Thinking back over the past decade is a bit of a whirlwind. It’s not easy to take stock of all the ups and downs that go into a single week, let alone more than 500 of them. Ten years ago at this time, our girls were sixth and third graders. Our family hadn’t been in the White House for even a year yet, and Bo was still pretty much a puppy. And though I felt that our family had adjusted well into a wild new reality, I was still a little uncertain about what all the spotlights and pressure would do to us.
So looking back, what I’m most filled with is gratitude. A decade like this one was never a part of my plan—not even close. But I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities, the relationships, and the growth I’ve experienced over these years. I’ve been so lucky to meet so many of you, to hear your stories, and to work together with you on issues that are near and dear to all of our hearts. We’ve got a lot to be proud of. But as I often say, we should be careful not to focus only on our statistics—our biggest accomplishments and best moments—you know, the kinds of things most of us share on social media. Those are important, but we should also be sure to relish the fullness of our stories. That includes the tough moments we persevered through, the messiness that spurred us to make a swerve, and the memories that are still a little bit tender. Though they’re difficult, those moments can be some of the most beautiful parts of our lives. What we often see as a weakness or a failure is often a strength—or a turning point to something better.
So today, I’m thankful for all of those moments over the past decade that helped me get to where I am. I’m thankful for the worries and the anxieties, the failures and false starts. And most of all, I’m thankful that after all of it, we came out whole. Now on the other side of this decade, Bo’s got a trusty sidekick named Sunny. We’ve settled into new routines after two terms in the White House. And although the girls are gone away at college now, we’re all back together for the holidays—right where we belong. #DecadeInReview