As I reflect on 2021 and enter the new year, the word that comes to mind is gratitude. Sure, the year has been challenging: we lost loved ones, faced nearly constant uncertainty about so many issues, not just covid, but uncertainties about our economy including inflation, unemployment, supply chain and even the future many of our small businesses. Nevertheless, we persisted. We are lucky to be alive beyond imagination. If you think about the odds of being born here, today, and being healthy and well, the odds are staggering.
So here is my list of things I am grateful for…
My mom passed away in early December and yet I am so grateful for the time I spent with her this past year. There were many trips to VA and back. Each trip provided me time to spend with her, cook for her and care for her at a time that must have been terrifying for her as she watched her freedom and independence slip away. Life is a privilege and being with someone as they approach whatever’s next is a gift. In this society we often avoid our loved ones as they age. But, if there is one thing I can leave you with, run to them, not away. A loved one’s passing on is as much a miracle as birth.
On another level, I’ve had friends drift away and new ones come into my life this past year. As we change and grow it’s natural for some relationships to fade, yet somehow others come into view. It doesn’t mean it isn’t painful to see some go ~ but there is joy in welcoming new friends as other retreat. Woof! Ok, this one may not be easy to be grateful for. I truly am grateful for the people I have in my life and the time I was able to spend with them ~ and I am looking forward to spending more time this year.
Family has really come into the forefront this year. My brother and sister are busy professionals, parents, and all-around good citizens. We don’t always get to spend quality time together as we live in different parts of the country, and it is easy to stay in our comfort zones and not reach out enough. With mom’s passing we spent a lot of time with each other, and I remembered how much I love and appreciate them both. Really! My mom raised some fine human beings, and time with them is precious. I am grateful for them, and I hope we get to spend more quality time in the coming years.
Our professional network has the finest, most hardworking, dedicated people that I have the privilege of working with. They help us fulfill client wishes and dreams all the time and make me look good. I could not get my work done without them. There are countless times I have called on them after hours and on weekends. I am grateful that they responded quickly and with the greatest professionalism and courtesy. I strive to be worthy of their collaboration and partnership every day and we have pulled off miracles together. As I look back on what we have done this past year I am immensely proud of my relationship with these fine humans.
My assistant, Julie, has also been a godsend this past year. I’ve struggled with what to call her because she fills so many roles and takes so many things on with grace and ease. She is funny, always happy, and willing to help in any capacity, from the mundane to the profound. Please help us find a proper title for her. All the names I came up with don’t do her justice: Client Service, fulfillment, director of smiles. (See, I struggle.) She does so much for me, our firm and our customers. I am grateful beyond words.
Through no small measure of Julie’s contribution and our fantastic professional network, I am grateful that we are growing and bringing our services to more folks with what I hope is greater ease. We’d like to add services to those we currently provide and welcome your feedback on what services we might add. I also expect we will add an apprentice this year, either someone who wants to be in financial services or who has already started and wants to take their career to the next level. In recent conversation with a client I was reminded that one phase of mastery requires that you teach another. There simply is no mastery without teaching. One of the greatest gifts we can offer is sharing our expertise with another that wants to learn and grow. Stay tuned as we get ready to find the right candidate to fill this role. 💎
There is more. A lot more. But I will be respectful of your time. I hope this little note will trigger the memory of all the things you are grateful for in your life, and maybe inspire you to share them with another this week. For now, my fondest hope for you in the coming year is that you experience love, peace, joy and gratitude.