Reflecting on the end of the year doesn’t always have to be a bad thing

For some reason the holidays are always a time for reflection. A time to applaud our accomplishments, lament our failures and mourn the loss of those no longer in our presence.

Perhaps its location towards the end of the calendar is what spurs on this personal reflection in so many of us. This coming to a close if you will is often the impetus for us to look back over the last year to evaluate the past – hoping for a better future.

Art Buchwald once said, “Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got.”

And I guess that’s really the only way to look at life isn’t it?

This year marks the first Christmas I will spend without my beloved grandmother in 38 years on this earth. While I’m so very fortunate to have had her around as long as I did, there exists a deep sadness for the Christmas’ of yesterday and the many memories I shared with grams.

I have no regrets in our relationship – none of the guilt so often associated with family members who do far too little when people are alive. All I’m left with is longing for the days when life was simpler and sharing a cup of tea and some cookies with grams was enough to make me smile.

But this is the only time I’ve got in life. I cannot change what has happened, but I can remember people and times fondly in the chambers of my mind. They are there when I need them to warm my heart and strengthen my spirit during these times of personal evaluation that can often leave a person feeling a little lost and lonely.

But not all evaluations are negative – not all reflections lead to melancholy. For I’m blessed with someone who warms my heart and strengthens my spirit not just around the holidays, but all year long. She’s there to applaud my accomplishments, guide me through my failures and support me as I mourn the loss of those no longer in my presence.

I have no doubt that I’ll continue to reflect upon the year gone by, just as many others will do. Only this time I’ll discover that I’ve already been given one of the greatest gifts a person will ever be bestowed. And as long as you have unconditional love from at least one person in your life, everything else is just a small “blip” on the radar of life.