The New Year usually stirs a desire within me to get away for a bit and look back over the past year. Unfortunately, I can easily slip through the holidays and into the next year without taking the time to reflect. This year was too eventful for me not to protect the valuable processing. Several times in the last two weeks I have stopped for just a split second and felt a pressing to linger and ponder but each time I was in the middle of a pool of family; people I love and moments I didn’t want to lose. So I made a promise to myself during those bits of seconds, that I would hit pause before jumping into 2014 to be still and take stock of my year.
The first six months of 2013 were as I expected. Few surprises popped up until May 30. That was the beginning of a tremendously unpredictable half a year. That was my daughter’s first hospitalization of the year. Hospitalizations have happened many times in the past but last year she spent 4 out of six weeks in the hospital. She was in for two weeks, out for two weeks, then right back in again for two more weeks. The reality of her failing lungs could no longer hide. And as many of you know, the rest of 2013 involved moving to North Carolina so Anna could receive her life-saving double lung transplant. She did, she healed and now we are home. Nine words can sum up the last six months of 2013. There is something very empty about succinctly summing up events in our lives. It really isn’t that simple, is it? We fought, we separated, we divorced. He got sick, he was diagnosed, he died. She was challenged, she sought help, she overcame.
Just a few words aren’t enough. Just a quick ponder isn’t sufficient. We must take time to reflect on the happenings in our lives. Time that offers a gift to our deepest selves to grieve and to heal. For the bright parts of our lives, reflecting provides the sweet soaking in of something wonderful rather than swiftly glossing over it. Give yourself a present no one else can, time to consider the last year. To look over the highs and lows and everything in between. Let the memories come and go as they please. Allow the tears or smiles freedom to exist in any manner of hue they desire. Give a nod to new awarenesses and growth within. Notice the areas still lacking with a gentle acceptance steering clear of berating yourself.
We don’t just look once and then shut it all down, thoughts and memories will come and go throughout our lifetime but the concentrated time given to pondering is powerful. Be intentional and give yourself the gift of reflecting.