"There are always flowers for those who want to see them." - Henri Matisse
There's nothing like a pandemic to get you thinking about what really matters in life. Many of us, thankfully, have never experienced a war-torn home country, but we have experienced deep and profound grief. And we now find ourselves in a collective time of grieving: for the health of friends and loved ones, for the people we used to be outside of our homes, for our interrupted dreams and thwarted plans, and for the unknown and indescribable ways our future and world will change as we continue to adapt to this uncertainty.
Takagi & Takagi has been operating remotely since Saint Patrick's Day (should one still wear green to celebrate if there's no one around to see it?) and it's been interesting to have daily video check-ins, auto-forwarded calls, and curbside grocery pick-ups and deliveries. The parents among us who are juggling work with young children at home would likely use a different word than "interesting." Despite these challenges, we are still among the lucky ones that can continue to work and make a positive difference in our clients' lives. Good friends and family members of ours across the nation have lost their jobs, shuttered their businesses, and contracted the virus. Countless others face mental and emotional health challenges of anxiety, depression, and the very legitimate fear of the unknown.
Helpfully, fear of the unknown is a huge part of our education and training as financial advisors. We learn to recognize and live with uncomfortable feelings of uncertainty and doubt in order to weather market volatility and remain a calming presence in our clients' lives. Despite this storm of unprecedented proportions, and the realistic fear that it will last beyond our current comprehension, we are determined to remain hopeful, and to create something positive and lasting from this experience. Starting with these thoughts and newsletters, we will continue to focus on the long-term and what truly matters in life, just as we do with our financial planning clients. Our goal here is to offer our reflections, share news, instill hope, create community, and aim to help you discover what's truly important to you and your families during times of loneliness, loss, hope, change, learning, and uncertainty.
We aren't here to sugar-coat this crisis; we are taking social distancing quite seriously, and understand that things will be extremely difficult for a long time. But if you are also deeply saddened that you cannot be near your friends and loved ones right now, or if you have anxiety surrounding the virus itself, then take a deep breath and quietly celebrate: it means that you are lucky enough to have people in this world who truly care about you; that you love yourself and the existence you've been given. May we all appreciate the beauty of this world, and what a gift each second of life on this planet truly is.