There is only one success--to be able to spend your life in your own way.-Christopher Morley
The Year That Was
Posted December 23, 2009
The last two weeks of December always feel different than any other time of the year. The children are off from school, which changes our schedule, business activity at our company is sporadic but significant, and end-of-year business administration kicks into high gear. We prepare to close the books on the year that was and prepare for the year that will be.
Every year, I wish that everyone in our industry would simply declare the end of December a holiday, so we could all just take a well-deserved break from the action. Nothing will be affected. There will be plenty of time for business to resume afterwards. But, alas, there are always end-of-year transactions that need attention, and there is no rest for the weary.
Around this time, we tally up the final score. The business battles we won and the battles we lost seem to melt into a uniform mishmash of the past, and all that is left to tell the tale is the bottom line figure on the company's financial statements. In my mind, I analyze an imaginary balance sheet of income vs. aggravation. Happily, against all odds, this year turned out well.
Our company did much more than just weather the economic storm, and there is less business-related aggravation than ever. Over the last couple of years, we upgraded our staff and we have seen much better results. Everything runs smoother than ever before, to the point that I am able to work part-time and enjoy my free time much more.
At the same time, raising our children seems to have gotten easier, as it does every year. They’re more capable of doing more things independently, and they haven’t yet reached the obnoxious teenager stage. I’m so proud of them, and I try to enjoy this window in time as much as possible.
Grateful for all the goodness
This week, my wife and I took our seven year-old daughter to the bank so she could deposit some of her Chanukah Gelt into a special bank account. We’re a business-oriented family and we believe in teaching our children the value of money and to understand how money is made, as well as how it can be saved and invested for the future.
The Sweet Sweetheart calculated ahead of time how much she would spend on buying pajamas for her Build-A-Bear, and how much she would put into savings. As we entered the bank, I smiled as she walked confidently, with a sense of purpose. She filled out the deposit slip and walked it over to the bank teller. She carefully watched him count the money, and she double-checked the receipt to make sure that her $41.34 was properly received and processed.
On the other hand, her brother, The Good Boy, decided to spend all his Gelt on purchasing more toys despite already having received plenty of those for Chanukah. He understands the concept of interest on savings, but doesn’t believe that the interest on $40 justifies foregoing the extra toys. At this time, the banks are offering the lowest interest rates in history, so he is not alone in his considerations. Many American feel the same.
I would have preferred that he spend some of his Gelt on toys and save some, but he’s not yet seen his ninth birthday, and delayed gratification is an advanced concept. Instead, he’s incredibly eager for the arrival of his new toys purchased with his own money.
For me, one of the most important things in the past year is how wonderful it’s been to spend time with my beautiful wife. She’s an incredibly adorable, lovely woman who's been a true partner to me in every sense and I owe much of our success to her. By December 31st, we will have watched the sun set on New Year’s Eve fourteen times together. I wish for a hundred more with her.
Thank God we've been very fortunate and the year that was, was very good to us. I only wish the same goodness for all the people we love.
About Double Triangle
Double Triangle is my personal blog and is mostly about family life in the Los Angeles area. It also serves to record some of my thoughts in a format that can be easily accessed by my family and friends, as well as by anyone else who cares to read it.
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