My team started a ritual this year called “Thankful Thursday.” Similar to the concept of “Taco Tuesday,” it provides us with time each week dedicated to something that makes us happy. Some people eat tacos every week; we take the time to share things for which we are grateful.
I call it a ritual because we have used Thankful Thursday this year as a dependable place to gather and call out the good things going on around us. 2020 is usually referred to with some dire language – dystopian, awful, terrible, ruined. Oddly, using that type of language to describe the year is the easy road in 2020. The harder choice in a year like this is to find the good things that happen and to celebrate them as little wellsprings of joy, and reminders that the basic building blocks of humanity lead us to seek happiness and to celebrate our fellow man.
2020 has made it easy to point out things we don’t like – a virus, lockdowns, masks, social distancing, isolation, sickness, death, social unrest, a political party other than our own. Left unchecked, these can easily become unrelenting creators of stress and fear. What has always made this country great is when we choose to focus on the ways we are similar, on the great strength that comes from all of us working together towards the common goals that bind us: freedom, hope, opportunity, the ability to help others.
Thankful Thursday – in case you were wondering – is as easy to execute as it sounds. You go around a room, a group, a Zoom call, any collection of fellowship, and you say what you are thankful for. The object of your thankfulness need not be grand, or predictable, or present in the room. In the course of our Thankful Thursday sessions, we have learned about loving family members, unique hobbies, surprise gifts, random acts of kindness, purposeful acts of support from one team member to another, the enjoyment of being outside, the importance of healing, the benefits of exercise, technology that has held us close, the joy of children, and the appreciation of a few brief moments with a friend. Little wellsprings of joy.
As you gather in person or online with family members over the next week, whether you feel disconnected from them or closer than ever to those that you love, you might ask everyone to join you in sharing Thankful Thursday. We hope that when you discover little wellsprings of joy through those conversations, you tuck them away for when you need them most over the next few months or years.
From all of us at BFS Advisory Group this Thanksgiving, we wish you a very Thankful Thursday.
Debra Brennan Tagg is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional and the creator of the DBT360 Financial Plan, a proprietary program that helps her clients prioritize their goals, leverage their resources, and address their risks. She is the president of BFS Advisory Group and teaches the public and the financial services industry about the importance of values-based financial planning and investor education.