What comes to your mind when you think of December? For me, it is of course Christmas, family, and friends. I would be remiss not to mention St. Nicholas Day, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and even Boxing Day for my many British friends, as other December highlights.
I love that the holiday season is in full force by early December, which gives us time to have fun. However, December means so much more to me than just the holiday season, as it is a time to reflect on what has happened over the past twelve months, whether that be personal or professional.
I always wonder, where has the time gone? I ask myself, what have I accomplished this year? What have I done for others, and what blessings have happened in my life with my children, husband, and family? December for me always starts with emotions, reflections, and thinking. Why? I am not sure. But what I do believe is, that without ongoing reflection of who we are, where we are, and what we have gone through, (whether it be positive or negative) we do not grow emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. Without that growth, we stay in a state of status quo; a never-ending cycle of a lack of progress.
This is one reason I initially studied psychology as an undergraduate. In thinking back, I wanted to better understand people, (including my family and friends), and ultimately myself. By doing so, I could better process what I had learned and experienced in my younger years, to evolve into a more mature, balanced person.
From that time, I have learned so much. For that matter, I continue to learn every day of my life. But it is always the month of December that stops me in my tracks with non-stop reflection. First, my annual reflections could not exist without thinking about my parents. I am lucky, they are both still extremely healthy, as are my siblings who also have given me smart and respectful, nieces and nephews. I am also thankful for the blessings given to my family. I am lucky to have four great adult children who continue to grow, which makes me proud.
Second, I am so fortunate to live a life of daily collaboration, that is a professional working relationship in nearly 88 countries. I live a life full of consistent communication with colleagues around the globe who work with our company, The ROOT Brands, located right here in Nashville. For that, I am truly blessed.
Now that I have shared my habits on self-reflection, I also want to mention how this act can be of clinical importance. Self-reflection (also known as personal reflection) is good for one’s mental health because it gives thought to our experiences in a mindful, and problem-focused manner. Simply put, by taking time to “reflect,” we think about, evaluate, and give serious thought to our behaviors, attitudes, and motivational desires.
If you look in the mirror, you see your ‘reflected’ image. If you continue to look in the mirror for that same reflection, you reminisce visually in a more careful, thoughtful, and consistent manner. These repeated patterns help build self-awareness, which is an important attribute for strengthening emotional intelligence, psychological growth, and development.
With December being the ‘beginning of the end of yet another year,’ I will continue to look in my mirror to reflect on this past year. In the meantime, thank you! I thank 2023 for my many lessons, blessings, and experiences. Most importantly, I thank this year for giving me the self-reflective strength, health, and knowledge to happily move into 2024 to begin yet another year for personal reflection.