Will There Be Thanksgiving This Year?

thanksgiving-2019

Today, when I spoke with the gentleman who maintains our website, blog and podcast, he reminded me that I generally write a blog post for Thanksgiving and take a moment to express gratitude for all the great things in my life, and those folks who are friends, clients and associates.

Well, as I sit here, I am kind of dreading doing that this year.

This has been such a difficult year for many. Crazy politics, market volatility, health issues for family and friends, premature death are among the downbeat things that I experienced this year.

What I Am Seeing and Hearing

A lot of folks I have met with this year have been very challenged by what they see as a flawed political landscape and a divided country, international economic instability (negative interest rates, trade wars, regime change, etc.), and stock and bond valuations that seem divorced from any type of reality.

This confusion has led to a sort of “deer in the headlights” type of response. The result is stress, anxiety and a fear of making the wrong move, which leads to no decisions regarding strategies and opportunities.

Now that I have succeeded in depressing myself and many of you, let’s look at the other side.

The Bright Spots of This Year

After all, most great opportunities are borne from difficulties and challenges:

  1. I am grateful for my friends and family. At the end of the day, this is the heart of everything. Knowing you have people you can trust, through thick and thin, cannot be measured in dollars. It is the greatest wealth we can have. Without great relationships, the rest is pointless.
  2. I have a wonderful new space in our backyard. It has taken almost a year to complete, but we have a new space we developed that provides views of Mount Tam and Horse Hill, along with a gas fire pit. Spending time there with family and friends has been truly special. What is it about a campfire that brings out great conversations? We spend so much time there, my television time has dropped off tremendously.
  3. I have been able to help some really great people this year. When someone comes to plan their retirement, it is very gratifying to see them build confidence, where there initially was stress and worry. Transitioning to retirement with a plan is such a stress reliever. It is the best part of my job!
  4. To still live in a place where I can wake up every day with a sense of possibility. There really is no other country that provides the choices for our lives and future that we enjoy here. We really have wonderful opportunities that are still available. That realization alone allows me to face the future with great optimism. The “accident of birth” that allowed me to grow up in this country is something I will always be grateful for.
  5. Finally, the ability for good to come from tragedy. The recent blackouts and fires created a lot of trouble and inconvenience for many around here. Going without power for days and days can be aggravating at best. Losing your home or business is almost unimaginable.

The way that people looked out for each other, the interactions of neighbors and friends, the sense of sharing what you had when others had less reminded us of the basic goodness found in most people, even today.

My Thanksgiving Wish

I want to wish you, your family and friends the very best of Thanksgivings. When I started writing this I was down and dreading it. I am now feeling much better having reminded myself of all the great things we have. I hope you have the same reaction.

No matter how gloomy and dark things seem sometimes, it is a great thing to step back and look for the blessings in our lives. I hope you have much in your life to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!