Grieving in public…
May 25, 2022
<– Our girls, Brooklyn (7, almost 8) and Courtney (4)
I’ll admit, I’m a bit raw as I write these thoughts. This isn’t the typical market commentary, financial planning strategy, tax mitigation technique, or transfer of wealth opportunity that you’d expect to come from the desk of an advisor.
This message is from one human being to another. It’s about life, purpose, and perspective.
It’s about what it means to be a member of society and the role that we play in that society. Our professional role in what we do for our vocation. The communal role we have in our community (neighborhood, church, etc.). The familial role we have in our family. The parental role we have to our kids. The common denominator in all of those roles: the impact that we can have in each of those areas.
Two separate and unrelated events have shocked me over the past 48 hours.
Two days ago (May 23rd) I learned of a colleague’s husband who was blindsided and diagnosed with a severe and very progressive brain tumor. Healthy one week, fighting for his life the next. Her and her husband have three kids under the age of six. ‘Outlook doesn’t look good, but they’re fighting with everything they have. The positive power of social media has been a shining light as resources and connections have been made that otherwise may have taken weeks to connect.
Then, the news out of Texas yesterday, May 24, 2022. In the wake of the horrific, unimaginable, and heinous event that took place in Uvalde, TX I feel an interesting quagmire of emotions. There’s a lot of reconciling going in on my mind right now and, like you, I’m still emotionally processing everything.
(This message isn’t an opinion piece on the cause of what happened in TX. That’s for a different forum and platform.)
This message is a reminder that there are events in life that forcibly and unapologetically remind us that life is a gift–each and every day–and one that we cannot take for granted.
It’s easy to do, though, isn’t it? Take things for granted…
We get into our habits. Our routines.
We wake up. Check our phones (bad habit).
Bathroom routine. Morning workout.
Get the kids ready for school. Breakfast’s on the table. Where are your shoes (again?!). Hurry up, you’ll miss the bus! Did they make it to the bus on time? Yup! Good, victory #1 for the day.
Time for work. Get to the office. Have meetings. Learn, analyze, and execute. Do good work.
Go home. Prep and eat dinner. Ask the obligatory “How was your day?” question. (My better version I ask our kids: “What was the best part of your day?” Invokes two things: open-ended, have-to-think-of-an-answer response and positivity).
Evening routine. Read to the kids. Have the endless battle of who’s gonna tuck them in (spoiler alert: they almost always fight over mom. I’ll waive that white flag, but celebrate the win when they occasionally fight over me). Tuck them in, kiss them g’night. Now, what to do with the last 90 minutes or so before we go to bed?
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Starting today, 21 families’ lives have been forever changed and will never be able to do that again. 19 of them are parents who are coping with the absolute unimaginable. Bikes that’ll never be ridden again. Backyards that’ll never be played in again. They’ll look into a room where their child used to sleep. Posters and pictures on the wall. Stories on paper they wrote with misspelled (but in their mind phonetically correct) words. Toys on the floor, a bed laying empty. Forever.
Why am I sharing this? Part of it is that one of the ways I grieve is through writing. I’m a big believer in the power of journaling and writing. It’s how I run my businesses, how I make strategic decisions, and how I grow personally and professionally. For me, there’s magic, therapy, and transformation that happens when I take the thoughts in my mind and put them down on paper.
Today, I’m choosing to grieve publicly, and I ask that you grieve with me. But I’ll also ask that you learn with me through this process.
Learn that we are reminded, yet again, that it’s our gift, dare I say our responsibility to live each day, on purpose. With intent. With gratitude.
As corny and cheesy as it sounds, “The past is the past, the tomorrow may never come. That’s why they call today a present.” Not my quote, so full attribution to whomever it belongs.
There are certain factors that are within our control, and certain factors that are out of our control. How we show up daily to those in our life that we impact (friends, family, patients, team members, etc.), where we allocate our time and resources, and the purpose in which we show up can have an incredible impact on not only our own quality of life but the lives we influence.
Money is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less. It can be used for good or for evil. For prosperity or for destruction. In the scope of our lives, what we do with our money is so important and it partially influences the return on life we experience.
Plan for the best. Prepare for the unexpected.
Align intention with action. Align money with purpose.
Whatever change you want to see in the world, start there and be that change (thank you, Mahatma Gandhi).
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. You certainly didn’t have to read it, but I’m grateful for the privilege of sharing my thoughts with you. I hope it encourages you to pause, reflect, and ensure that your actions in life (in all aspects) are in alignment with the purpose you wish to fulfill.
I wish you nothing but happiness, fulfillment, and joy–now and every day thereafter. Hug your kids. Call your family. Live in gratitude, be mindful of contentment, smile, and celebrate life.
Humbly and gratefully,
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