Thanksgiving is a great time for reflection. Sometimes, recent reflection brings some sadness and difficulty. I am especially attuned to this reality because many of my clients, perhaps even most, are going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. However, very few of their situations, from a purely financial standpoint, should be viewed as hopeless. There is always something for which to be hopeful. That should be the focus this time of year.
Financial difficulties can cause strains that bleed into other aspects of life. They can lead to arguments and disagreements. But, very few should be viewed as permanent and unchanging. Credit card debts and medical bills can be discharged. Lawsuits can be wiped away. Late mortgage and car payments can be made current. Yes, these are temporarily stressful and distressing events. But, the important thing is, they are TEMPORARY. It is not worth losing sight of the bigger events in life, the more important and lasting things.
Family relations should come before money, even when money strains these relations. Bills come and go, money comes and goes; family does not.
Health unquestionably should come before finance in its importance to life. If your family is physically healthy, if not financially healthy at the moment, be thankful. The things I do to help people clean up their finances occur a lot more easily than fixing unhealthy bodies and minds. Be thankful for your health not just this time of year, but throughout the year.
Holidays can be made more stressful by financial concerns, but keep the holidays in perspective. Piling up the most Christmas gifts is a lot less important than piling up good memories. Don't lose perspective about what is important because of your present finances which, believe me, can clear up faster than you think.
So, while right now might not be perfect, be thankful for what you have. Most legal issues can be cleared up with only some minor inconvenience. Thankfulness transcends these temporary concerns.