Reflect on where you started and ended this decade, how you got here, and how far you’ve come
The last full moon of the decade was a few weeks ago, on December 12. I went to the beach at night just to see it, and I was truly glad I did. The moon was radiant that night, and it beautifully illuminated the gentle waves lazily rolling up the beach.
It’s too bad I didn’t properly capture the beauty of this scene with my phone’s camera! Because in this photo the moon is just a bright circle. Must be my settings, I guess? I’m not good at photography.
Viewing the moon from the comfort of my home is normally good enough for me, but I went for a walk on the beach this night because it was the last full moon of the decade.
At some point I stopped in my tracks, and just stood there taking in the whole scene. I looked up to Heaven and the moon, and spontaneously started speaking. There was no one around, but looking up and speaking to Heaven has become a habit of mine anyway.
I recapped my decade out loud, going over the major events of my life from almost every year (skipped a couple more uneventful ones) of this decade, in brief. This caused me to enter a reflective mode, as I spoke to where I started the decade versus where I am now.
I stated each major life event and life decision I made. With the benefit of hindsight, I talked about how one decision or event lead to the next, and the next, and the next. I detailed both the consequences and benefits of each decision I made — and for most of my major life choices, there were both consequences and benefits. I suspect most people would say the same. There are some fork in the road moments in life, and once you size up what you can see of the multiple paths, and think about them, you’ve got to pick one and go with it, without looking back.
This reflection was a good thinking exercise and a nice moment alone with nature at night. It also left me full of hope and optimism for the next year, since I see that I’ve come a very long way. The person I am today at the end of the decade is totally different from who I was at the beginning of it, and in a good way. That’s growth. It wasn’t always pleasant to experience this growth, because growth can be painful and sometimes even tragic. But as long as you’re always changing for the better, you’re doing great.
And so … I can’t recommend this reflective exercise enough! Maybe your decade was joyous, maybe painful, but I’m confident it was both. Reflecting on it at length may help you see some joy or pain that you’ve been overlooking. And examining the major life events, your reactions to them, and the major life decisions you made is a smart thing to do. It’s enlightening to ‘connect the dots’ of your own life story over a longer period of time, such as a decade, and look at how one thing led you to another; how Event A elicited your Reaction B that made you choose Decision C rather than D.
You won’t have a chance to do this exercise under the full moon before New Year’s (but what does that matter?), but you can come up with something else to make your reflection feel more spiritually significant. I recommend verbalizing all of it out loud; I personally feel that makes it more real, somehow.
I’m sure you’ll find this to be enlightening and worthwhile.
Happy New Year (and decade)!