We love lists and we particularly love “best of” lists. During the last days of December, the print and electronic media are brimming with the seasonal staples: “THE BEST (WORST) MOVIES/STORIES/BOOKS/ENTERTAINERS/GADGETS/SONGS/ETC OF THE YEAR” lists. December’s steady diet of top ten lists will soon be followed by January’s abundance of New Year’s resolutions.
Lists are an efficient way of organizing our experiences. We make “do it” lists so we don’t forget what has to be done and “best of” lists to separate and preserve what is worth remembering from an unrelenting and undifferentiated flow of experience. These tasks engage us because, in large part, identity is a blend what of we end up “doing” and what we end up “remembering.” Lists can be a critical tool for focusing, prioritizing tasks, and selectively archiving memories.
Try to remember in detail your best moments from the past year: your personal top 10 moments of 2012. I know that this is a daunting task, to select from thousands of moments a few that are the best. Meeting this challenge however, may earn you a valuable reward. You may not only help preserve a memory that brings you pleasure and satisfaction now, but you may also clarify what is most important to you for the coming year. This exercise may help you to visualize, and stay focused on, what you want more of in 2013.
What I discovered from creating my top moments list is that the experiences selected all arrived without fanfare. These were not moments I expected to be great: they caught me by surprise.
A few moments from my Best of 2012 list:
*Seeing my toddler granddaughter, after her first sleepover, standing and smiling in her crib in the morning, looking so delighted about beginning the day.
*Accepting a client’s expression of gratitude for my helping him sort out some marital issues.
*Witnessing my daughter receiving her medical diploma. (Maybe I should have expected this to be a great moment, but I didn’t, perhaps because these big formal occasions usually don’t move me.)
I would love for you to share a moment from your Best of 2012 list.
Please accept my best wishes to you and your family for a healthy new year filled with moments which will last a lifetime.