As I reflect on 2008, I realize how good the year was, and yet how different the first half was compared to the later half. But that’s a good thing. 🙂 God uprooting my ideas about my future and still confirming to me the direction my life have been wonderful moments. I always enjoy looking back on the fun things I keep track of – books I’ve read and movies I’ve watched, and then deciding which have been my favorites. So behold, my best-of lists, with a little color commentary from yours truly.
Of the big-people(ish) books I read, my favorites of 2008 are:
– Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri :: no real happy endings to speak of, but the realities of life are gut wrentchingly beautiful. I just love her writing!
– Forever Liesel: A Memoir of “The Sound of Music” by Charmain Carr :: a must read for anyone who is a huge fan (like me) of this modern musical masterpiece
– The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig :: local One-Read selection that was slow going at first, but was intelligent fiction that grew on me over time
– The Inner Voice by Renee Fleming :: autobiography of one of America’s foremost opera singers
Favorite kid books (of many, many) I’ve read this year:
– The Gardener by Sarah Stewart :: makes me long for spring and a rooftop garden
– One Potato, Two Potato by Cynthia DeFelice and Andrea U’Ren :: a new folk tale that took my breath away
– Help! I’m a Prisoner in the Library – Eth Clifford :: what I’ve always wished would happen
Of the movies I have seen, my favorites from 2008 are:
– The Visitor :: unexpected friends, making music, and standing up for the less fortunate – a beautiful film
– Young at Heart :: documentary of senior citizens rocking out to Coldplay and James Brown. Made me laugh and cry. Really.
– The Savages :: finding the humor in the sadness of aging amid difficult family relationships
– Baby Mama :: a better plot and funnier dialogue than I was guessing it would have
As for 2009, let’s face it, there are always those resolutions that last about two weeks and then get swept under the rug, but the ones I’m really serious about are:
– taking at least one photo each day this year of the simple and beautiful moments of my life. This means I’ll carry my camera around with me more than I already do, but will hopefully also get me to be more intentional about remembering the little things. Hopefully I can post most of them here…but that might be one of those well-intentioned goals. Taking the pictures and sharing when I have time might be enough to start with this year. For now, here are my January 1 and 2 pictures.
January 1: The house with the many little plastic Santas in their front yard, many of whom are identical.
January 2: Movie poster for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” I caught one of the afternoon matinee showings.
– broad goal…not getting so stressed out about my life. How I hope to follow through with this one!
– living my life as consumer-less as possible. If needing new (to me) books or clothing, shopping at used/re-sale locations rather that buying something brand new, because there are perfectly good items just waiting to be found that aren’t going to recycle themselves.
When it all comes down to it, living with a broader scope of the world around me and allowing God to be greater than myself are goals that I should incorporate into my life each year, not just in 2009. May it be so.