I am a big fan of highlight reels. Typically they consist of still photos and sometimes video footage played one after another to music. Sometimes these videos include a narrator’s voiceover. Usually they are produced at the end of a year or an era to highlight major events. They are also designed to highlight one’s career upon retirement, to showcase the story of a team making its way to a championship title, or to celebrate one’s life before granting an award or honoring one’s death. In political campaigns, they are produced to paint a personal picture of a candidate’s path to office.
There is something about seeing one’s life or career displayed visually to music that I find absolutely mesmerizing. It doesn’t matter whose life is being honored in this way, I’m hooked just by the sheer power of story telling. I love the glimpse we’re given into the inner workings of one’s life; the choices one made, the steps one took, the father, mother, teacher or mentor who made a difference; I love learning about everything that delivered him or her to this moment. I always wonder which images made the subject’s heart swell with pride and which caused him discomfort. Also, which events were left on the cutting room floor, deemed unimportant in the grand scheme of one’s life or career?
My form of a highlight reel is our family album. I scrapbook family events throughout the year but it usually isn’t until the beginning of the next year that I add titles and journaling and put the whole album together for display. Last year, I looked through our ‘08 album and felt such a wave of gratitude wash over me. We had pictures from fun trips, of the boys playing various sports and progressing with their skills and level of interest, we celebrated birthdays with good friends, we had some great visits with our extended family, the boys lost teeth, gained freckles, grew in height, things like that. The album showcased what a good and blessed life we have. I felt so very fortunate for every experience when I looked through it.
This year, I’m busy working on the last few pages of our 2009 album and I’m doing the same thing: looking over where we went, what we did, who we were with, what we accomplished. I am adding to this a mental list of events that occurred which are not showcased in the album: friendships that have grown richer, an important friendship that came to an end, my youngest son starting elementary school, another year of marriage to a fantastic husband, making some fun changes to our home, and starting Joy Discovered. I am also revisiting lessons I struggled through, lessons I learned joyfully and things I made peace with. Once again, I am so grateful. I am grateful for all the encounters that brought me instant happiness. I am grateful for the encounters that were painful, too, because as I sit here marveling over them several months later, I realize I made it through. I’m stronger and wiser. I’m still standing and in one piece!
Life is absolutely something to be celebrated. All parts, absolutely every experience, are to be marveled at and examined with glee. There is something we gain in the form of character or wisdom from every encounter. There is always a silver lining. Always. Take a few minutes today to jot down what would be placed in your 2009 Highlight Reel. It’s a fun exercise. When you are finished, pat yourself on the back—you made it through another glorious year of life. All this stuff you’re looking over, it’s all yours. This is your story and yours alone. That means something. It means a lot.
I purchased some great apps for my iPod Touch that I wanted to share with you: A Year of Daily Wisdom perpetual calendar by Marianne Williamson and the I Can Do It 2010 Calendar by Louise Hay. Both are awesome! I am loving their daily messages. You can find these Hay House apps and others by Dr. Wayne Dyer, Doreen Virtue, Cheryl Richardson, and Esther & Jerry Hicks on the Oceanhouse Media website or through the App Store on your iPhone or iPod Touch.
Posted in Community & Connection, Joy, Simple Pleasures