Another year is ending. As time passes, I cling more to each minute. Recounting my favorites is an exercise that always presents a chance to highlight and pay homage to the light in my life. Here is a short capsule of the gems I relished this past year:

Favorite Reads: I love those moments where my attention is dedicated to turning the pages of a book. As a story unfolds, my mind gravitates toward learning a particular character’s fate or the detailed description of a new place that becomes familiar with a writer’s choice of words or lyrical prose that creates a personal and emotional response. This is the power of a good piece of writing. I read many books this year, but if I had to pick a favorite, it is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – which is lyrical, poignant and encapsulates all the virtues of magnificent storytelling. It is a must read – a timeless novel for any year. For my inspirational, nonfiction read, I adored the advice and the words in Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Favorite Posts: This year I wrote two posts that meant something to me personally, essays reflecting my childhood as well as glimmers of my life now. In January of this year, my piece, “The Mother of the House” debuted in Brain, Child Magazine, a publication I’ve long admired. Last week, I published, “Why This Diwali-Observing Hindu Family Also Celebrates Christmas,” in The Washington Post. The response I received from this piece was overwhelming and filled me with gratitude.

Favorite Poem: Mary Oliver’s newest poetry collection, “Felicity” holds many gems I plan on revisiting. The line, “There is nothing more pathetic than caution when headlong might save a life, even, possibly, your own,” is one that resonated with me in the deepest way. I urge you to pick up any of Oliver’s poetry collections – I’ve always felt her words offer comfort in the dark and the light.

Favorite Trip: My family and I traveled to New York during the summertime. Strolling through Central Park, we observed painters, ballerinas and quiet corners filled with people either relaxing, people watching or eating street food. We enjoyed two Broadway shows, Matilda and The Book of Mormon. My daughter particularly loved visiting the Statue of Liberty. I will never forget her wonder when as the boat approached Lady Liberty. I thoroughly enjoyed the vibrance of New York and the melting pot of experiences we explored as we made our way through the city.

Favorite Concert: My daughter and I attended the Taylor Swift concert together. The audience beamed with mothers and daughters who felt little embarrassment swiveling their hips to Swift’s “Shake it Off.” For two solid hours, my daughter smiled and sang along, while I joined in her glee.

Favorite Movie: My husband is a movie buff and when there is a chance to catch a blockbuster film in the theater, we try to attend. This year, I enjoyed Inside Out. I am surprised I loved it so much (because I am generally not an animated film person), but I admired how sadness was highlighted in a positive way. The movie emphasized the importance of acknowledging all emotions and not necessarily labeling them as good or bad, but important. Last week, we watched Star Wars and I loved the battle between the dark and the light. Although I wasn’t a diehard Star Wars fan before watching the movie, the themes were ones which resonated with me.

Favorite Picture: I adore the smile, the crinkled nose and the sandwiched joy of my daughter in this photo. This is one of my favorite pics of 2015.

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Image via Hayley McMackin

What were some of your 2015 favorites? 

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