This weekend we celebrate July 4th – Happy Independence Day to you. Hopefully you have plans to finally gather with friends and family and perhaps travel to somewhere that you have been longing before the craziness of the past year set those plans asunder.
The upcoming holiday is impetus to remind ourselves what exactly we are celebrating. We don’t have to revisit the Boston Tea Party and signing of the declaration to recall the lexicon of the time. Words such as freedom and independence can sometimes lose their relevance over time.
While we may not be seeking to extricate ourselves from the British, after the pandemic year and disruption to our lives, we are trying to form a “more perfect union” and regain normalcy to our lives and, hopefully, find cohesiveness and commonality as we break away from the ravages of COVID.
Following vaccinations, we immediately felt a sense of liberation. We can “free” ourselves from the oppression of masks if we so desire. We can go where we want when we want “independent” of physical distancing mandates if we choose. And while we would love to “dissolve the political bands” that so divide us and cause unnecessary consternation among many, hopefully our fellow Americans will have “respect to the opinions of mankind”.
There is no doubt that we can all be amenable to accepting the “unalienable Rights…of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. In our opinion, that is what we celebrate.
As most of you know, Joe (and now John) has been honored to do workshops titled Money Matters for the members of the Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association for nearly 14 years. In fact, many of our clients came to us after attending the presentations and countless great relationships have developed over the years.
The bond that we have formed with educators and the support staff has been invaluable and precious. We cannot express enough how appreciative we are for the opportunity to be of service to these dedicated professionals.
Unlike any vocation anywhere at any other time, this past year presented them with unprecedented challenges to do their jobs effectively. But with passion and commitment, they made it through this pandemic-induced maelstrom.
So, as the school year concludes and summer break is almost upon us, we want to give a sincere shoutout and great big THANK YOU to all the dedicated individuals that gave their best efforts to educate, feed, and transport our future leaders. You are appreciated!
Is there anything better than feeling good? What does that mean? Certainly, everyone wants to have good health. Illness and physical maladies, while a fact of life, are no fun. My mother is fond of reminding me that, “Old age ain’t for sissies”. And, as always, she is right. So, please stay healthy, my friends.
The other thing about “feeling good” is emotional and/or mental. When we are in a “happy place” and nothing bothers us, is there anything better than that? Attitude plays so much a part of this. I hope all your glasses are more than half full.
Why do I bring up this touchy/feely stuff? When you received your first vaccine, how did you FEEL? Happy? Thankful? Grateful? Relieved? Free? Euphoric? If so, please share that feeling with your friends whom, for whatever reason, have chosen to wait or not be vaccinated. Let them know you did it for them (even if many of us may be self-motivated) and want them to have the same joyous feeling.
As the famous philosopher and songwriter, James Taylor, wrote, “The Secret of Life is Enjoying the Passage of Time” (from his 1977 album titled JT). Better to feel good and enjoy than not!
Hopefully this note finds you well and closer to, if not already, fully vaccinated. It will be so nice when the topics of conversation do not start with whether we were stuck in the arm and/or how nice our masks complement our outfits (if that is even a thing).
It will even be nice to hear people complain again about Snowbird’s overtaking the restaurants and golf courses, causing traffic accidents and mayhem rather than opining about overcrowded spreader events.
So, Happy Spring to you. May the rest of our year be filled with good health, much happiness and prosperity.
It is sort of strange, but not unexpected, that one of the main subjects we hear about in conversations with friend and clients starts with a question that has become a common refrain: “Have you gotten your shots?” Hopefully you are getting closer to your magic vaccination number, unless you are one of the fortunate few that have received your shot(s).
A year ago, the only herds anyone talked about was on a cattle farm – immunity from a virus was certainly not top of mind. At this point, the path to herd immunity is predicated on how quickly the vaccine can be fully rolled out and we get “needles in arms”.
One could also easily make the case that economic recovery is also predicated on the pace of vaccine rollout. According to research done by the Vanguard Group, they estimate U.S. GDP growth will be above 5% for 2021 – and that does not include any additional governmental fiscal support. Their estimate rises to 6.5% if further fiscal support comes to fruition, including direct aid to families, and to state and local governments with additional health-related efforts.
The start of this year has been anything but boring. I hope you and your family are well and looking forward to an interesting year.
A year ago, the first cases of COVID-19 showed up in Seattle. What many thought was just another flu virus (me included) proved to be something much worse and way more deadly. Everyone’s world changed and were impacted to varying degrees. Fortunately, there is hope on the horizon in the form of vaccines. Optimistically, a year from now this will be behind us and nothing more than a bad memory.
And, hopefully, the political rancor will abate now that the elections and inauguration are behind us. “Unity” may be too much to ask for, but patience, tolerance and respect are not impossible.
Happy New Year to you. My hope for all of us is that this is a year of good health, much happiness and prosperity.
A New Year – Turn the Page
When you raised your champagne glass (or beverage of choice) to ring in the new year, how many of you wished “Good Riddance” to 2020? At this moment, it seems impossible that last year was anything other than a really bad dream for so many people. No one could have predicted that we would endure nearly every disaster known to humanity – except for an asteroid hitting Earth.
Hopefully very soon, the incessant smell of Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer will be replaced with fragrant candles and aromatic (stinky) perfume.
Hopefully soon we can kvetch about people using their cell phones in the movie theatre, overcrowding the restaurants, and taking all the prime tee times at the golf course.
We may still be leery about shaking hands or hugging strangers, but we may not have to wonder whether the unmasked person is a super-spreader.
Someday, hopefully very soon, the inconveniences, sorrows and emotional strain caused by COVID-19 will be a distant nightmare in our collective consciences.
And hopefully very soon, we can agree to disagree without being disagreeable or combative.
I am so glad for the new year and, very soon, the opportunity for all of us to return to living our lives of significance.