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Change, Lessons, Opportunity, & Enjoying the Warmth of the Holiday SeasonSubmitted by Flourish Wealth Management on December 27th, 2017
By: Kathleen Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA
We are nearing the close of 2017, and what a year it has been! From a new presidency that has certainly shaken things up to sweeping tax reform that will have a lasting impact on our economy and everyone who pays taxes, this has been a year of big changes. Globally, we have seen pendulum shifts in markets and ideology while domestic markets reached new highs nearly every month and GDP grew at a similar speed. This has also been a year of big change for our team at Flourish. Mark and Elise recently said their goodbyes to pursue different opportunities and we have enthusiastically welcomed Michele Lenz to our Flourish family. This has been, without a doubt, one of the most “change-themed” years in recent memory.
Over the course of this year, we have shared many articles regarding transition and change. I must admit that I looked back through them when we were going through big changes in our offices. It was comforting to recall that change and transition bring new opportunities for self-reflection, improvement and the chance to evaluate your objectives for the future.
So, what happens when big changes occur in our world and in our lives? First, we live through the experience. We exist in the changes that are taking place during the transition and that time can be uncomfortable and unfamiliar. It is when you have a moment to take a step back and look beyond what is happening in real-time that you start to see the larger picture. You can see what has taken place, what lessons have come from the experience, and what opportunities may lie just around the corner if you put into motion some careful planning and strategizing.
Once we depart from the predicament of being “in” the experience of change, you can begin to evaluate what took place. Taking time to look at your experience, your life, the event(s), and the many moving parts that often shape the way you think and feel about things is integral to begin considering how you might look forward to what is to come. This was a key moment for me as we began transitioning to our new team at Flourish with opportunities to focus on how we can most effectively incorporate the new experience, skills, and perspectives to help our clients.
When big changes happen quickly and all at once to me, I try to find some time to myself to not just reflect on what I am experiencing, but also do something that can provide me with solace and clarity. I love to spend time with my family, but I also cherish time that I can spend doing something that is just for me. I recently completed a triathlon and training for that helped me to focus on something big that was beyond my comfort zone and provided a physical challenge and release. Each one of us has a different way of finding peace and clarity of mind, body and soul. Finding an outlet during times of transition can help to ease stress and establish a foundation for growth and evolution.
Take a Lesson
It is hard sometimes to find lessons in our life experiences, especially if we feel grief, anger, frustration or betrayal. Some transitions are easier than others to find lessons in, however, the lessons are always there. Taking a bird’s eye view of your experiences can help you to self-reflect and establish objectives that may help you move through the transition you are experiencing. There are countless times in my life that I can look back on and see the lesson that came from something big that happened. At the time it was impossible to see any order or reason for what I was experiencing but, in hindsight, those lessons are clear and unmistakable. When you are experiencing something that affects you deeply, it is comforting to consider your past transition experiences and recall the lessons and truths that came from those transitions or life changes.
When you are ready, this stage of transition can be exciting and can sometimes be nerve wracking. It can lend to stress or lack of confidence especially if you begin making decisions that could impact your life over the long term. Identifying opportunities and determining which are the right ones to take and which may need further evaluation can be challenging. Taking the time to play some chess with your choices can help you create a plan that will help you in the long term.
Coming to a place where you can find happiness and excitement in looking toward what is to come with confidence is, for me at least, the ultimate sense of freedom. Having a set of objectives and knowing, with a fair amount of certainty, how you will go about meeting those objectives makes space in your life to truly enjoy your moment and to enjoy those you are spending those moments with.
In conclusion, yes this has been quite a crazy year. And we have no real way of knowing what will be in store in the year to come. But we can find some solace in knowing that with a little self-reflection and the ability to take a moment to process our experiences, we can find solutions and a path to clarity and peace of mind.
This time of year, we can get caught up in the obligation of things and forget why the holidays are important. They are a time to reflect and a time to look to the future. They are also a time to take a step away from the hustle, bustle and grind, and to just be in the moment with those you cherish and hold dear. The twinkling lights, the music of the season, the smell of cinnamon and chocolate, and every tradition that you and your loved ones hold dear are little opportunities to take a moment to simply enjoy all that you have. Even in the midst of big change or uncertainty, you can always stand perfectly still for a moment and take in the warmth and splendor of the holiday season.
We are so very grateful for all of our clients, colleagues, family, and friends and we look forward to a bright and exciting 2018!