I'm not listing everything because I'm not smart enough to remember every one of them. But I know I can definitely list:
1. Feeling the non-stop love and friendship from my wife and our boys
2. Seeing my niece's smile and hearing her laugh
3. Seeing the many pictures my friends and others post of the "little people" in their lives
4. Hearing one of my sons (or any young person) saying "I did it!"
5. A student coming into my office to tell me about the internship or job they got
6. Friends, mentors and colleagues who were there in good times and bad
7. Prague, and with apologies to Tony Bennett, "I left part of my heart in Prague."
8. Dresden, which I experienced for only a few hours but savored for its culture and history
9. The New York-Prague flight crew (pilot included) that made one of my students feel comfortable during an occasionally difficult flight
10. People who take a serious interest in the political process
11. My older son standing by me, experiencing how to vote
12. Green Bay winning the Super Bowl
13. USC beating Notre Dame and UCLA
14. Feeling internal peace
15. The morning newspaper waiting on the front lawn for me
Yes, 2011 had more than its fair share of negatives; at this moment, I remember them but deliberately choose not to note them. Perhaps 2012 will be one in which we remember our friends and loved ones, experience professional and personal accomplishments, and never forget what really matters.
Happy New Year!