Like most people, I spend time reflecting at the end of each year. This year is no different and over the past few weeks I’ve reflected on both personal and professional highlights of 2018.  

Last Sunday, my mother hosted our family holiday celebration, and it was one of my highlights of 2018. We are a pretty big group, and our gatherings are a joy to me. I love catching up, reminiscing and sharing all those laughs. In her toast before dinner my mom expressed her gratitude for being together and enjoying each other’s company. Mom said her father, my grandfather, used to talk about embracing a concept he called “instant nostalgia;” he advised recognizing and basking in the delight of special moments while they are happening, rather than reminiscing about them later.  I love my grandfather’s advice, which today we’d call “being present” or “mindfulness” and I consider myself a dedicated practitioner of “instant nostalgia”.  

Another of my most cherished moments of “instant nostalgia” in 2018 was hearing Michelle Obama on her “Becoming” book tour at the Wells Fargo Center. The theme of the talk is expressed in this quote:

“What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.” Michelle Obama

As Mrs. Obama spoke those words, I looked over at my mother, who was smiling and nodding in agreement. Going on 90, my mom has never stopped “becoming”; I’m inspired by her enthusiasm for new experience, new people and learning new things.  Just joining 15,000 enthusiastic fans for a stadium event is too much for many of my mom’s contemporaries. But she was game for the adventure and found inspiration and joy in sharing the experience with her daughters and daughter-in-law. We all loved the night.

Professionally I’ve savored special moments with clients with a sense of “instant nostalgia”.  Many of my clients this year made major life changes. Knowing that I helped make a challenging time a little easier is gratifying. The friendships borne of those business relationships are just as important; those bonds are what I love what I do.

My mom’s reminder to enjoy life in the moment is one I’ll continue to embrace. “Instant nostalgia” may be my catch phrase for 2019.

As I continue my “becoming”, I promise to share more of my photos in 2019. In the meantime, I’m sending warm wishes for a Wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year.