I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday of the year. I love it so much that I celebrate it twice.
The first Thanksgiving is held in my office with my colleagues; my work family. Each member brings something to the feast. The turkey is my special contribution, while others bring stuffing, sides, desserts and perhaps a bottle or two of wine.
It is our opportunity to share our joys, challenges, hopes and experiences.
The gathering always reminds me that business should be a place where peoples’ lives come together, where the mission is something more than just expanding the top and bottom lines. My colleagues and I are fully cognizant of the rare and wonderful space we occupy in the lives of our clients as Financial Life Planners.
We talk about how we’ve touched the lives of those we love, including our clients, and how they’ve touched ours. Clients don’t call when the stock market burps; they call us when they are facing challenges or need reassurance or an objective opinion. We are grateful to hold this space for each of them.
We have a tradition of sharing stories about our lives and our work. Over the years, we’ve heard about one another’s monumental triumphs and crushing tragedies.
In a typical year, we will share stories of babies being born and jobs being lost, children going to college and couples getting divorced, monumental accomplishments and heartbreaking deaths, friends or family members in crisis and young couples getting married, new firm members coming in and remembering those who are no longer with us, homes bought and sold, grave illnesses and miraculous recoveries, children with disabling conditions and parents with Alzheimer’s. In other words, life.
“Gratitude” is a very forceful word. It’s one that, when repeated, brings with it a meaningful internal experience. If you don’t believe me, try it. Say the word gratitude six times. Can you feel it moving within you? Then try telling someone that you are grateful to have them in your life. Try it with as many people as you can and see what happens.
This year, as always, we will share our stories and laugh, clap, nod, encourage, cry and hug each other. We will celebrate our colleagues, our families, friends, clients and those whose lives we touch. Hearts will soar and break from one moment to the next, with the realization that gratitude is meaningful and deep.
Wishing you and those in your life a loving, generous and caring celebration.