Thankfulness might be a little harder to come by this Christmas, especially if you are preparing for some empty chairs around the table and a video chat screen arranged in the living room. However, once you get past the face masks and Zoom lag, you will still spend time with the people who matter most to you. Even from a distance, family time is something to be thankful for, as are these four experiences that helped all of us make the most out of a challenging year.
Most folks would agree that the pandemic would have been much tougher without video chat, shares, likes, steaming movies, and two-day shipping. Even in lockdowns, we were never more than a few taps away from checking in on grandma or reading the latest advice from health care experts. As we found new ways to stay connected to our families, our culture, and our communities, we also gained a new appreciation for those in-person bonds that we won’t take for granted once the pandemic is over.
Work We Did … And Will Do
Many of our business goals had to be recalibrated on the fly as we adjusted to the pandemic. While you might be disappointed that Covid-19 stalled your progress on some major initiatives, the smaller professional victories you achieved are worth celebrating. Completing a digital pivot, collaborating with remote teams, delivering products and services to anxious customers are all major achievements that will help you build momentum heading into the next year. Working from home might also have given you a new perspective on your work-life balance and long-term professional goals. Follow your gratitude for these experiences and you could find yourself on a new, more fulfilling career trajectory.
Rediscovering the Outdoors
Covid-19 closed many of our favorite indoor social spots. But it also opened us up to the great outdoors. Instead of packing into movie theaters and restaurants, we packed our families into the car and explored the Provincial Parks. We took long walks with our spouses, discovered new bike trails, lowered our handicaps, and set up backyard sports games. Getting outside did not just help our physical health, it also helped us to unplug from the daily whirlwind so that we could reflect, recharge, and start looking ahead.
The Promise of 2021
Potential Covid-19 vaccines are, perhaps, the brightest light we can see at the end of the 2020 tunnel. Thanks to the tireless work of the medical community there’s reason to be hopeful that some normalcy could return next year. You and your family might already be looking forward to making up for missed birthday parties and cancelled vacations.
Once we do manage to control Covid-19, the pandemic and its aftereffects will continue to have a major impact on how we live and work. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Changes in your work-life balance might affect how you feel about your home. Changes in education might affect how you and your teenagers plan for post-secondary education. Changes in technology could create new ways to keep us connected and to help us achieve our most important goals.
These are challenges, but they are also opportunities. And if we approach them with openness and gratitude, our horizons will look much wider in 2021.
I was speaking with a client this week who shared about the cancellation of Christmas gatherings this year and the sadness that caused. I know many of you have had to cancel some gatherings as well - it is not an easy time. She reminded me that each time she is saddened by the changes to Christmas this year, she stops and thinks of 5 things she is thankful for. What a great outlook and exercise we could all benefit from. When disappointment sets in, stop, and think of 5 things you are thankful for.
Our whole team wishes you and your family a safe and Happy Christmas celebration. Let’s talk soon about the opportunities that you’re most grateful for and other important items on your year-end financial planning checklist.