Let me admit something to you right now. I was one of those desperate people in 2020 who purchased a Peloton (this is also not an ad or an article about crushing your gym goals). I’m leading with this because one of my favorite instructors, Robin, uses this phrase: “Grief and gratitude can coexist.”
To kickoff 2024, so many will right down those goals for physical, mental, financial health, etc. It is sometimes easier to write them down for career and annual department planning. We have budgets to keep, KPIs to meet, people to lead, and members to serve.
Real life is messier. Real life happens in between, before, and after all the work stuff. Real life might keep us from the 30-minute gym session or from writing that novel we always talk about. It is not on a timeline and it’s often full of beautiful surprises and unexpected tragedies.
These are all snippets of recent conversations I’ve had with people dear to me inside and outside the credit union:
“This might have been the last Christmas with my dog.”
“We are officially getting a divorce.”
“I don’t know how I’m going to get through this holiday season alone.”
“My kiddo is struggling right now. We don’t know what to do.”
“My mom has cancer.”
Have you had them too? Perhaps with members on your team or even one of your credit union members. People who are generally happy and who don’t complain.
I’ve had so many of these experiences over the years, but it still shocks me every time. How could we have known that person was going through that? “They seem so strong and put together,” we think to ourselves. They are grieving, they are grateful. And so are we.
We sent a Thank You email at the end of 2023 to our 300+ nonprofit partners who we granted out funds for the past year. In it, we celebrated their accomplishments, and reiterated the fact that while this is a time for celebration for many, many more are struggling. I’m so glad they have our nonprofit umbrella for support and shelter.
It’s these individuals and families who I think about. How are they supposed to write lists of what to accomplish when they don’t know where they’ll be sleeping tonight or how they’ll buy groceries next week? What are we doing as a credit union to help?
May we remember:
- Simply waking up and showing up in hard times is an accomplishment.
- One struggling member coming in for a financial education counseling session is a win.
- Walking outside instead of scrolling social media for just 15 minutes could also be a goal.
Let’s celebrate goals of all sizes this year for ourselves, our teams and our communities.
Maybe it’s you grieving and grateful reading this. Maybe you are overwhelmed by grief alone, or maybe you are full of gratitude! We cannot get through this year or this life without embracing both as they arise, and providing support when we can. Maybe that’s my only 2024 goal.