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  gems I relished in 2016:

Favorite Concert: I always make it a point to attend concerts and my musical taste isn’t necessarily wedded to one particular genre. This year I had the privilege of listening to Rihanna, Coldplay, JLo and Adele. No surprise here – my favorite was Adele. She is engaging, humorous and comes across as an authentic performer. And her voice radiates throughout the entire arena.

Favorite Posts: This year I spent much of the year focused on writing for other outlets. Three of my favorite pieces in 2016 involved motherhood, sports, parenting and culture. In June, I published Here, a personal piece in the literary journal, Mothers Always Write. In November of this year, my piece, “The Importance of Academics in an Athletic Life” debuted in ESPN W, a publication I’ve admired. In the same month, I published, “From embarrassment to celebration: Acceptance of a bicultural identity during Diwali,” in The Washington Post.

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. Here is my list of 2016 favorite reads – one notable book I read is missing from my earlier compilation – The Course of Love, by Alain de Botton.

Favorite New Music: On auto repeat this year: the epilogue from the movie, La La Land and Grace VanderWaal’s new album, Perfectly Imperfect.

Favorite Poem: Rupi Kaur’s poetry collection, “Milk and Honey” is quiet, bold and intense. This poem resonated with me:

“most importantly love
like it’s the only thing you know how
at the end of the day all this
means nothing
this page
where you’re sitting
your degree
your job
the money
nothing even matters
except love and human connection
who you loved
and how deeply you loved them
how you touched the people around you
and how much you gave them”

Favorite Trip: It wasn’t a travel-heavy year, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any favorite trips. We traveled to Texas, Georgia, California, Chicago and explored local spots like Cathedral Rock in Sedona. My favorite? The hike we took to Cathedral Rock. Streams, mountains and more, there is a serenity in Sedona that isn’t present elsewhere.

Favorite Movie: Three movies made my list: Hell or High Water, Arrival and La La Land. I love films that linger with me days later. All these movies appear different on the surface, but there are striking similarities: the passage of time, how to love and the complexities of relationships.

Favorite Photograph: I complied my list of favorite photographs here. The picture I adore the most is featured in this post. I think the image of my daughter looking ahead is an apt metaphor to end 2016.

Many thanks to all of you for reading, commenting, sharing my work and supporting me in small and big ways. I look forward to spending more time with you in 2017.

What were some of your 2016 favorites?

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