It was Socrates who said, "An unexamined life is not worth living." Kat's last post illustrates this beautifully.
A few months ago I began to notice a change in a friend....a good change. I mentioned it to my husband, and he agreed. Our friend shared with my husband over the holidays that a few months ago he started journaling daily, at the advice of a priest. This time of daily reflection coincided with a remarkable change in his demeanor.
Sometimes when we moms are in the trenches, overwhelmed by diapers, dishes and discipline, it is hard to stop and take time to reflect. I know many people like to take stock at the dawn of the New Year, to set goals or make resolutions. And some people go on a yearly retreat. This is good, but there is so much value to reflecting daily. If we just trudge through each day, we miss the meaning, joy and value of our daily lives.
We need to pause daily, even hourly, to reflect. If you take a moment to say the Angelus at noon, this is a great time to ask yourself one question about your morning. For me, I usually ask myself if I have been a model of cheerfulness to my children. A nightly examination of conscience is another great habit. This way we can set goals or resolutions daily, not just once a year.
Taking time every day can also help us see cause and effect relationships. I had a very rough day last week after my parents left town. It was my husband who made to observation that the day after my parents leave seems to be very hard for me. I had not noticed that link, though it makes perfect sense as the boys are out of their routine and I no longer have help around. Now that I am aware of this, I can try to have a very structured day planned the next time my parents leave to get us all back into our routine.
If I had a tough day, I can ask myself if I got enough sleep the night before. Sometimes this may be out of my control (the baby woke up 6 times) or maybe it's because I stayed up too late on the computer. Or maybe I have been slacking in my time of prayer. Taking time to think and pray will help our days to be more full of joy and meaning. These interior struggles to be more Christ-like will not only bear fruit for ourselves, but for those around us as well.