I’m typing this on Christmas Eve as my husband watches The Grinch Steal Christmas on TV, my daughter sleeping beside him on the couch. The Christmas tree is softly lit before me, guarding the wrapped gifts underneath. Best of all, my son is upstairs in his room after five months away in Canada. I can’t imagine feeling more content with all my loves, including our two happy dogs, under the same roof.
I suppose if I have to make one complaint, it’s that the constant Christmas Eve firecrackers going off at every party all over Vallarta are sending my little pup right over the edge. But giving her a comforting snuggle isn’t such a terrible inconvenience, and I had to get up anyway to refill my cup with traditional, fruit-filled ponche.
It sounds so simple, and I bet my college self would have found this little scene a bit boring. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in all the years since my twenties, it’s that simple is the best.
And honestly, I find it’s the little things my children remember about growing up. They remember when I sat by their beds because they couldn’t sleep with the excitement of waiting for Santa. They remember the pajamas they get every year on Christmas Eve. They remember the candy cane cookies that we made together. Simple, easy things. But each one is indispensable.
The best part of appreciating the simple things in life is that it helps me live in the moment instead of worrying about the next big thing. Sitting here in the now means I am enjoying this time with my son under my roof again, instead of dreading that too-soon moment when we say goodbye again.
In 2023, I said goodbye to my son as he left home for the very first time. Saying goodbye to my son has also brought a deep appreciation for his place in our family.
I also said goodbye to a dear family friend as he passed from this life. Saying goodbye to Bob brought me a sense of gratitude for his impact on our lives, especially Gilberto’s.
It was a year of goodbyes. As sad as goodbyes can be, they reminded me of the joy of knowing and loving the very best people on earth. And all the memories I carried were simple ones; conversations, laughter, shared confidences.
And so, when I look ahead to a new year, I set some new intentions.
- To appreciate simple moments for what they are
- To let people know how important they are to me
- To rest and be aware of how great that feels
As we all flip the calendar on December 31, let’s remind ourselves of what is important. Let’s stay in the simple moments that will live on in our memories over a lifetime.