Why Reserving Time to Reflect Is the Best Gift You Can Give Yourself This Year

From January,
I’ll take the fog kissing my cheek through the passenger window, wheeling through the forest. How her whisper from the other side of the glass pressed to my face promised to breathe rest into my bones, no matter the amount of miles crossed. How she taught me that any space could become familiar when I not only recognized, but honored my own body as my home.

From April,
I hold the peaceful resolve of my discoveries. Of the way snow-clad, sharp-edged mountains felt in my rear view mirror. Of the clarity found in how my thoughts sounded standing at the rim of a crater. Of fully accepting that my address could be wherever I claim it – and whether it be Big Sur or my backyard, each adventure would be its own shade of grand.

From June,
I’ll bring all the yeses I gave myself permission to say in the mirror. Yes to taking all my practice gently dismantling the doubts of others, tile by tile, and building my own shelter of courage to keep. Yes to finding freedom in the silence of my mind I used to fear. Yes to embracing the great, universal expanse that comes with trusting your voice.

From August,
I carry the ownership I took more than any month before. Own that I can create ripple effects the size of waves with my fingertips. Own five times over that the vulnerability of one will allow thousands to bloom. Own the love enveloping my life and offer my greatest response – to expand the edges of its capacity by inviting new life into its magnitude.

From December,
I’ll rewear the reminders of possibility I stitched into every seam of my being. Remember that beginnings are divine in the nature they arrive – without calling, without context. Remember that endings are divine in the nature they ask my hands to open – with gratitude, with release. Remember that both are infinitely occurring, and with them, a continual carving of the me I am becoming.


With December, we welcome in many a sweet paradoxes. We experience a slowing of our spirit with the simultaneous, anxious spark for newness just around the corner. We close the curtains on the past twelve months, turning them into memories, while rough-drafting our dreams for the next dozen to come. We hibernate into the most nostalgic comforts we know, and shed from within what we won’t carry forward. It is as much an ending as it is a beginning.

The turn of our seasons (no matter how much snow or sun you get) holds a rhythm I believe we’ve all fallen a bit in love with.

Our souls crave it. Our bodies welcome it. Our minds turn in time with it. And more than any twinkly light or cinnamon spice that warms the air, the reflection ushered into our lives at this time of the year defines the sweetness felt so tangibly anywhere you go.

A good bit of the magic found in reserving the time to reflect comes in yet another yin and yang of balance. Some Decembers, you’ll find the same gratitudes at the top of your list from the last. Others, you may sit down with an entirely new perspective shaped by all you’ve experienced. Maybe you approach reflection with rituals and traditions – maybe you never welcome it in the same form twice.


Personally, December means I’ll be penning poems for my friends about the past year, often within the walls of my favorite coffee shop – warm cup in hand, ceilings decked with some form of evergreen. I’ll exchange secrets with my closest ones about the last minute, seemingly impossible hopes we wish will come before the end of the year (for which we have dubbed the name “Christmas Miracles”). And often, I’ll release a tear for each loss that came, or change that didn’t.

While the time spent soaking in specific moments from our previous year is an important process, the refresh it offers us to enter the new one with is just as important.

When the process is rushed or skipped altogether, January can come as early as an unwelcome alarm clock. But with a careful sweeping of every corner in our minds and hearts, I find a much roomier space is available for opportunity to grow, for love to take root, for an entire year of life to happily unfold, in full.

Photos by Nicol Biesek for Yellow Co.

Hanna Snyder

Communications Director at Yellow Co.

Hanna is a graphic designer and writer in Los Angeles, and the Communications Director at Yellow Co. Any story well told - whether through design, words, art, or food stirs her. As a romantic about nearly everything, she believes what we bring to our world deserves to be beautiful. Her love is endlessly exploring new ways to express our truest self, and has been trying to figure out her curls since birth.