Jennifer Cares

I have a tradition for this last week of the year that I’d like to share with you. This always feels like the perfect time to focus and reflect on what’s happened, and on what’s to come.

To say our house is quiet now after the Christmas holiday would be a lie.  With five young, active kids, “quiet” is a word I’m rarely able to use to describe the situation here (!) …and for the most part, I like it that way.

So, even though it still looks a little like Christmas blew up around here…even though we still have relatives to visit and more cookies to bake…even though I have some exciting business projects that need some attention…I will make time this week to settle myself down and ask myself some important questions about 2010:

What went right? What made me feel stronger? What made me feel good?  How can I get more of that in 2011?

And, also:

What challenged me? What hurt me? What seemed overwhelming? What can I do to make those things better…easier?

For example, I count a healthy, happy family, a successful time back anchoring the morning news at KDKA-TV here in Pittsburgh, and new business relationships that have allowed me to connect with thousands of caregivers among the things that went right for me this year.

Keeping a commitment to go to the gym, dancing in (and winning!) a local Dancing with the Stars event that benefitted caregiver organizations, and making difficult—but right—decisions have made me stronger.

Challenges include carving out time for myself, dealing with the loss of my father-in-law (this is our second holiday season without him, and for some reason, it’s been harder for me than the first year—more on that in a post later this week), and keeping track of the schedules of my busy family.  

Making mental notes of these kinds of things—taking the time to register their place and importance in my life–and attaching emotions to them helps a great deal in being able to set priorities and strategies for a successful, less stressful, new year. 

Reflecting on the answers to those questions brings me new energy and strength. It fuels me with positive thoughts and leaves me feeling calm, centered, and ready to accept and make the most of whatever this new year’s journey brings!

I hope you make some time for yourself this week.  Do you have any “just for you” end of year traditions?