I am retired and take educated guesses on all things financial.

December 24, 2009

December 24, 2009: Be Thankful

As we begin to close out 2009, and celebrate Christmas, why not take a few quiet moments and give thanks for the things that make your life worth living. As one becomes older, it is easy to become a cynic. It is easy to find the bad, or the "what-ifs" in life. Envy may take hold. But for what? Do we realise how good we actually have it compared to so many others.

Two day ago I received a cheerful Christmas card from an old neighborhood friend close to Chicago. She is in her mid-40s. She lost her first husband to a prescription drug interaction twenty years ago. She lost her job at the community college after 24 years and nine months, in realty, because she did not speak fluent Spanish. Yet, she was positive with a ready smile and always willing to help the neighbors.

Her hand-written note was inquiring about my family, how my mother (her old neighbor) was doing at age 100, and other family-centered things. Then she casually mentioned that her father was killed in a head-on car accident in Wisconsin in October. Her mother only recently was released from the hospital and lives alone. Two weeks after her father's death, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and is presently undergoing chemotherapy - which is pretty expensive since her health insurance was cancelled. It has spread to her lymph nodes.

Yet, she is celebrating Christmas, with two close friends and her cat, and mentioned that she looked forward towards seeing me next time I entered Chicago. Always positive and optimistic.

Measure that against monetary losses, or being mad about trivial things.

Be thankful at Christmas. And approach the New Year with confidence.

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