Collapsing under the pile of gifts, crumpled wrapping paper and mounds of left -over food, we fall into the post- holiday stupor that results from days of lack of sleep, over-eating, and PTFC (Post Traumatic Family Contact). Whether we are thrilled with our celebrations or disappointed, we now turn our attention toward the New Year.

Resolutions take center stage. The very outlets that encouraged us to eat, buy and drink to frenzied excess are now spouting advice on restraint- diet, get sober and get debt under control! It happens every year and those of you who have followed this blog know that I am not of fan resolutions. (Click here for my blog on Resolutions)

However, there are benefits in looking back and assessing our year.

The media does a good job (albeit- “a bit over the top”) at that kind of retrospective-there are the ten best( or worst ) news stories of the year, ten most fascinating people, ten top selling books, ten worst scandals, albums, electronic devices, etc. Golden Globes and Oscar “buzz” begins as we are deluged with new movies. The ten worst dresses, ten best hair styles, ten …well, you get it.

So, here’s a thought…what were YOUR ten BEST moments of the year? I am not necessarily thinking about the “big” ones…such as getting married or having a baby-those are certainly huge life markers that we celebrate with great joy. No, I am asking you to dig deeper-to consider those quiet, unexpected moments when you suddenly felt your spirit soar and all was right and good in the world. These are the moments that often take us by surprise and take our breath away, but are just as easily forgotten.

I originally thought I would write a detailed description of one such moment here. After working on it for a couple of hours, I realized that what makes these moments so incredibly powerful is that they really defy description and are deeply personal. Sure, as I wrote it out, I could feel the convergence of feelings that I would call bliss- but words don’t to a stellar job of conveying that feeling, as my bliss and your bliss are totally different. That is the magic of these special moments, they are uniquely ours!

For a few days now, I have focused on recalling my best moments of the past year. With each recall, I experience a sense of quiet joy, even while I was racing about, fighting traffic and checking things off my list. Often these quiet, special moments get tossed aside for the “bigger” events or unfortunately, the sadder ones. Yet, in bringing then back into my consciousness, I re- experience all of the magic of that moment.

As you move forward into the New Year, I invite you to join me in exploring the year 2013 for your best moments. I believe we all have lots of them-all the time- and if we can’t find them, then we need to pay closer attention! When we take the time to notice these special moments and to appreciate them, we find they serve as a great antidote to our disappointments and pain.  Good memories are a gentle salve for a wounded heart- they are both calming and heart lifting.  Furthermore, “training” yourself to appreciate these gifts will help you face the New Year mindfully, with an open heart and filled with gratitude. This perspective helps insure that you don’t miss a single moment of joy in 2014!


© 2013 Donna F. Ferber, LPC, LADC is a psychotherapist in private practice in Farmington, CT since 1986. She is the author of the award winning From Ex-Wife to Exceptional Life: A Woman’s Journey through Divorce now available in Kindle format for $9.99 as well as in paperback.

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