My birthday has always felt like the start of a new year. Falling at the end of August, it means back to school time, end of summer, start of Q4, and so much more. This week always feels quiet with everyone sneaking in those last vacation days and trying to gear up for the hectic end of the year. So, it has become my favorite time of year to reflect.
The last year has brought more ups, downs, and challenges than I ever saw coming. But it’s in those moments that we always find the most opportunities for growth and learning.
During the Fall of 2022 I watched my speaking career blossom. I found so much fulfillment in going into companies and organizations to talk about financial planning and empowerment. I had the pleasure of meeting new people who wanted to come into my world where they felt understood, accepted, and heard for the first time after being ignored by so many in the financial planning industry.
In the middle of November, I sat down to plan out the next year. The events I want to host, how many clients I want to take on, what types of clients I want to focus on working with, and much more. But one of my favorite quotes is and always will be: “You make plans, and you hear God laughing.” Because no matter what I had written down in my beautiful business plan, He something else in mind.
I always close my office between Christmas and New Years. On December 22nd, I had my last client meeting and finished up my remaining to-do list items so that I could put a bow on the year. Little did I know, the relaxing week of reading, workout classes, and cringy holiday movies wouldn’t come to fruition.
Every year I spend Christmas Eve with my father who lives down in North Carolina. This year he drove up and arrived a few days early. I felt that nagging voice inside my head saying something wasn’t right and I went that night to visit him at his hotel. The guy had never been sick in his life, but he hadn’t been feeling well over the last several weeks. We thought maybe it was a bad cold turned into pneumonia. In reality, my world came to a complete stop when checking into the ER and a nurse told me she thought he was in heart and possible kidney failure. Oh, and let me not leave out that he had blood clots in his lungs and legs.
Those 2024 business plans were quickly put on the shelf. The first quarter of the year was a dance between insurance company calls, doctor visits, and mapping out the seven–yes SEVEN–different medications he was taking. In those weeks-turned-months, we didn’t know what the future would hold. Fortunately, after a successful open-heart surgery and another small procedure several months later, the future became brighter.
I focus on finding meaning and purpose in everything that happens to me and around me. As I take off on another trip around the sun, I want to focus on the things–and more importantly the people–that matter. Between COVID and this medical miracle, I am reminded that the time we have on this earth is both beautiful and limited. So, I turn it on to you, as we finish out this year how do you want to spend your time? And who do you want to spend it with?