Thanksgiving this year will be different than any in our lifetime. Normally a time to gather with friends and family to celebrate our blessings and eat a feast, this year will be much more distant. Zoom chats...and hopefully pie. Friends outside the immediate family bubble have fallen into the category of “would not touch with a ten foot-pole…even if we’re both wearing face masks.”
This year, it is easy to think that there is little to be thankful for. 2020 has not gone according to any plan I had made earlier this year. Still, reflecting on the blessings this year is not a futile exercise and I wanted to share a few things I’m thankful for, through the lens of The Rivet Group.
10. Technology. Before the pandemic, I had the flexibility to do my job from anywhere – and have – from a train in France, to a coffee shop in Kyoto. Having a laptop and an internet connection and the tech tools to be effective has been a blessing, even though I have not been anywhere more exotic than my back porch. I know many people had to adapt this year to working from home, and as I had a head start and was able to offer help to the newbies figuring this out on the fly.
9. Fewer, but deeper connections. The last in-person networking event I went to was in early March. Instead of having a dozen conversations with people for a few minutes, I now attend a few virtual meet-ups, and make a point to connect to 2-3 people afterwards in one-on-one Zoom calls. I’ve met some spectacular people this year that are motivating me to be better every day.
8. More balance. Before COVID, my wife’s job took her all over the globe, and she had to play catch-up in the office when she was not on the road. I was left to as mission-control for everything else, and the number of stressful days where Papa John made dinner for us was embarrassingly high. My wife and kids have all found a new and healthy kind of equilibrium in their lives and I am proud of them.
7. Stability & security. I’m fortunate that for all of this, my job, home, and pantry is secure. I know many people cannot same the same.
6. Creativity. Necessity is the mother of invention - When hiring went in the opposite direction, I recognized that there was a gap in traditional outplacement offerings in the market so I built a curriculum to help clients’ employees after furloughs became layoffs. By far from my favorite activity, but a knowledge of how to job hunt effectively has been put to good use, shortening the walk in the wilderness for many people this year. For my company, it helped keep the lights on.
5. Learning new things. One of the benefits of the professionals I encounter is learning from them – from book recommendations, tech tools, coping mechanisms, & life hacks. I’ve learned a ton of new skills this year and have a long list of things to learn in the future. I’ve also had to learn and relearn patience like never before.
4. Optimism. Being an entrepreneur is inherently an optimistic exercise. This year has put that to the test. I’ve approached this year as an opportunity to build the foundation of my business, continue to grow personally and professionally, and be ready for whatever comes next. It’s taken three time-outs from social media and news feeds.
3. Stocism. I’ve been studying stoic philosophy this year. It has added to my resilience by focusing on what I can control and not exerting energy & worry about what I cannot. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, judging by the sleepless nights I’ve had this year, but a work in progress is still progress.
2. Health. We have all been guilting of taking our health for granted at one point or another. Myself included. I’ve taken much more ownership of my physical and mental health this year than in the past. Fortunately, most of the people in my life have stayed healthy and I hope that continues.
1. The Rivets holding everything together. So many people I’m thankful for this year – healthcare workers, farmers, retail workers, truckers, scientists, poll workers, the military. Occasionally we get brilliant examples of heroism that stand out from the crowd, but all around us are thousands of heroes quietly getting stuff done and keeping us moving forward. I’m thankful most of all for them.
I’m sure I could write hundreds more things I am thankful for – including being thankful you, one of the handful of my blog. I hope you too have many things to be thankful for.
I wish you peace, health, and prosperity. If we can be of service, whether it’s finding a new job or just want to connect, let us know how we can help.