instead of anarchy and the collapse of society.  We also enjoyed a very pricey but delicious dinner at Bilbo Baggins restaurant in Alexandria. 

2000 was also the year I left the Marines and moved to Washington DC.  Moving and taking a new job also meant saying goodbye to the WORST human being I have ever had the misfortune to date.  And even though he showed on my doorstep regularly for several months (while he was dating someone else, mind you) I was able to find the strength to shut the door and wave goodbye. 

I started a new job of the professional kind, little did I know it would solidify my future in computer programming.


2001 was the year I had two back surgeries.  It was my first time going under anesthesia, and not coincidentally, the first time I cursed loudly at an anesthesiologist.

I’ve written extensively about the awesomeness and tragedy that 2001 was, so I won’t talk too much about it here.  2001 will always belong to Melissa and me. 


I visited England, France, and Italy.  I loved France the most because it was so different from the US.  And if you attempt to speak the language, they are willing and happy to assist you in getting around, in English no less.  I also loved the Gothic architecture. 

2002 was the year I discovered a remedy for my fear of flying – Ativan.  I flew from DC to Seattle to visit my friend Carli over Christmas, and the delightful little pill allowed me to enjoy the flight without my usual certainty that the wing was going to fall off. 

I bought my mom two cats for Christmas in 2002.  I realized how much I missed the West during this visit home.


I became depressed for the first time in my life.  I didn’t realize what it was, because the depression didn’t feel “sad.”  It manifested in sleepwalking, and insomnia.  I realized that I lived in a stressful city and had an extremely stressful job.  Visiting friends involved a major commute.  I missed fluffy clouds and news channels that didn’t announce a child murder victim on a weekly basis. 

I decided I needed mountains and dirt roads in my life.  Having never set foot in Colorado in my life, I found an apartment online in Colorado Springs, sold my house, and moved there.  Luckily, my job got to come with me…but I was leaving DC whether the job came with or not.

A week after I moved to Colorado, I met Wasband who would turn out to be a soulmate and husband…at least until mid 2009.  I met Denise and Erika who would also be soulmates…I met Denise over baskets and Erika over ashes (I really need to blog that story).  I bought a house and my dad helped me remodel it. 


Carli graduated from medical school.  On the flight back, we flew right over Mt. Rainier and I looked down into the top.  It was a bit surreal as we were only a few thousand feet over clouds that pooled around the crater-like top.  I felt very small.

I spent most of the year crabby and pregnant, but in October, Avery Jack arrived looking like a shriveled little old man.  We drove home from the hospital in a blizzard on Halloween and I learned how to change a diaper for the first time, but not before he peed on his own face.  I had never wanted children, but then one arrived and I realized what all the fuss was about.


In 2005 I held a hummingbird.  We moved to the top of a mountain in Divide, Colorado.  A house that sat 9200 feet above sea level.  Every night there were billions of visible stars above.  I even counted them, so I know this to be true.

2005 was also the year my bestest friends Hersh and Carli got married on a farm in Minnesota.  I visited my grandma Betty in Wisconsin.  I drove through Iowa for the first time (there was a lot of corn in the way). 


In February I got an ALIF (Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion) which is a fancy way of saying “a dockter fixed my busted back.”  I woke up in incredible pain and told a marvelous story to the nurse about how I, too, was a nurse.  I blame copious amounts of morphine.  The recovery was hellish but I got the privelege of being the only twenty-nine year old I knew with an honest-to-Pete walker.  I never did get tennis balls for the front but I figure I can always do it later.  The surgery seemed to help and it left me with some seriously cool staple scars. 

I read two or three books a day for the first month and a half of recovery, and when I couldn’t stand to read anymore I started to write.  I wrote an eighty thousand word novel in three weeks, and several short stories.  I sent some of the short stories off to various people with the note “will write 4 food.”

I took a Myers-Briggs test at work, and discovered that there was a reason why I can’t use a day planner.  I threw away all of my organizers and bought a stack of post-its, and I’ve been rockin’ and rollin’ every since.  Embrace the way you are.


I’m pretty sure something important happened in 2007, but I have no idea what it might have been.  So when I remember, I will come back and edit this section.


Macy was born in January.  Her firecracker attitude was visible from day one, and I remembered my mother yelling at me when I was fifteen…“One day I hope you have a daughter just like you!  Then you’ll be sorry!”   Yet, I am not sorry.  She is magic.

We decided to move to Montana and I applied for a job at one of the only places to work in Bozeman.  I interviewed with thirteen people, and we decided to move before I officially got the job.  Luckily, I got the job.  My future boss called me while I was at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Butte, MT…which is probably the last place I ever expected to accept a job offer.  I hung up the phone and jumped for joy…I wasn’t going to have to work at Target after all.

Our house in Colorado wouldn’t sell, though.  The economy had tanked and we decided to short sale it. 

I couldn’t have cared less.  I was home in Montana, where I belong.


Challenges left and right.  It’s been a hard year and I’m not ready to talk about all of it yet.  It was a year of self-reflection and navel gazing.  Hence, I learned a lot about myself, both good and bad.  I know I am a strong and smart person.

However, it was a very hard year.  On August 28 I was sitting on the couch in my living room, watching David Letterman.  The kids were asleep.  I was debating whether drinking Lysol or Clorox would kill me faster if I drank the entire bottle.  Just then, an email from one of the people I submitted a short story to (see 2006) popped up on my screen.

She wanted to publish my story in a Travelers Tales anthology.  All I have ever wanted to do, since the day I could form a sentence, was write.

At the very moment I needed a miracle, I got one. 

Life is grand.  Happy New Year to you and yours.



Leave a Comment
  1. bluesuit12 / Jan 6 2010 7:52 pm

    Great summary! Look forward to reading what this year brings you.

  2. Carli / Jan 4 2010 11:42 am

    2010 has to be a better year…it’s an even number at least. What’s life without a little chaos anyway….it leads to GREAT stories. Seriously though, I’m glad to have been a part of some of your highlights for the decade (yet another). And with all of the crap of 2009, we’ll at least always have Alamagordo….or wait…was that Telaroso…or Riodoso??? I get so confused. I do need to get myself one of those big white vans though…i’m an excellent driver.

    Cheers Meeshie

  3. Pammy Girl / Jan 3 2010 7:50 am

    I love Bilbo Baggins… it’s not far from my house. You definitely have a way of capturing moments in words. What highlights will the next 10 years hold? Keep sharing

  4. smalltownsmalltimes / Jan 1 2010 10:40 pm

    Happy New Year and cheers to a fresh decade. Hope all ickiness is passing quickly to make room for brighter things to come.

  5. fawnahareo / Dec 31 2009 11:54 pm

    What a great summary, Maleesha. I know your blogging has been off and on, but I didn’t realize just how hard this year had been for you. And I’m sorry to hear about you and Wasband. I went back and re-read your 2001 and 2005 posts. You have such a gift for storytelling. Have you dusted off the 80,000 word tome and gone over it again anytime in the recent past? 🙂

    Big hugs to you, hoping that 2010 will have many more “life is grand” moments.

  6. David / Dec 31 2009 9:20 pm

    Happy New Year Maleesha. What a great post!

    On that Myers-Briggs … 2006 … I hazard a guess here. INFP?

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