This year has been a challenge, to say the least. From forced business closures, to self isolation, to the actual COVID illness itself, there hasn’t been a lot of good news this year. But, there’s still a lot to be thankful for.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, especially in years like 2020. It’s the time that we are truly encouraged to pause and reflect on everything around us - our family, friends, our blessings and our challenges. Even when things seem bad, there are things to be thankful for.
With that in mind, I thought I’d share some of the things that I’m thankful for this year. Some of them are personal, some of them are more general. My hope is that you may find some hope and encouragement in them. And that you will think about your blessings and reasons to be thankful in “The year of the COVID”, as we’ve come to call it in the Zimpleman house.
The first thing that I’m thankful for is probably the most obvious - my family. This year has highlighted the importance of family to me. The year started out with what most would consider a difficult family time - the passing of my grandmother in late February. However, the gathering of her children and grandchildren turned into a celebration of her 95 years and all of the blessings she brought to us. We laughed, told stories, and enjoyed the company of family that we don’t get to see often enough. And just in time, as less than two weeks later the country was put into lock down. The memories of that week long trip halfway across the country helped me get through the months long isolation, as I know we will eventually get to have gatherings like that again soon.
We often have challenges in our families. We disagree, disappoint, and let each other down from time to time. We’re human beings, so we’re all flawed. But, we only have one family and we need to stand with each other now more than ever. If you can’t gather with your family over this holiday season, please do what you can. Our technology allows us to see each other like never before, so use it.
That leads to the next thing that I’m thankful for - technology. In a normal year, technology wouldn’t be anywhere near a list of things to be thankful for. As a matter of fact, I usually think of technology as an annoyance during the holidays. We’ve all seen the pictures of families gathered and everyone is staring at their screens rather than talking to each other. But, this year technology has allowed us to stay connected while staying distant. It’s connected the world at a time when we had to be isolated.
Another fairly obvious thing for me to be thankful for is - Axis Wealth Planning. I have been blessed with a great business and wonderful clients who have trusted me and my advice for their finances. Throughout this pandemic, I’ve had to adapt to some new ways of doing things, but for the most part it’s been business as usual. When I started as a solo practitioner, I knew that I would need to build my systems to be mobile so that I could help clients even when I wasn’t in the office. I was envisioning being available over the holidays or while on vacation. I never thought I would need to be working from my home for months. Luckily, when it was necessary, I was able to do so. As I approach seven and a half years in business, it appears that I will have seen growth in the business for another year, making it the case for every year. There’s much to be thankful for in that!
The next thing on my thankful list may seem a bit odd in light of the year - the American political system. To say that this election cycle was unique is putting it lightly. From shouting and speaking over each other at debates to the strange ballot counting issues, this has been an election for the record books. But, over the next few weeks we’ll be putting it behind us and moving on as a country. I’m immensely thankful for a system that allows the people to have a say, whether we like the outcome or not. I think we take for granted how smoothly transitions of leadership at the top of our government happens. This is a rarity in the history of the world and we should all be thankful for it, even if we don’t like the way a particular election has gone.
The next one isn’t one that everyone will agree with - I’m thankful that I live in South Carolina, where our leaders believe in allowing the people to make the decisions about their own well being. While I haven’t always agreed with Governor McMasters throughout the pandemic, I do believe it is right to allow business to be open, and make the adjustments they feel they need to make to operate safely. No business wants to harm their clients, but people rely on their businesses to sustain their livelihoods. We will not be able to survive perpetual lockdowns.
Finally, the last thing that I’ll share that I’m thank full for - our amazing medical and research industries. While many people were self isolated this year, our medical professionals went to work everyday, exposing themselves to this virus, risking their own health and the health of their families. And our medical research teams went to work to create a vaccine. No vaccine has ever been produced in less than three years. They look to have created one in about nine months! That’s a testament to how much we’ve learned about virology, DNA, and the human body recently. While the vaccine is getting the headlines, we’ve also been discovering treatments to deal with those who have already contracted the virus and get them recovered much quicker. While we’ve seen cases increase recently, note that deaths haven’t risen nearly at the same rate. Again, much to be thankful there!
I hope that you will have some time in the next few days to think about what you’re thankful for. I also hope that we can find time to be thankful throughout the year, and not just on the fourth Thursday in November. Maybe that will be the lasting legacy of the COVID-19 virus?!
One last bonus thing I’m thankful for - that you’ve read this far. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!