The Time of Year to Pause, Ponder and Say “Thank You”

Kirk Kreikemeier |

I was driving to work this week and saw two boys walking to school.  One was jumping on each crack in the sidewalk; the other was distracted by various things on the ground – moving more diagonally than forward.  I laughed and thought of the young, curious mind uncluttered by work, family and other life demands and just reacting to the moment.

It can be a “cluttered-mind” time of year.  Students have exams.  Employees have annual goals they are trying to complete.  Families have preparations for gatherings (see “Company Is Coming!”).  Gift shopping and wrapping need to be done.  And yes, financial planners are making sure clients have done all the RMD’s, 529 contributions made, crunching numbers for partial Roth conversions, and other tax-related moves.

And then it is all over, a new year begins and we go at it again.

For me I like to find the special moments between events leading up to Christmas and the first business day of the new year.  After running hard into year-end busyness, there are a few things I enjoy doing - in addition to the family gatherings, gift giving and Christmas mass celebrations - that help unclutter the mind.  Some of these include reading Christmas cards; recall (and maybe watch) the classic Christmas shows with Ralphie, Frosty, Rudolph, Grinch and Heat Miser; enjoying Christmas lights in the evenings; and listening to “Little Drummer Boy" by Bob Seger - "I played my best for Him... then He smiled at me."

And with the New Year, I like to sit in my thinking chamber and reflect on the year that was, be thankful, and look where I can do better – not in a “resolution list” format but rather a pause and reflection.

I wish you a peaceful season.  Thank you to those who put your trust in me.  May you find the time to unclutter the mind and react to the moments like those young boys walking to school.


Posted by Kirk, a fee-only financial advisor who looks at your complete financial picture through the lens of a multi-disciplined, credentialed professional.