To encourage connection while the majority of our staff works remotely, Healy Group launched the “Question of the Week.” Each week a new question appeared in staff inboxes, which they could choose to answer. Throughout the year my colleagues’ responses to the weekly question offered fresh glimpses into their lives that were sometimes humorous and other times enlightening. At the end of the week, all the responses were compiled and sent to all employees to vote on the best response. The winner received a $25 gift card.
It was the final question in January 2021 that brought the most meaningful responses. Everyone who responded received a gift card!
What was the Biggest Blessing of 2020?
Though the pandemic turned our day-to-day lives upside down, it did not crush our spirits. In fact, even in the midst of a pandemic, there were many blessings in 2020 for my colleagues! I am grateful to share some of their heartwarming responses because they remind us that there is light and goodness, even in difficult times.
More Time with Family and Close Friends
As we sheltered in place and avoided gathering, many shared that their greatest blessing was more time with family. “Renewed relationships with immediate family – to reaffirm how grateful I am for my husband and two children,” shared one colleague.
For another, it brought new adventures that likely would not have been without a pandemic.
“My son and his wife and their two children (3 &5) were with us for three months (June-September). They live out of the country, so in the past our time together was short. I was able to get to know my daughter-in-law better and came to really enjoy her friendship. We made weekly trips to Lake Michigan, my favorite place. I can lead tours of the Potawatomi Zoo now.
My Friday morning coffee group is still meeting outside. I am not a lover of cold weather but I love these people. Every Friday we mask up and meet at Potawatomi Park with our bag chairs, blankets, and coffee. It’s been an adventure and a wonderful act of friendship.”
Another colleague shared, “My biggest blessing was visiting with the families of each of my 6 siblings from the west to the east coast and with my parents. In a normal year, the family would have a gathering with most or all of us together (all is 16 adults and 32 children). That didn’t happen, but I had quality time with each family individually and I LOVED that! It was a true blessing!”
And for another, her father’s recovery from a heart procedure and continuing to enjoy his love and friendship made her feel very grateful in 2020. “I think the greatest blessing was having my Dad go through another heart procedure successfully and still having him present in flesh and blood. I treasure our time together now even more than before and wonder at God giving me such a good friend and Dad!”
And for many of us, new grandchildren arrived. My first grandson was born in December. At Christmas, I was able to gather with my new grandson and all my children but one, who was quarantining in anticipation of his wedding in January.
Another colleague shared, “My granddaughter was born on February 13, 2020. She spent her first week of life in the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) hooked up to a machine to help her breathe. Had a few scary doctor appointments where they thought she had some physical problem. Almost a year later she is beautiful, growing, and perfectly fine! God is good!”
For another, living in the same neighborhood as her son’s family was a real gift. “My biggest blessing in 2020 was living one door down from my son and his wife and 3 granddaughters. Because we lived so close, we considered ourselves one COVID household. That meant I was able to help them out while they strictly self-quarantined before and after the birth of their daughter on April 17. I was able to hold my new granddaughter the day they came home from the hospital and spend lots of time with them throughout the year,” she shared.
Others were grateful to have jobs at a time of great uncertainty. “The biggest blessing in 2020 for me was the fact that I always was able to remain employed and be surrounded by positive people. Others were not so lucky.”
A new employee shared, “My biggest blessing of 2020 was becoming part of the Healy Group. It was a great feeling to wake up every morning during the uncertain times and know I had a job that I loved with wonderful people.”
And another colleague was happy both she and her husband were able to continue working throughout the pandemic. “My husband and I both stayed employed. My husband is a self-employed contractor and despite the pandemic, his business stayed steady when many others did not. I am so grateful to Healy Group for taking such good care of all of us. This place really feels like family.”
The Gift of Time
And for other colleagues, it provided the gift of time, “rediscovering enjoyment from reading, journaling, yoga, music, tv, wine, cooking, etc.”
Time and perspective were blessings this colleague shared, “I think the biggest blessing of 2020 was time. We were forced to take a break from the hectic “on-the-go” lifestyle many of us were used to & spent our time differently. We re-discovered simple pleasures. We enjoyed nature. We remembered how fragile life can be & to value all the moments spent with our loved ones. We took the time to notice kindness from both neighbors & strangers. Yes, I think that time to ‘stop & smell the roses’ was the biggest blessing of 2020.”
Another employee shared similar sentiments, “I too have really appreciated the slower pace of life. Last Spring when we were under more strict quarantine, I was blessed to spend more time outside enjoying nature with my housemates on the weekends than ever before, going for walks and hikes. Even as the pandemic drags on, I continue to be grateful for more time with housemates, and more time to pray, read, and cook & bake, which is a favorite pastime.”
As we slowly transition to life before the pandemic, I’m hopeful we’ll remember to continue to embrace the things that brought us more joy during the pandemic—as they are the true blessings in our lives.
About the Author:
Rich, the President and an Owner of Healy Group, has been a financial advisor for over 37 years. His overarching goal in his work with his clients is to help them connect their money to their values. He believes that his work with his clients isn’t just about rates of return, asset allocation, and maximizing wealth; it is about helping them create a better life for those they love and creating a better world.