Appreciation and gratitude are topics I’ve written quite a bit about this year. Choosing just one thing is a struggle, but I would have to say if pressed that this year I most appreciate quiet moments. Once taken for granted, these moments come so few and far between when life is filled with jobs, kids, parents who need care (three cheers for the sandwich generation!), spouse, household chores, and, and, and… Once upon a time, I remember having moments of boredom, especially as a child. I now hear myself saying the same thing to my children that countless generations of parents have said to their children: How can you be bored? Go outside! Read a book! Play a game! Do you know how lucky you are to be young? Enjoy it! Appreciate it! But of course, they can’t, they know no different. We grow up, though, and forget that between moments of insanity are tiny pockets of peace where there are no ringing phones, text messages, needy children, work deadlines, dishes to wash (OK, there are dishes to wash but they’ll still be there later). This year I have started looking more carefully for moments I can steal for myself to just “be” (quoting my lifelong friend Lori). Look out a window, thumb through old photo albums, take an extra long hot shower, snuggling with a purring cat… it doesn’t matter what happens in that moment. In fact, it’s best if nothing happens in that moment. The key is to appreciate it to extract its maximum benefit. It’s amazing how much sanity can be restored in just a few quiet moments.