A friend of mine can quote just about every line from “It’s a Wonderful Life” and, I think, give a full description of at least four versions of “A Christmas Carol.” While I can’t do that, I have to admit, I do enjoy this time of year.
Yes, we’re tying up all the loose ends of one fiscal year and plunging ahead into the next. And we probably all look at our budget numbers, hoping that hard work, sweat, intelligence and a bit of fresh thinking make them achievable. But growing up on a farm, with all of the things that can and did go wrong, I always tried to look at the bright spots and always tried to figure out what the tough times taught us.
One of the things I learned, after watching Mom and Dad work so hard for all those years only to see the farm fade away, is that it’s important to step back, take a breath and enjoy the moment.
I do reflect on our business and what we did right and what we did wrong, what we must learn to do better, and what we should learn to never do again.
In talking with my boss, my peers and my team, I try to make sure I stay open-minded. No, it’s not easy. But the energy of fresh ideas, of smart people trying to uncover new concepts or ways of doing things, is important. And it ought to become infectious.
Soon, though, all the kids will be here. I’ll make time for my neighbors, my friends, my family. We’ll bake cookies, we’ll watch the Packers, we’ll play cards, we’ll talk smart and tell stories, and we’ll laugh. It’s the break we need to help us put things in perspective. It’s the pause that lets us put our minds into something other than full work mode.
Even if it’s just for a moment, I hope you can make the time to do that this holiday season. There are challenges and successes ahead. It’s what keeps us sharp and active. Taking a break is what keeps us fresh and energized.
Best wishes for a wonderful New Year!