In past years I’ve often incorporated my Day of Reflection into family matters, addressing work/life balance issues. For example, last fall my sister and I helped my mom prepare for a transition to a senior apartment community after my dad passed away.  This year I was determined to keep the day for “just me;” in the back of my mind throughout every part of the day was Hank’s recent invocation, when discussing the intent of the Day of Reflection at a recent staff meeting, to “just stop!”

I began right when I woke up, with a regimen of back strengthening exercises that I had learned when I had injured my back last spring.  The Day of Reflection was the perfect opportunity to revisit these – and there was no rush to get out of bed and get going!  I left the house soon after but took the “long way” around the lake, stopping to watch the waterfowl briefly and enjoy the beauty of the scene, then headed not to work but to the YMCA for a one-hour workout.  I then popped over to the nearby public library to browse and pick up some new reading material.  Next was my appointment with a financial advisor.  I spent a good 1 ½ hours reviewing goals, investment options, etc.  It was now lunchtime – a quiet soup and sandwich at a nearby Panera fit the bill as I looked over the library’s schedule of events and the YMCA exercise class calendar to see how I could incorporate something new into the coming new year.  My afternoon was spent nurturing my creative side at the “American Impressions” exhibit at the Albany institute of History and Art.  We often think of European masters when considering the impressionist movement but this exhibit of paintings from the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT demonstrated the wealth and beauty of impressionist works from this side of the pond.

In my role of HR Specialist at PRA I am privileged to see the documentation detailing Day of Reflection activities from all staff.  I am impressed by both the creativity and devotion demonstrated by personnel who use this time for such a variety of pursuits, including everything from journaling, hiking and fall foliage-driving to volunteer work, academic, financial and career planning, appointments with counselors and therapists, and much more.  As we begin our 7th year offering the Day of Reflection as an employee benefit at PRA, the day “intended to encourage employees to take the time to reflect on their lives with special emphasis on career planning, goal setting and/or other job-related personal activities,” I am thankful for the opportunity and for Hank’s simple guidance, knowing how busy we all are, to “just stop!”

Lenore Hiking - author provided image

Lenore Hiking