The End of a Year
It feels kind of weird to be at the end of a year. I didn’t really realize that it was New Year’s Eve until this morning, when my mom walked into my room with two pieces of paper. She handed them to me and said that she’d printed them off some website and wanted me to fill them out. Then we were going to go over them after family devotional tonight.
I looked over the papers and, sure enough, it was pretty much what I had expected. All of the usual suspects were present. A list of questions about 2011 that I was being required to fill out. What was my favorite color this year? My favorite song? My favorite animal? I struggled through the questions and tried to put down answers that I hoped wouldn’t embarrass me ten years from now when I look over it. Because I can just see my totally cool twenty-six year old self gawking at the fact that my favorite animal at sixteen was an ostrich. Really? I was that lame?
Then I got to the crème de le crème. The climax of the interview. The single most important question on the list. What was your favorite memory of 2011?
Oh, easy. I thought. It was such and such. But just as I started to write that memory down, another great memory came to mind. And then another. And another. And then, as all these events and moments came flooding back into my memory, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that 2011 was a really great year.
I’m one of those people that everyone envies because I have a great photographic memory. It makes studying a breeze, and it even freaks my mom out sometimes. And the longer I sat and thought about 2011, the more pictures came to my mind. Moments frozen in time, tinged with that golden haze that time worn photographs have.
I thought about sitting by the water in Bermuda listening to my favorite song in the world while the sun set and everyone was dancing. And singing at the top of my lungs at that Taylor Swift concert that I should have felt so lame at but actually really enjoyed. I remembered the night of my sixteenth birthday party when I looked around at all of my friends surrounding me, the yard up by dozens of little candles and hanging lanterns, and thought I was the luckiest girl in the world. All those nights I spent dancing the night away with my friends, my skirt spinning around me, and all those lazy afternoons by the pool, coming up with the craziest names for all the jumps we made up off the diving board. Every laugh, every smile, every hug.
Sometimes, we get so caught up with life that we forget to enjoy what it feels like to live. We’re always worrying about what’s coming next and what we missed, that we forget to focus on what’s happening right now. We forget about those amazing moments that make our lives wonderful. I’m sure that if you think about it, a lot of great things happened in the last year to you, too. I bet you met someone new, and went somewhere amazing, and did something unbelievable. And you may have already forgotten about it, getting caught up in the next important thing.
Take the next few days to slow down and remember all the beautiful things in your life. Thank someone for something they did for you in 2011. Pull out a photo album and think back on some of the great days you had. Listen to a cd you bought several months ago and let it take you back to that time, that day, that moment. And then look forward to 2012, and all the wonderful things that are going to happen next year.
And I’ll tell you what: I think 2012 is going to be pretty fantastic. 🙂