These past two weeks have been intense as I’ve engaged in deep meditative contemplation, setting goals and intentions for 2014 and reflecting on 2013. This process includes lots of epsom-salt baths with lavender essential oil, yoga, cupcakes, exhausting mental focus, journaling, and reading and rereading Danielle LaPorte, Gretchen Rubin, Eckhart Tolle, Martha Beck, Tony Robbins, and more. This is my fourth year doing yearly videos, which I always share before the New Year, and this review process goes wonderfully with setting myself up for the year ahead. I began this yearly project shortly after I met my husband 4 years ago, and it’s one of the most fulfilling activities I work on each year. Even though I do all of the heavy-lifting, it always feels like a team effort: it’s a tradition we started together and encompasses so many delicious moments, the majority of which we experienced with one another.
My blog makes the process easier, as I’ve already selected my most cherished photos, edited them, and discarded the rest. So there’s very little time wasted sorting through hundreds of pictures. If you do decide to try a similar project, after you do it the first year, you’ll quickly learn that it is vastly easier to do a little each month versus in lump sum form at the end of December. That’s precisely the conclusion I arrived at my first year–so now, I’ve become adept at selecting photos and editing video clips at the end of each month for my yearly project, if not sooner. I edit as I go along, and my general rule of thumb is that the number of photos and video clips originally selected eventually has to be cut in half.
Last year, I started including video clips in the project because we caught on camera the precise moments my son first crawled and then later walked. The video clips have made the project a more interactive experience, providing another dimension, and allowing me to compact and memorialize the best moments of the year as they actually occurred.
This year, for the first time, I’ve put together a second video that I’m not planning on sharing on the blog or facebook, which consists of video clips left on the cutting room floor, but in a more polished form. Many are of my son Judah talking, playing, or laughing, because I know he won’t always speak with a lisp, add an exclamation point to every “yes” and “okay,” or employ a pseudo-English accent, but I want to remember that, this year, he did. Without my second video, I’ve realized that the video clips from 2013 (which I am so fond of now) like prior years will be forgotten, tucked away in a folder until I upgrade computers, and then transferred over and eventually lost.
As the year rounds out, I would encourage you to take time for your own version of a yearly video, whether it’s a youtube channel, photos tucked in a shoebox, scrapbooks, or your own electronic timecapsule. If you do undertake a yearly video, remember 2 things: (1) edit, edit, edit, and (2) don’t underestimate the significance of song selection. I like to pick a song that came out in that year or that I listened to obsessively, and it must speak to your soul and the moments you’ve created.