December 2020 Cover Story: A Time for Reflection

Deep Creek Times

Written by Mike Tumbarello

December is upon us. As the country as a whole and all of us individually, deal with the pandemic and its impact on our lives, I thought I would take a moment here in this Cover Story to ponder the season itself as opposed to the current state of economic, health, political and social affairs. With winter comes opportunity.

What I am saying here is that sometimes, even in a pandemic, it really pays to step back and consider the historical and broader context of things.  I think that this December may be a great time for a reboot and reconsideration of where we are as a nation, community, family unit and of course, as individuals.  As the “official” start of winter and the holiday season, we are in a unique window from which to do some thinking this month.

dec 20 cover story

Winter Solitude

I am not a psychologist and don’t have answers for individual readers of course, and I don’t even have answers for myself all the time, but there are some “tools” we can all consider when evaluating where we are and where we are going. Maybe, we should all start with “nothing.”  One can imagine the quiet around the photo above.  Nothing… but snow.  Perhaps we should all use the winter to take a “snow day” from our busy lives and just relax, perceive and contemplate our current situation and where we are going.  Where are we? Where do we fit?  What is the right path…through the snow, even if it is difficult?

We would likely never contemplate leaving on a vacation (remember those?) without a destination in mind.  A plan and a schedule.  And, without preparation.  Yet sometimes, we are all guilty of letting this thing we call life just carry us along in the immediate without taking a breath, or contemplating if we are on the right path, to say nothing of our destination.

I offer-up the following questions for readers to contemplate over a hot cup of coffee, either alone or with a significant other or mentor. Is this scientific?  Absolutely not. Perhaps begin with these few simple questions and then add a few of your own.  Here goes:

  • Are you where you thought you would be in life? Why or why not?
  • Are you happy in general and specifically relative to some key areas of your life?
  • What is the one thing you would change in your life now? What is stopping you?
  • Where do you want to be in five, ten and 15 years?
  • Do you have an actionable plan to get to where you want to be?

Now that you are in a contemplative mood, consider the following quote:

“Quiet the mind, and the soul shall speak” – Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

And, in closing, here’s a photo to get you thinking… What does he see…?

decembre cover story

What does he see?

Mike Tumbarello

November 30, 2020