Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year. Each year, our family gets together in a small town in Western Tennessee called Eva, and we rent cabins where we can all spend a few days together catching up on our busy lives. It is a place that my children routinely call their “favorite place in the world,” where many of my fondest memories have been made. But in 2020, it seems that just about everything that involves large gatherings of people has been canceled. Not being able to go down there because of the pandemic has been very hard on my kids and on me. I have decided that this is the best year to sit back and really understand what being thankful is about. It is precisely when things seem the hardest that we should self-reflect and try to find the small (and big) things that are going on around us that we can be thankful for.

The biggest news of the year has been the impact of COVID-19 and how it has impacted every one of us in different ways. I am currently battling the virus, and it has been a challenge so far. I have lost the ability to taste or smell anything. As I am dealing with that, I am more thankful than ever for the smell and taste of a full Thanksgiving spread, complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, baked macaroni and cheese, and apple pie! I know there are many people who have not been as fortunate to be recovering from this insidious virus. One of my friends is currently intubated as he fights through the side-effects of his infection. This thing is real and it is REAL nasty! But I don’t have to let it rob me of my joy around this time of year. There is always something to be thankful for, and I am thankful for the health that I have and that my family has so far tested negative for the coronavirus.

It is easy to lose perspective when things are not normal or we are inconvenienced. This year we have all, at one time or another, had to deal with wearing a mask to help stop the spread and flatten the curve of infection. This has made me realize how important it is to put other people ahead of myself when it comes to my day-to-day interactions. It has also shown me how much I enjoy the simple sight of a friend or a stranger smiling at me. We have lost that this year in many of our in-person interactions, and I am going to be happy when this is past us and we can bring happiness to each other with our smiles! I am also going to miss my family at Thanksgiving, but we are able to set up a large Zoom meeting with “virtual cabins” where we can break out and spend some time together catching up. Thankfully, we won’t have to wear masks during this time, and we can see each other and enjoy the time that we do have. It’s not the same, but it is definitely something to be thankful for!

I know that many of our clients have been dealing with tough things this year, whether health-wise, financially or emotionally. We want you to know that we are here for you to talk about anything that is on your mind. We love the value that we can bring to your life, and most of all we are THANKFUL for the trust that you have put in all of us here at Walkner Condon to help you navigate the choppy waters of 2020 and beyond, as you plan for and work towards your long-term goals and dreams. Without each and every one of you, our firm would not exist. So as you reflect back on this year, and all that it has brought to us collectively, we want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving, and we hope that you have a chance this year to realize the special things in your life that you can be thankful for.

Jonathon Jordan, CFP®