The Year That Was

It’s that time of year: the spot on the calendar when many of us take a pause from our hectic schedules to spend time with our families, to celebrate holidays, and to prepare for the passing of another year.

Even though it’s always extra busy during this season, I like to take time to reflect on the events of the past year. For many of us, we often share our major milestones, successes and turning points in the form of holiday greetings.

I was so entertained by this cute family’s new take on an old tradition. Instead of a standard card, they chose to film a holiday address in adorable Christmas jammies. And while the matching pajamas, dancing and – very impressive – rap skills featured throughout the three-minute video make it delightful viewing, I was struck by the thoughtfulness of the Holderness family’s recap.

They took time to highlight and celebrate each family member’s biggest feats and experiences throughout the year. As they highlighted language learning, school performances, athletic competitions and a new professional venture, I felt like I had re-lived the year right along with them by the end of the video.

I think too often we’re more concerned with what’s coming next than with what we we’ve just worked for and achieved. 365 days doesn’t sound like much in the grand scheme of things, but a lot can change. And in our fast-paced world, it’s easy to forget the events we experienced, both big and small, while we’re focused on the future.

As Gretchen Rubin so sagely said: “The days are long, but the years are short.”

So, I hope this video both makes you smile and inspires you to reflect upon how you’ve learned and grown in 2013. It’s important to give each year its due.

Tell me: What was your biggest accomplishment last year?

About the Author

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Maria Shriver is a mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, and an NBC News Special Anchor covering the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. Since 2009, Shriver has produced a groundbreaking series of Shriver Reports that chronicle and explore seismic shifts in the American culture and society affecting women today. Shriver was California’s First Lady from 2003 to 2010 and, during that time, she spearheaded what became the nation's premier forum for women, The Women's Conference. Shriver's work is driven by her belief that all of us have the ability to be what she calls Architects of Change -- people who see a problem in their own life or the community around them, then step out of their comfort zone and do what it takes to create the solution. Like her page on Facebook or follow her on Instagram.

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