My list of year’s favourites

The closing of the year is when many of us look back and take stock of what happened in 2015.
The media make lists of the best movies of the year, best songs, most interesting people, and so on.
Maybe we should make our own lists for 2015: happiest moment, number of days we got to work on time, how many flat tires, how many days we resisted food clearly not on the good-for-me list.
I’ve never been much of a fan of looking back at the year, not because it’s filled with wince-worthy moments or maybe that’s exactly why. In light of 2015 being my 60th year, I thought I should entertain some year-in-review type behaviour.
2015 was the year of “Meadowlark,” my first novel hitting the shelves published by NeWest Press. It was an exciting adventure, for sure; one that seemed to move a bit like a glacier and at times I still feel the impossibility of it, as though it didn’t really happen at all—and I’ll wake up and it turns out it was all a bit of confused identity and the real author will take the stage.
I think “they” (those who label such things) refer to that as “Imposter Syndrome.”
I was thinking of year-end thoughts while I was running on the track at Acadia University one morning last week (okay, mostly walking, but walking really fast).
I watched a hockey practice below me on the ice with wee players who didn’t look much older than four or five. I couldn’t help myself; I had to stop and lean against the rail and watch these future Sidney Crosbys.
A couple of youngsters skated circles around the rest—the kind of child who gives 150 percent of whatever is asked of them. Inspirational, for sure, and I could see proud moms looking around claiming ownership.
“Yes, yes, she belongs to me,” said the mother almost embarrassed at her amazing child. Almost.
I particularly liked one little hockey person who seemed to be always skating in the wrong direction, and stopped to examine something on the sideboards for a minute or two despite repeated shouts from the coach.
I’m sure his mother was wincing in the stands—thinking his future career with the NHL was in peril. He didn’t seem to care; wasn’t worried about keeping up. He was doing his own thing.
Not easy to coach, for sure, and probably even less easy for the rest of the team, but he’s one little fellow I would like to chat with.
Imagining a chat with said skater led me to imagine a chat with my little grandsons who are a bit too young yet for philosophical conversations, but one day we will exchange ideas and the things we like about the world and about our lives.
And at the end of the year, we will compile our own list of the year’s favourites.
So I went home and promptly made a list of my favourite things from this year; that’s right, like the song. I scribbled down the first things that popped into my head and the list grew and grew without any effort.
Entries such as a hug from an old friend I hadn’t seen in what felt like forever and I never wanted to let go; the smell of popcorn on a Friday night; my friend’s roly-poly puppy learning to walk; freshly-cut grass; winning the battle waged against wasps claiming my blueberries as their own; and making the perfect sandwich.
And hearing my two-year-old grandson shouting from across the room at the phone his mother is holding.
“Hi, Grandma,” he said, with that sound in his voice that says I belong to him.
Hands down top of my list.
wendistewart@live.ca

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