Trust Matters JANUARY 2020
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How Far We’ve Come Saying Goodbye to the 2010s
Another decade is in the books. It might still be too early to tell how history will remember the 2010s, but speaking as both a father and a business owner, I can say that they were one wild ride. I’m sure 2020 will be filled with its own challenges, triumphs, and surprises, but those are for tomorrow. Sometimes, you just have to take a day to look back on how far you’ve come. The year 2010 itself was a madhouse for our family. We’d just had our third child, and all of our youngsters were under 18 months old! As you can imagine, things got a little insane taking care of that many infants at once — sometimes I don’t know how we managed. Thankfully, my wife and I had experienced family members who reminded us that kids don’t stay young forever, which helped us persevere through the tough moments and learn to really slow down and enjoy the wondrous ones. Of course, our kids weren’t the only part of our lives in their infancy. The early 2010s were when I was first getting this firm off the ground. As Keystone’s first and only employee, I was making runs to the post office, answering the phones, and trying to figure out how to work the dang fax machine on top of the duties of actually being an estate planner. My wife had even more plates to keep spinning, as she continued her career as a nurse while tackling the new challenges of being a mother. Finding the balance between our personal and professional lives was hard, but it was more than worth it. Just recently, we had a full team meeting here at Keystone, with all 14 employees weighing in. We were discussing whether we could finally get rid of that old fax machine of ours and sadly opted to keep it. Plenty of old-fashioned
Our two eldest just received their first real cell phones, and something strange happened when my daughter gave me a test call. I was suddenly hit with the realization that the number appearing with her name for the first time would likely become very significant in the coming years. After all, these days, you can keep your cellphone number even if you move out of state or upgrade the device itself. I was suddenly imagining all the news I’d get from that number in the future. “Dad, I’m graduating this spring!” “Dad, I got the job!” “Dad, I’m getting married!” It was such a small moment on the surface, but it was one that left me mesmerized by all the joyous possibilities to come. So in the end, I guess I wound up looking toward the future after all. But if the past decade has taught me anything, it’s that the biggest, best changes don’t happen in a single bound or as the result of a one-year resolution. The growth we end up looking back on and celebrating stems from taking life one step at a time with an eye toward the long term. In both business and parenting, I’ve found that the gradual approach is best. Strive toward long-term goals in short-term ways, and always give yourself the time to simply sit back and appreciate where you are and how far you’ve come.
medical facilities still insist on faxing everything, so it looks like at least one thing is staying the same for the foreseeable future. The same certainly can’t be said for our family. Now, our youngest is 8 years old, and the challenges and joys of parenting are totally different! As our kids begin to explore the more complex relationships and choices of adolescence, my wife and I try to do our best to let them have room to learn and grow. Ideally, we want them to be able to make mistakes and learn from the consequences, but we also want to be there to keep things from going too catastrophically wrong. Of course, those early lessons from parenting are still coming in handy, especially learning to treasure the small moments. Every day can’t have big milestones like first steps or first days of school, but you can learn to appreciate the small, seemingly mundane things in your children’s lives. Everything from laughing at a movie together to receiving a phone call can be the stuff of magic.
Here’s to all the roads we’ve walked,
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