This is the time of the year when there is an "of the year..." award for everything. Maryland person of the year, Time Magazine person of the year, scientist of the year, event of the year... You name it. Everyone is excited about who that person will be, there will be discussions about whether the choice was the correct one, It was not too long ago that the person of the year for whatever was always a male person. Not so anymore so that is good. Here's the thing. As interested as we are about each announcement, how long is it before we have totally forgotten who the awardee was. While I am sure the awardee and his/her closest folks don't forget the award, I am betting that the rest of the populace does not give up memory space for very long.
I am proposing that we each select one or two moments of the year. You know those special times that years from now we will remember. Certainly we will remember major life events like the birth of a baby, a marriage, divorce or death. I am not talking about those kinds of things. Let me provide some offerings:
If you are a teacher, that moment could be the first time a student looked at you and "got it". You might have been working with this student for days or weeks on a concept, perhaps even wondering if you were meant to be a teacher after all, then the magical moment happens and you and the student both know, she got it. It is a moment that warms you and fuels you for all the hours of lesson planning and recharges you to try again for another student.
If you are in a personal relationship, perhaps this year something happened and you knew you had found your emotional safe spot. In this place you realized you were safe and here you could be just yourself, nothing more or nothing less and it was all ok.
Maybe a furry faced child owns you. You love that little furry face and think it is the cutest in the whole universe. Then one night as you get into bed the furry person jumps into bed with you (do NOT tell me your furry child sleeps on the floor, we have social services for that). Your furry person walks to the top of the bed, licks your face, gives a big sigh and then settles down right next to you. Whatever is happening in the rest of the world, your world is just fine.
Perhaps you are a parent. You sacrifice a great deal for your child, it is not just quiet nights out with another adult, or money spent on electronics that you would love to spend on a new outfit or the hours of sleep you lost worrying about his grades or her friends- it is the emotional investment into this child's well-being. What you get in return is eye rolling, resistance, "whatever" said in a tone of derision. Then a holiday comes and along with a gift is a card or a note, "you are the best mom ever". You may not be sure that is true but you are very sure for you at this moment, it rocks your world.
So as the year winds down, pick a moment of the year, pick two, they're free. Write them down. Do it every year and save these notes. It would be really special if you kept a notebook for your kids of a special moment about them every year. Wouldn't that be a terrific graduation or wedding gift. Oh so much better than New Year's resolutions or who was Time Man of the Year last year....