Skip to content

Two End-of-Year Questions!

By Catherine Collier, Stittsville Acupuncturist

As the year ends, it is a beneficial time to reflect on the year that has come and gone. Last year, on New Year’s Eve, I used Jay Shetty’s “7 powerful questions to successfully reflect on 2022″. You can find details about his full list of questions here.

While answering these, it gave me space to relish in the joys that occurred throughout the year, and it provided me a clear view of areas that I felt needed more of my attention for 2023. There are a couple of his questions I wanted to share my reflections on with you as we head into a festive season.

The first question was: What is something you bought this year?

Shetty elaborated on the importance of how and where we spend our money, and how it can be an important reflection to review our “investments”. When I was answering this question, I genuinely struggled to find something I spent my money on, besides day-to-day living. As a naturally frugal person, and someone with mall anxiety, I really didn’t purchase much. What I did realize was that previously throughout my life, I did spend my money on various appointments dedicated to self-care – mind, body and spirit.

In 2022, I didn’t spend any money on this, at all. To me, in the realm of self-care I include a variety of things. Some as simple as a haircut (my patients can attest that my hair is naturally a little unruly); others include perhaps more meaningful contributions to care like energy healers, acupuncture, health retreats, massage etc.

So, in 2023, I set myself on a quest to reclaim my self-care. Although still unruly, I did finally get a haircut. I went away for a retreat weekend with my partner. I saw an osteopath, a shaman, and sought regular acupuncture treatments, to name a few. To me, spending money on this sort of thing really is invaluable, and I feel better for it. I hope that you confidently can look back (and forward!) on the investment you’ve made for yourself by choosing treatments with Oaktree.

While my intention of this reflection is for self-care, I also know that when we are caring for ourselves, we are more present, calm and intentional for those around us. Many of us at Oaktree have had patients who have thanked us on behalf of their family/friends for the benefits of their treatments. One particular story that comes to mind was when my patient’s husband asked her to thank me for helping to get her libido back! While I was pleased for both about the results of her treatment, she is the one who invested her time and money seeking treatment, and sticking with it had benefits that surpassed her chief complaint of “stress”.

The second question I want to highlight is: What made you the happiest this year?

While there are many things that I feel happy and grateful for, I want to elaborate on one aspect of my answer. Some of you know from my bio, or from talking with me that I used to work at a job that was very unfulfilling to me. I had the classic golden handcuffs (not a pretty festive kind!) – a great salary, a secure retirement plan, all the paid sick days that one may need.

I was miserable.

One of the intake questions I typically ask when I meet a new patient is “do you like your job?”. The reason I ask goes far beyond getting to know you. For me, when I was unhappy and stuck, I was also sick. I had headaches and body pains. My sleep was disrupted. Even though I sat at a desk all day, I’d come home exhausted. When I finally took the leap and quit my job to pursue acupuncture full time, I feel like I haven’t worked a day since. Don’t get me wrong, there are days I still arrive home tired, or days where we are discussing difficult topics that are heart wrenching and leave me feeling emotional. But when I looked back on my year to answer what was one of the things that made me happiest, it was YOU!

I could not be more grateful to do what I do every day. To talk with you, to get to know you. I am privileged to practice this medicine. I am grateful that you have entrusted yourself to my care. I truly am happy to go to work every day and spend our time together. As our final newsletter of the year, I want to express my overwhelming gratitude that we have connected!

As I have done a poor job linking this long-winded message to Oaktree’s annual holiday GOLD theme, I googled quotes about gold. This one I found by an author named John Gardner which stood out. He said, “My advice to you…is to seek out gold and sit on it!” I can assure you, in working with all of you through Oaktree, I have done just that.

And finally, to all of you, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart, for contributing to my happiness this year.

“Stay golden, Pony boy”.

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.