This past week my daughter inched around in her new roller skates as she announced, “Time moves fast, Momma. This morning I opened presents and now it’s already finished.” I thought about her statement and how much the cliché of time moving fast is the beat of so many of our lives. I feel the shock of time moving forward as I write down some of my favorites of this past year.

Favorite Reads: I love to read, but still fall short of my reading goals. This year I read an assortment of books, from fiction to nonfiction to short-story collections to various essays on the web. I usually nominate a fiction and non-fiction favorite. This year is no exception.  For my non-fiction read, I chose Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. These short essays explore love, life, loss, and everything in between. You will not regret reading this book because it will help you if you are sad, lonely, confused or questioning your purpose. There is power in her advice. My fiction favorite is The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. This debut novel explores some of my favorite subjects: time, relationships, and the back story behind people’s lives. Her prose is haunting and will stay with the reader days after the last page is turned.

Favorite Blog Posts: There are two posts I wrote this past year that challenged my emotions as well as my range as a writer. What The Sari Uncovers focuses on my cultural disconnect and my struggle to determine how to reconcile my Indian heritage and my American upbringing.  A Crack In Everything is a post that I believe in more and more everyday. It centers around recognizing how our imperfections reveals our cracks, but also creates that space where the literal and metaphorical light has an opportunity to illuminate.

Favorite Poem: I Want To Write Something So Simply by Mary Oliver

I want to write something
so simply
about love
or about pain
that even
as you are reading
you feel it
and as you read
you keep feeling it
and though it be my story
it will be common,
though it be singular
it will be known to you
so that by the end
you will think—
no, you will realize—
that it was all the while
yourself arranging the words,
that it was all the time
words that you yourself,
out of your heart
had been saying.

Favorite Trips: We made several small trips over the course of the year. Our big trip of the year was to Maui. It was my first visit to one of the Hawaiian islands and as expected, the natural beauty proved breathtaking. There is a calmness that presides over the people and the scenery. Although I appreciated the cadence of calm toward the end of our stay, I grew restless because I longed to slip into my daily routine at home. 

Favorite Concert: I attended a variety of concerts this year. From John Mayer to Muse to Mumford & Sons to Beyonce – each concert brought an energy that resonated.  Justin Timberlake, though, offered the most memorable concert experience. When he performs he is fully present. He interacts with his music as well as the crowd. His talent has range – singing, dancing, playing the piano as well as the guitar – when you attend his concert, be expected to see a performer who is the real deal. 

Favorite Movie: Although I watched a handful of movies, none left enough of an impression to be deemed a favorite. I did enjoy the Jackie Robinson movie, 42, and his incredible feat to become the first African-American man to enter into Major League Baseball.

Favorite Words:

“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” — Rilke

Favorite Picture:

This picture was taken on our trip to Maui. I love the texture of this shot.  There is an elegance of the ocean waves hitting the grittiness of the sand and most of all, I know our smiles only tell half the story.