The look of horror on your face is reflected in the mirror. The question hangs in the air for what seems like an eternity: How did it get to be December already? You figured the frantic pace of life would slow down. But it seems to have intensified as the year comes to a close. Maybe that’s why you’re having difficulty entering into the spirit of the holiday season. You haven’t even bought a single gift yet.
Let me just say, ‘Welcome to the party.’
There are so many demands on your life as a daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a business woman, especially during the holidays. It is difficult to sit back and enjoy this season of the year let alone this season of life. Sit back?!? You are just too busy to be idle like that. Quite frankly, the fact that you are so busy is the very reason you need to take the time to sit back, relax, and reflect. In order for you to enjoy the benefits associated with moments of reflection you only have to do one thing:
You don’t need to drop everything and go on a two-week pilgrimage far away from work, friends, family, and indoor plumbing. You don’t even need to go out of town. But, you do need to be willing to take a moment to pause and reflect. As you read this, you may be thinking over your schedule and come to the realization that there is no moment left in your day to be taken. You already get to work early, work through lunch, stay late and still can’t catch up; and that’s just your work schedule.
When it comes to the overcommitted lifestyle that is so prevalent, country music legend Naomi Judd said it best, ‘I don’t think we spend enough time in reflection and introspection. We don’t know who we are as individuals in this culture anymore.’ Sound familiar?
Regular reflection is a lost art. Mostly due to the continual movement life has become. Reflection does not happen in motion. One small pebble dropped in a lake will distort the picturesque reflection. Just one. Imagine the deluge of rocks poured into the lake of your life right now. It takes regular moments of stillness for the surface of the lake to regain the purity of its reflection. The same is true with your life.
Best-selling author of Simple Abundance, Sarah Ban Breathnach says, ‘Usually, when the distractions of daily life deplete our energy, the first thing we eliminate is the thing we need the most: quiet, reflective time.’
The good news is you already know how to take moments of time out of your day to accomplish something important. You do it every day. You just need to realize the importance of your own spirit and invest that time in yourself. Rather than getting to work early, wake up at the same time, but take 30 minutes to read something by your favorite author before work. Or, instead of working through lunch, take that time to go for a walk, clear your head and reflect on your career goals. Rather than work late, punch out at 5pm then stop by and see the grandkids on the way home.
Pause. Be still. Reflect. Allow the ripples in the lake of your life come to rest. Then, do a little shopping, snuggle on the couch and watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life. These may seem like small steps, but they just might help you enter into the spirit of the season so you can actually enjoy the holidays.
And, this season of life.