In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we often forget to take time out for reflection. The deep dark of December can be a quiet and gentle space for us to look back and contemplate, as well as focus on the new beginnings of the coming year. When we reflect on our accomplishments and challenges, what stands out? Where do we see the opportunity for growth, and where do we feel satisfaction for a job well-done? And as we turn the page of our calendars to not just a new month, but a new year, what beginnings will we focus on?
For myself, I've noticed a lot of extra snuggles from my children, as well as a lot more silliness, challenging behaviors, and tears—from all of us! I’ve realized that amidst the craziness of the holidays and gifts and cards and parties and no school for 2 ½ weeks (yikes!), I’ve completely lost my own daily practice of breathing and meditating. And while I have had that extra time (all of 10-20 minutes) to sleep, or wrap, or shop, I have lost triple that time in tantrums and tears. Why should my kids put any value on taking time to calm themselves when they don’t see me making it a priority? And more importantly, how can I cultivate the patience I need to handle the emotional lives of two very active and growing 5-year-olds?
So. In the spirit of self-forgiveness (yes, it’s a thing) and a time of new beginnings, I have decided to give more time-outs. To myself. I will take a time-out for a few precious minutes each day to simply breathe. I’ll set aside even a small period of time every day so that I can calm myself, reconnect to my values, and find my balance. And perhaps more importantly, I’ll model for my children that this is something important in our family, and in their lives.
I wish all of you peace, health, and well-being in the coming year. (And maybe a few time-outs of your own!)