We’re now firmly in the holiday season—which can be a hectic time, and one that has a way of being emotionally taxing. For many, including the team here at Ceca, it’s their favorite time of year. We start the season by giving thanks—which we strive to do each day in our many partner communities—and at year-end, we attempt a joyous self-reflection on what matters most and who we’d like to be in the year to come.

I’d wager that for most people, 2022 has been a remarkably up-and-down year. It’s particularly true for those in the healthcare world. And it’s certainly true for us at Ceca.

We have been honored to highlight thousands of incredible people and are inspired by their exceptional acts of caregiving. We’ve also been fortunate to engage with so many dedicated healthcare professionals during our presentations, meetings, and conference tour this year. But, we have also been forced to acknowledge the desperation of healthcare workers and the organizations they work for.

With many care communities just trying to tread water, it hasn’t always meant the kind of growth our team had hoped for when the year began. And when you are working at something so diligently day by day, it’s easy to get the feeling that you haven’t made any progress at all.

But by many measures, we’ve made real progress this year.

We presented more than 200 Ceca Awards, the most in our history. We recognized over 7,000 acts of care, and highlighted people across the continuum who continue to represent the best the industry has to offer.

In the past, we’d ask to attend the occasional conference or convention—if the price was right, or someone would let us sit in for a day. This year, we were invited to give keynote address or presentations, providing breakout sessions for continuing education credits at a dozen conferences. Not to mention the numerous associations who we worked along side to support their own recognition events.

And this year, we are asking all of you to tell us about a care worker who deserves to be recognized, and to share a story about what they did to make a big difference in someone’s life. We’ll be giving away $2,500 to a Ceca Caregiver of the Year based on those stories, and opening up new opportunities to honor those who work in hospitals, nursing homes, senior living communities or with homecare or hospice organizations. It represents another way we can care for those who give so much in caring for others.

Gratitude and self-reflection are inextricably tied together. It’s why these holidays place a tidy bow on the season. When we take time to look inward, we are able to see clearly both the things we are regretful and grateful for.

It’s important to assess your mistakes and where you fell short. It can lead to more informed efforts and a better chance of success in the future. But celebrating your successes is even more important. It gives you the confidence to keep going, the resilience to overcome disappointment, and a feeling of esteem that you’re good at what you do. And, hopefully, it reminds you of your calling—something that applies to so many in the healthcare industry who could use our gratitude to elevate them to new heights.