On this final day of 2014, we turn to our fellow bloggers as they reflect on the year that was.

Starting with Deborah Ng, she explores some of the lessons she learned in her retrospective. Finishing last isn’t so bad, because that’s how you get the most applause; quality is more important than quantity, so look past the numbers; and being insecure is just fine, as it can keep you in check. It is through quiet reflection that we can all glean such simple yet profound lessons.

Each year, we strive to better ourselves and our lives in any way we can. Bob Buskirk looks back at his 2014 and basks in the glory of where he enjoyed success. He managed to get out of Pittsburgh for several trips, he was able to grow his online business and he stopped making excuses. Get out there and grab life by the reins, make new friends and do the things that make you happy.

Many of us were hit pretty hard by the death of Robin Williams earlier this year. Brent Almond wanted to share the joy and wonder of Robin Williams with his five-year-old son, so they embarked on a journey with such films as Aladdin, Jumanji, Hook and Night at the Museum. We cannot deprive this generation of entertainment from previous generations. It’s still new to them, after all.

In a retrospective with a broader scope, Clayton Imoo shares some of his family’s highlights from the year, like how Kayla started gymnastics in her tumbling class and how Jacob joined a bowling league. They also give thanks for their loving family and look ahead to what 2015 will bring. The upcoming trip to the Philippines should be fun.

And finally, “Sunshine Dad” Mike Smith provides a powerful reminder to live in and cherish the present. So many of us try to live in the future with “I’ll be happy when” thinking. As Mike points out, parents need to stop wasting their time and stop waiting until their kids reach this milestone or that. “Live with them in the here and now,” he says, “and enjoy every minute.”