Making Time for Reflection at the end of the Month
Today is the last day in the month of March. This morning I realized that without missing a beat, I switched the refrigerator calendar to April. When I stopped to think about it a few hours later, it was as if I was allowing March to fly right past me without stopping to be grateful for the amazing things that happened, as well as take the opportunity to realize what I did not want to repeat in April.
Each month is a gift. It is an opportunity for a fresh start.
Just like on Christmas morning, I cannot help but get excited to look ahead at what is planned for the upcoming month. It is refreshing to see 30 or more days that have not taken place and fill them with dream and wonder about what is possible. It is also exciting to look forward to events already written on the calendar, and pray over the ones that might take extra courage. Even though I am already super excited about things like an upcoming marathon and trip to see a friend in Nashville, I have to make sure that I don’t cheat myself out of the gift of reflection.
Make a list of what I want more and less of
I seemed that the best thing to do would be to turn the calendar back, and look at each day from the month of March. I made a list of what went well to focus on the positive first. Then thought about what I might want to change and improve on for the coming month. As I combed through each square on the calendar I realized how much I loved this month! This was not what I expected after looking at the snow that nobody was excited to see this morning, When I stepped back and did a “Marie Kondo” on the month (Thank it, realize what it did for you, and realize what you don’t want to repeat), I realized how incredibly blessed we have been during the month of March. My mom received good news on a medical test, I hit a goal time in a local 5K, my sister came in from California for a baby shower, the kids all entered an art contest, Rachel won 2 different essay contests, I went to an awesome education conference, and was a part in sponsoring an unforgettable dodgeball tournament at our school. We also went on an awesome vacation to Hocking Hills, Ohio and a good friend had her baby. And, reflecting on March always reminds me of a picnic date my husband and I took while we were dating. Oh, did I mention, the end of the month provided me with clarity and drive to start writing every day?
The Positive was Overwhelming
I realized that March was an amazing month! So many good things happened. But, I also realized that there were a few days I would have done differently. March 2nd, in particular one of my children were tipple booked with activities. It was exhausting to figure out how she would master the day. We also had several contests, and competitions that the kids entered. It was tough to get outside a lot, but we made the best of it, and I realized that no matter what the weather was like (This March was not one to envy), we beat it.
Ask the Family
I decided to ask my family about this at dinner, to see if any specific things resonated with them that I might not be aware of. Conversation over grilled chicken and potatoes reminded me about March Madness. Filling out brackets has become a household activity in March. I absolutely love watching my oldest son come downstairs int he morning to check the scores and update everyone’s bracket totals to see who is on their way to a victory. And, my kids loved vacation. Everyone had a really great time.
The thing we liked most about March, is that it provided breathing room.
There was a point where we were all exhausted and not sure how we could make it through the month. But, all of a sudden we all a had a week. A week where we could restart and pause to figure out what we wanted the rest of the year to look like.
A Day by Day Reflection Made me aware of Small Moments
I am fortunate that I thought about peeling the calendar backward. Looking at the month and doing an audit made me realize how grateful I am for the little things. My daughter finished swimming lessons, was invited to a birthday party, and there were several events that it was nice to be included in. And so, on the eve of April, I am proud. Proud of the amazing things we did, the character we showed and the resilience we displayed. I am proud of my family, we rocked this month! And, now after taking the time for reflection, I am ready to turn the calendar. Hello April.