This year is winding down, with only a couple of days left in 2021. I am looking with anticipation toward 2022. At the end of each year, I review the things I have done, the places I have grown, the things I have changed, and the mistakes I have made. It helps me evaluate how I use my time and what I need to put into place to accomplish what I want to achieve. It also allows me to see more clearly what I need to work on in the coming year.
I will leave the things I want to accomplish next year for another post. For my 5 Thursday Thoughts today, I want to share 5 of my favorite things that happened this past year. There was a lot of competition for these five spots. 2021 has been a good year. But here are the five things that made the list.
No Payroll The First Friday
At the end of 2020, I sold the retail portion of my business. I sold all of the inventory, trucks, forklifts, trailers, and supplies. A long-time employee took over the retail part of the business and the employees. We still own the liquidation side, and two of my children work with that. The reality of the sale started setting in on the first Friday of 2021, when I did not have to meet payroll. Some weeks payroll was no problem because business was good. Other weeks it was a challenge because sales were slow. I cannot explain the relief. No more employees to manage or payroll to meet. No payroll that first Friday was one of the most significant reliefs of the year.
None of our immediate family had ever been to Hawaii before this year. Barbara and I decided to splurge on a family vacation, and everyone could go. We traveled to Maui and spent the week together at a resort. In the planning of the trip, one of our sons decided he would get married. We went fishing, hung out on the boat, had breakfast and dinner together every day, and just had a good time. We have always tried to have a family vacation, but it became more complicated as the adult kids had a family. This year we were all together, and it is a time that all of us will remember.
John Maxwell hosts the Leadership Open each year to help raise funds for his non-profit organization, EQUIP. I have been traveling to different places in the world to train leaders for EQUIP since 2010. I travel to South America or Europe almost every October to lead one of these training events. The Leadership Open is also in October each year. I had always wanted to attend, but it had not worked out because of the training schedule. With the pandemic, most of the in-person training has come to a halt. I am still doing events by Zoom. This year’s event was the 20th Anniversary of the Leadership Open, and I attended. It was a fantastic week. I played golf on some incredible golf courses. But more importantly, I connected with some leaders who will help me raise the bar for my personal growth. I will be back again next year.
We typically gather at my parent’s home for lunch on Thanksgiving day. Barbara and I always go and usually have at least two of our children. My brother is usually there. This year, all four of our children and three grandchildren were at lunch with my parents. That is the first time all of us have been together on Thanksgiving in many years. It was also a treat to have two of my dad’s sisters there for the meal. The older I get, the more I appreciate the times when all of the family can get together. This Thanksgiving was special.
Baptized My Grandson
One night while we were getting ready for bed, my oldest grandson said he wanted to be baptized. So we talked about it that night and a few times after that. We had a baptism at our church in October, and I was privileged to share that moment with him. To celebrate the fact that not only is he my grandson, but he is also my brother in Christ is a treasure. The hope that we have is that the relationship exceeds our earthly time. It was a special moment for me.
What exciting things happened for you this year? What are you looking back on with joy? I would love to hear about them. Share them in the comments.