As the year winds down, it is often a time to look back and reflect on what has happened. Some people do this by sending out a Christmas letter telling friends and family what has taken place. Since I blog continuously, it is already chronicled. And since I’m on Facebook way too often, it is listed in more detail than is necessary.

Facebook has a link to my highlights for 2013. How in the world would they know? I have no idea what algorithm was used, but I do know that it cannot be faultless. Mostly I know this because I didn’t post some of the important things TO Facebook.

In a world of uncensored and unfiltered postings, I still – at least sometimes – think before I post. So some of the big moments weren’t really for public consumption. Some of the more meaningful times are private and personal and really don’t need or deserve to be shared. It would cheapen the moment.

What I know for sure is that the year, like all those before, has been incredible. I know this because life on planet Earth is incredible. There have been far more good moments than bad moments but some of the things that stick out are crappy. Why is this? Why do we set ourselves up like this? We expect things to go well and when they don’t, we take both notice and offense.

There have been literally hundreds of days this past year when I didn’t wreck the car on the way to or from someplace. But instead of being grateful for this magical feat, which is more and more difficult with so many distracted drivers on the road, I get cranky for the near misses. A miss is as good as a mile, goes the proverb. My car and my body are both intact. I don’t even notice the miracle of a group of strangers barreling down the road side by side and not colliding, stopping at the red lights, and generally working in concert. It is an amazing achievement in civility.

Every single day for the entire year, I’ve had enough to eat, clean water to drink (and to turn into coffee), a warm or cool house (depending on the season), and closets full of clothes. If that wasn’t enough, there have been stark trees coming into leaf, gardens full of blooming flowers, the palette of fall sparkling in the sunlight, and full moons scattered in every four weeks. All of this beauty was there for the taking.

There has been a visit to a far away land, places I’d never been before, sights I’d never seen before, a chance of a lifetime. There has been a Sistercation where I got to spend time with the only people on the planet who have been with me every single step of the way (or at least as many of the steps as I can remember). There have been many, many trips to Hilton Head where the boys and their families live. I’ve played and laughed and loved every journey.

At the beginning of the year, the granddaughters were three years apart in age which was really too much. The younger granddaughter adored her older cousin and followed along in hero worship with the older one resenting the entire thing. They are still three years apart in age, but now that doesn’t matter. The baby got old enough to be a great playmate and the cousins have taken to looking for each other to play with, not just the younger one yearning for her hero. Nothing changed, but everything changed.

It is moments like this that never make it to Facebook. It is the stuff that makes grandmotherly hearts sing. It is important. It is ephemeral. It is written in the sands of time and washes away with the next wave. But here, in my heart, I remember and bring the experience out to examine it every once in a while and smile the contented smile of a matriarch.

There have been moments of connection that meant far more than one would imagine. Slivers of time so thin that if you blink, they are missed. But it is moments like these that make the job of living worth the effort. The successes not in the marketplace, but in the world at large, are the ones that taste the sweetest. The times of togetherness, perfect and harmonious, are the gifts we need to keep in our hearts. They don’t come with bows or fancy paper. They are forgotten in the hustle and bustle of life. Which is really odd, because it is these precious moments that ARE life.