Potts column: Memorable moments of 2009

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 21, 2009

By Shavonne Potts
It seems that everywhere you look there is a countdown to something ó most influential of 2009, biggest scandals or even top movies of the year.
I decided to put my own countdown together. I’m counting down my most memorable moments of this year.
10. This year started off with me wanting to buy my first piece of furniture, a bed.
In years past, I’d taken in very nice hand-me-down couches, tables and, yes, a bed. This was the year I was finally going to buy my own. It was a big step for me. I’d saved up enough money and decided on a style I liked. The final choice came from Hardiman & Son in downtown Salisbury.
When the movers brought in my bed and it was all set up, I did what any girl would do who’d just bought a nice queen-sized bed … I jumped up and down on it like a 2-year-old jacked up on sugar. I rolled around on the mattress like I was making snow angels.
Then I took a breather because I realized I’m not that in shape. It was heaven, but most of all, it was mine.
9. Jan. 20, 2009, the day the first African-American president was sworn into office. When Barack Obama won the election in November, I was excited like many others, but it didn’t quite sink in. I even heard them pronounce on election night that Obama had won. But it wasn’t until January, when he raised his right hand and placed his left one on the Holy Bible, that it clicked for me. I’m sure I will be one of those grannies who tells her grandkids, “Baby, I remember when we got our nation’s first black president.”
8. I attended my first black-tie affair. Well, actually it was black and gold, the color scheme. I’ve traveled all over the world and had many experiences as a journalist, but my first formal event was my uncle Mitchell’s 50th birthday bash. He’ll probably kill me for saying he’s 50. (You still love me, right Mitch?)
This was a special time with family. There were wardrobe changes (Mitchell), a limo, champagne, balloons, dancing and shrimp cocktail. (I love shrimp!) One thing is for sure, my uncle sure knows how to do it BIG.7. I try to give back in little ways throughout the year, whether it’s giving blood, volunteering or making donations for various charities.
This year, as I’ve done in the past, a couple of my friends and I participated in the Charlotte AIDS walk.
We raised just more than $1,000. We also walked 2 miles through Charlotte’s historic Fourth Ward district. The money supports local efforts for research and education into AIDS and HIV.
Next year, we are returning to do it bigger and better and raise even more money. Get your checkbooks ready.
6. I conquered my fears, sorta. I learned to swim and play nice with dogs.
As long as I can remember, I’ve always been afraid of the water. I’ve been to the ocean, but have only gone waist deep. My 9-year-old niece taught me how to swim and I’m working on becoming a much stronger swimmer.
I guess you could call it cynophobia, fear of dogs. I call it “running-fast-as-you-can-phobia” or “sweat-on-my-brow-phobia,” but I digress.
I’ve always been afraid of dogs, from Great Danes to Chihuahuas. It didn’t matter. But this year, I participated in the Humane Society’s dog wash. It was fabulous, as my best friend Jessica Brown would say.
I think I’ll do it again. Call me, Jane (Hartness with the Humane Society).
5. Hi. I’m Shavonne. I’m the health reporter. The Post has gone through a few changes this year. One of them was switching reporter beats. My beat used to be crime and courts. I loved it. And as morbid as that may sound, it’s true.
I have found an appreciation for this new job assignment of mine. I am finally at a place where I can say I enjoy it. Maybe by next year, I’ll get the hang of it.
4. Fun, family, mayhem and foolishness. My mother’s brother, Morris, and his wife, Fannie, celebrated being married for 40-plus years and they invited the whole family. It was a like a mini-family reunion. We danced, we ate and we laughed. Aaah, there’s nothing like family. My family knows how to have a good time; see No.8.
3. I laughed A LOT. I laughed at work, at church, at home, at my two nieces, who are absolutely the funniest people I know. I laughed on the phone, in the car, on my couch. I laughed from the belly. I laughed until I cried. I laughed until my side hurt. It is the best medicine. I think I’ll do it some more next year.
2. I am officially out of my 20s. If you didn’t read my “30 Things Before 30” column (shame on you), then you probably didn’t know I just turned 30 in November. I created a list about two years ago as a way to challenge myself to get over fears and accomplish some things I’ve always wanted to do.
I did not check off all of the things on my list, only about 22. But hey, that’s not a bad number.
1. I am forever grateful for health, family and friends, and to me, that makes me the richest girl in the land.