Monday, December 02, 2013

A month for reflection

December is a month of reflection for me. It’s the time of year when I think back at everything that has happened. It seems to me with all things considered, the good times usually outweigh the bad.

When viewed in this way, it allows me to put things into perspective. 

Most people don’t keep journals, so in December trying to remember how their year went is difficult. If they had a job setback in the fall, they lose sight of the fact that they had an incredible vacation in the mountains in the spring and found a long lost friend during the summer. 

My bookshelf has a special section for my leather-bound journals that date back to the 1970s. They are filled with life experiences I can revisit and relive any time I choose.

At the end of each year, I look back over my journal to see where I’ve been, who I’ve seen, what I’ve eaten, the victories I’ve celebrated, things that made me laugh and also see what lessons the losses can teach me.

I’m often surprised at how much I’ve done, and left undone. It’s easy to beat myself up when I dwell on the latter too much.

My wife Jilda and I do a vision board each January and we begin collecting pictures for our board in December.

A vision board is a piece of thick poster board with pictures clipped from newspapers, magazines and other sources. They depict things we want in our life for the coming year.

Our friends figure big on our boards. Mine is filled with group photos with our smiling-faced friends. I’m not sure it’s possible to spend too much time with your true friends.

I have pictures of a CD, of famous music producers, and a gold record hanging on a wall. Each morning when I look at the board, I imagine how great it would feel when we have one of those hanging on our wall.

We didn’t meet a famous producer this year, and we don’t have that gold record on the wall yet, but we recorded our first CD as a duo. As the old joke goes, you can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket.

My vision board also has a picture of a cruise ship. In the 40 years we’ve been married, we’d never taken a cruise until this year.

A vision board keeps the things I want fresh in my mind, and like most people, I tend to do the things I think about. 

Some people I’ve shared this idea with call it a bunch of hooey. I thought about the naysayers this past spring as I basked in the warm sunshine with a tropical breeze blowing on my face as I lounged on the bow of a ship in the gulf, sipping on a frou-frou drink with a colorful umbrella in it. 

Vision boards might be a bunch of hooey, but they work for us.

December is not a month of reflection for everyone. As I sit here writing today, I thought of people who’d rather rip December right off the calendar and start the New Year with a clean slate.

There are many reasons for this. Stress over finances, or family gatherings that for some, are more painful than a stone bruise.

I think that another reason is that when people suffer loss in December, the holidays tend to amplify the sadness.

I know first hand that when you dwell on sadness, the burden weighs more during the holidays. 

But The Good Lord, for the most part is an excellent accountant and, over the long haul, the balance sheet will show, if judged by an impartial witness, that the good things in life usually outweigh the bad.

Happy December.


Read more: Daily Mountain Eagle - A month for reflection 

18 comments:

  1. I have a vision board, I have had one for 7 years or so, I really need to update it though :)

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    1. We enjoy the process of doing ours.
      R

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  2. I thank you so much for this blog post.
    You have perfect vision....
    I hug you and Jilda both and wish you a beautiful and happy remainder of the year and a wonderful 2014.
    Keep that vision.

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    1. Thanks Jackie. As we say we're living a dream :)
      R

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  3. I think your vision board is a great idea. Goals not written down are just wishes...throw in visual aids and you're good to go! In 1999 I asked all my siblings and our kids to write a Christmas memory. I compiled them in book form and gave everyone a copy. It was great fun to see how everyone had different memories from the same family! I enjoy reading them every so often. It's good to look back...fun to plan a fresh new year!

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    Replies
    1. I bet your book was a fun project that will become more precious every year.

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  4. What a beautiful photo of you two lovers.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. How can I buy your CD?

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    2. Thank you Janie. You can get an autographed CD by hitting our website rickandjilda.com
      R

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  5. December does tend to be the time when a lot of people stop and reflect on the past year. For me though, that month is January. The month starts with the anniversary of my sister-in-law's death by suicide and it ends with my birthday. I spend a lot of January reflecting on the past, where I've been, and on what is coming. I love the idea of a vision board and may just try it. I'll send you a picture if I do :)

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    1. Thanks for the note Kat. I think you'll enjoy the process of a vision board.

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  6. I have many journals that I have kept too. But I stopped when I started blogging because that is my journal now. I do still write down some things that I don't put on my blog.
    I don't spend too much time on the past though and I really think of each new day as a gift. : )

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    1. I too use my blog as a type of journal. I still use my journal to write down private thoughts that are too personal to share.
      I probably spend too much time thinking about the past, but it's because the people who read my newspaper column seem love those stories the best. But I do agree that each new day is a gift.

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  7. This quote from Robert Brault seems to fit: "There's never enough time to do what you've always wanted to do -- and never enough time not to."

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  8. I think that vision board you do is a wonderful idea.

    I usually reflect a lot in December, as well.

    I loved this post. :)

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  9. If a vision board works for you two, that's awesome. And I like how you both do one.

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  10. What a wonderful outlook on life, as well as a wonderful way to review the past year and plan for the future! This all sounds fabulous to me. I think I may borrow the idea of a vision board...great idea!

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