Each birthday brings a lot of thinking to the forefront. What has been accomplished in the last year, what has come into your life, and where are things going. Honestly, I was having some trouble trying to put ideas to paper until I stopped thinking about business and started thinking about things outside of business. So in no particular order, here are the three things I thought about:
The Red Sox win the World Series
Back in the Fall of 1986, I was Junior in high school, working at Papa Gino’s on the weekends, and thrilled that the Boston Red Sox had finally made it to the world series. Like many new Englanders, I watched in horror as certain victory turned into a ghastly defeat and a lifelong hatred of the Mets. I was also one of the people screaming cheers of victory at the TC set in 2004 when the Boston Red Sox finally came around and won the world series for the first time in 86 years. And now this past October, I got the chance to cheer again after the Red Sox won the world series yet again, this time at home for the first time since 1918.
But then I started to see a trend in the Red Sox teams in those years—the played and won as a team rather than a collection of talented individuals. The whole season was more about their performances together towards a common goal rather than individual players boasting about themselves. The reason people were rightly told to “Fear the Beard” was not because a player or two decided not to shave for the season… it was because the dugout was filled with bearded players who made a commitment to each other and the team. It was that commitment that brought the series win to Boston.
A frog drops in and stays
Sometimes, things just fall into your lap. Last November, if you had said we would have a pet frog in the office I would have said you were crazy. Nonetheless, last December Houdini just showed up on a desk and we decided to keep him. How he sits happily on his log, in his water dish, or on his branch and watches things going on around him. Like other things in life, sometimes opportunities just fall into your life and it is up to you to make the most of them. We could have thrown Houdini out, or given him away, but instead we decided to keep him. Now many of our clients ask to say hello to Houdini when they come in, and he is happy to oblige.
Doctor Who is older than I am
While many of my clients know me as The Estate Geek and may even follow that page on Facebook, friends also know that I’m a Doctor Who fan. This past November was the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, and the special episode was all I could hope for. But that also got me thinking about why exactly did I like Doctor Who? The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was more than just liking the characters or the actors.
First, cleverness wins out over violence. While there may be violence in the episodes, The Doctor finds a way to save the day without having to smash and kill. In fact, he often finds a way to turn an aggressor’s violence against them to defend the weak and set things right. Second, no matter how dark things look, there is always, always, hope. There is always a way. Finally, there are small things we can do in a moment in time that will make things extraordinarily better in the future that will far outlast us. Small things planted now can grow into huge successes for others decades or even hundreds of years from now.
I think more than anything it is that last point that resonates with me and my estate planning law practice. By choosing a smart and clever path now, those decisions can make life a lot easier for people down the road, even those we may never meet. And if I can be a part of helping my clients do that, then my career is worthwhile indeed. So as I enter a new chronological year, I am ready to keep moving forward and jump ahead. And so, in the words of The Doctor, “Geronimo!”