My favorites of 2015
Happy last week of 2015! Can you believe how quickly this year whooshed by? I know, we say that every year, don’t we? But every year, I mean it.
I’m taking a wee bit of a work break over the holidays so that I’m fully present in my offline world, but I thought I’d take a few minutes to pop back on here this week. On Thursday, I’ll share my annual New Year’s Eve reflection questions (complete with free downloadable PDF!), but today, I thought I’d share in post form what I was planning to share with my newsletter subscribers.
Here’s what I loved in 2015.
It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction this year, and I read it in February this year, and in France, no less.
This book? Pure magical storytelling. Anthony Doerr made me believe in modern fiction again, and it stayed with me for months afterwards. If you haven’t yet, read this book stat. Stunning.
I saw maybe three movies in the theater this year, so this isn’t terribly fair. But I adored Inside Out and bawled like a mother throughout. (Perhaps because I have a daughter Riley’s age, and we just moved across the country?) Such a great film—one of Pixar’s best.
(Close second: The Martian)
Favorite TV show
I mean, really. I’m so behind on current shows, or even really know anymore when shows were originally released. But I remember when Gilmore Girls was first aired in the early 2000s, and it didn’t interest me. And it didn’t interest me again—until sometime this year in season 2, when I got hooked and dutifully binge-watched the rest in the span of about a month over the summer.
So fun. So dated. So much early 200s pop culture.
Favorite country we visited
I know; such a cliché—everybody loves Italy. But it’s for a good reason, and that’s because it’s awesome. The food, the art, the people, the landscapes, the lifestyle…. magic.
(Close behind: Croatia, Germany, and Kenya)
Favorite gift to myself
Sacred Ordinary Days, 2016 liturgical day planner
I’ve only used this for a few days, but I’m already in love. This beauty combines the liturgical church calendar year with daily planning and includes tons of space for reflection. (It looks like Jenn and her team created a few extra, so if you’re interested, head here to claim one!)
Favorite space on the Internet
It felt like it was a tough year on the Internet. Good ideas were exchanged and beautiful things were written, but much of it honestly felt vitriolic, angry, and plain ol’ closed-minded.
Which is why I’m grateful for Humans of New York, the Facebook (etc.) page by Brandon Stanton. It’s a breath of humanity, a reminder of how big and small the world is, and a beautiful example of someone using their online popularity as a force for powerful, powerful good. Don’t miss his recent work highlighting refugees.
Here’s a collection of my year’s “best nine,” the most liked of my Instagrams:
It’s near impossible for me to pick my absolute one favorite photo of the year, so here’s one that tops my list:
Our middle son, Reed, covertly snapped this pic at a rest stop in New Zealand. I love it, not because of its composition or clarity, but because my son took it, and because it’s of us. And because New Zealand.
Favorite part of my work
It was a really good year here in 2015, and I’ll share more in early 2016, in my annual State O’ the Blog address. But this year, more than anything, I really grew to love writing my monthly personal newsletter and producing the podcast. Very fulfilling parts of my work, and I’m grateful to those of you who’ve shared your enthusiasm for them both.
2015 was good and it was hard. Really hard. I’m glad we’re turning a new calendar page soon, because I love fresh starts and new beginnings. But now, for the next few days, I’ll spend time offline reflecting on this past year, and what it’s meant to me and my family. I encourage you to do the same.
Happy end of 2015! See you here on Thursday. And if you haven’t yet, sign up for my monthly personal newsletter, where I share behind the scenes stuff on writing, travel, and life.
In the comments, answer these questions just for fun, too…. What was your favorite book? Favorite movie or TV show? Favorite place you visited or thing you did? Favorite gift to yourself? Favorite space on the Internet? Favorite Instagram or photo? Favorite part of your work?
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