I think we all need this week.
2020 has been *so hard*, for so many in Chicago (and far beyond!). And it’s not over yet — from continued electoral fighting, to spikes in virus cases and increased governmental restrictions all over the place, and (of course) the murder hornets.
But with the inexorable passing of time … Thanksgiving 2020 comes to us. And we pause to find glimpses of the light, to find goodness in the midst of seeming chaos and lots of bad news.
Because while things out there seem pretty bad, I like to remind myself this time of year that we’ve been in very broken and divided places as a nation before — and worse.
I like to remind myself that this holiday was set into our federal law books right in the middle of our nation’s most brutal conflict. Though we commemorate the Pilgrims’ story, the actual federal holiday was declared by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, when the bloodshed of the Civil War seemed never to have an end.
(Here’s a link to his proclamation which is worth reading annually.)
And today, in 2020, we seem to find ourselves in the middle of culture wars, election wars, political wars, economic wars. And we sit with the knowledge of many lost lives due to the virus and the various control measures.
So … can we yet give thanks?
I say YES.
Because we must, and because to do so is what sets us apart from our baser selves, and it is the very action that moves our hearts in the direction of what all of us are working hard for in the first place: contentedness and peace.
I say this, because I sit in my office and on Zoom calls, and I meet with a procession of “wealthy” and “poor” clients — families with 7-8 figures in the *bank*, and those going underwater.
If you saw what I see, you would see what I get reminded of regularly: Sometimes the “wealthiest” among us can be the most impoverished … and those without many zeroes in their accounts can be flat-out rich.
Being “rich” is truly a state-of-mind — it’s not even really about money, and it’s tied to gratitude. It affects how you see savings, retirement, the current and future economy, career growth or investment. And, of course, gratitude is the enemy of fear. It’s like an opposite magnet for it — walk in gratitude, and fear seems to melt away.
So, here’s my advice for Thanksgiving 2020: Whatever financial (or otherwise) situation you happen to be in after this donkey of a year, find a way to be thankful. There are hidden blessings in any trial … and hidden fears lying within any windfall or revenue surge. Find and savor the blessings, and watch your family, your co-workers and your domain benefit as a result.
As I sit down at my own table this week … I am thankful for you, ~Contact.FirstName~ — and people like you. Thank you for your trust, for your business during a VERY intense year … and for rolling with us during so many difficulties and changes.
No matter what happens with Presidential politics or with governmental restrictions, I, alongside your friends here at EZ Tax and Accounting Service, Inc., am in YOUR corner.
So … thank you.
Happy Thanksgiving 2020.
CRISIS Action Plan” for my Chicago tax clients and friends — which is still relevant today:
1) Don’t marinate in other people’s panic. Be mindful of your social media consumption.
2) Continue to stay financially and logistically prepared for worsening situations.
3) Make sure you have some ready, liquid assets, if you are able. (I.e., cash in the bank, and in hand.)
4) Set aside plans for any big spending until the dust settles — but especially look out for your small business owner friends and vendors.