Taking a Moment for Gratitude: Thanksgiving 2018


These days life can be so hectic, it is easy to get caught up in the day to day demands and distractions and forget all of the things in our lives to be grateful for. Besides the demands on our time from work, family and the day to day responsibilities, there are significant demands on our emotions. With crazy political gyrations from all sides and the constant stream of disasters, natural and otherwise, it is easy to feel like there is no point, so why try?

When I get to feeling that way, I try to step back and take a moment for gratitude. There are a couple of holidays that give me that pause, and Thanksgiving is one of my top reminder holidays, so I wanted to take a few moments and share 6 things that I am most grateful for this year.

I am grateful for…


1. The privilege to serve my clients. While this may sound corny, helping clients is what keeps me young and excited. There is nothing more gratifying to me than hearing from a client how well they are doing in retirement or their relief at taking care of an issue that has been hanging over their heads for a long time.

I realize that there are many places one can go for “financial services”, so the fact that I get to work with so many great people is something I appreciate deeply. Thank You!

2. For Davi and my family. Some years ago, I used to open workshops asking folks what they think of when I say the word “assets”. They would come up with things like stocks, bonds, real estate, CD’s, etc… Then I would ask, “If I asked you what the most important thing in your life is?”, I would get the response; “family, health, values, religion”. This led to our old tag line: “Discover Your Hidden Assets”, which we still put on our business cards.

Family is at the heart of everything important in our lives. Money and financial assets can be replaced, especially if you still have your family, faith and health intact. If you lost those 3, all the money in the world could not replace them. Being married for over 30 years to my best friend and closest companion has given me much to be thankful for.


3. The San Francisco Giants. I have been fortunate enough to share in fantastic season tickets for this wonderful team. Going to the ballpark is like going on a mini vacation. Do you remember the scene in “City Slickers” where Billy Crystal is describing his first time walking in to Yankee Stadium and seeing the green grass of the field. I still get that feeling when we walk in to our seats. I like to go early and see batting practice and watch as the ground crew prepares the field for the upcoming game.

The crowd comes in and the excitement builds the entire time. Now they haven’t been very good the last couple of years, but the team has acknowledged that and are in the process of upgrading the team and adapting to changes that have been occurring in the game over the past few years. Lots of teams give up and say that they will be rebuilding, there are teams that have been rebuilding for decades! It is nice to support an organization who doesn’t mail it in and is always striving to be better at what they do and how they treat their fans. I not only appreciate them, but I learn from them on nearly every visit!

4. My health. I know I mentioned this in number 2, but I wanted to really express how thankful I am for my health. Many of you know that I went through nearly 3 years recently when I was either receiving treatment or physical therapy for a number of ailments and injuries. I am so much better and without constant acute pain, it is so much easier to focus, study and work!

I still get the occasional shot (have I told you about Ortho Visc?) and still see my physical therapist from time to time to keep me on track. It is true what they say, “getting old is not for the faint of heart”. You got to be tough to deal with the aches and pains, along with the other physical changes that come with age. Now if I could only lose that 15 pounds…


5. Living in Marin County. It isn’t the place I moved to back in 1981, but what is? The streets are more crowded, potholes are more prevalent, traffic is a nightmare (especially on weekends) and many who live here are not as tolerant, understanding or patient as folks used to be around here.

However, when I travel, I am always happy to be back here. I could gaze at Mount Tam for hours (we are building a new elevated patio in our backyard that looks directly at it) and not get bored. There are places to hike and on the corner is horse hill. Looking up and seeing horses in my neighborhood makes this a very special place indeed. I have neighbors who have been around for decades and even though there are new people moving in, there is enough of the old guard to keep things on an even keel. One of my neighbors actually hosted a pre-Halloween block party!

6. Rocco. If you have ever been to our office, you have likely met Rocco, our rescue Yorkie. If you get a birthday card from us, he even signs the cards along with the rest of us. He is a very calming influence. Even thought he can be a stubborn pain in the rear, his companionship is better than I ever could have imagined. See, I have never had a dog in my family. When I was a kid, we had a cat for a while, but really no other pets. Growing up I had cats (mostly with girlfriends) and when I met Davi, she had a couple of cats as well. When Davi said she wanted to get a dog, I wasn’t really for the idea, but I sure feel differently now!


Take the challenge! When I sat down to write this, I wasn’t sure I could. After all, the news gets crazier every day, running a business can be challenging, markets have been very volatile, and some dear friends have been very ill. On top of that, the smoke from those terrible fires in Butte county have been obscuring the sun for days. It is so easy to get caught up in all of that.

So here is the challenge: take a few minutes to come up with 6 things that you are thankful for. Remember, someone always has it worse than you, so it is important to keep a perspective and take joy in the wonders we are surrounded by. Once you have your 6, share them with someone you care about. If you feel like sharing, post them on our Facebook page so everyone can see. Or just show them to me the next time we are together.

I guarantee this will make you feel good and help keep your life in balance. Take time to appreciate what you have and have a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!