Stan's World - Appreciation

Stanley F. Ehrlich |

It seems like I just wrote a column for the last newsletter of the year, except the year that was ending was 2021. Is it me, or does it seem like the years are tumbling by even faster?

I’ve read a lot of ‘end-of-year’ commentary over the past few weeks, and each typically includes the words “good riddance” when looking back at 2022. The words ‘good riddance’ can apply to another year of learning to live with COVID, or to a down stock market, or to a historically bad bond market, or to a resurgence in inflation, or to an increasingly tragic war in Ukraine, or, well, you get it. 

The start of a new year is often a time for personal reflection. How did we fare over the past 12 months? If, for example, 2022 didn’t go as well as we hoped, is there anything we can do in 2023 that would make things better? Taking things a step further, is there anything we can do in 2023 to help someone else improve their life, be it a family member, a friend, or even a stranger (through a charitable organization)?

Many people start each year with New Year’s resolutions, but I’m not a big fan. Like new gym memberships, I think resolutions are fleeting in nature. “This year I’m going to (fill in the blank)” always sounds better than it turns out to be. To me, it’s akin to all the diets that start on Mondays, and we all know how well those work. (Perhaps I should only speak for myself.)

As more and more years have passed, I start each new year more mindful of an expression my mother used to say after she passed a certain age: “We’re nearer than further.” It’s not morbid, it’s just an acknowledgment. When I say I’m ‘nearer than further,’ it simply means there are more years behind me than ahead of me. Having friends and clients who have passed and knowing friends and clients who are ill, I don’t have to look far for reminders that my personal relationships should be cherished in the moment. (I know it’s not always easy to do, but it’s still a worthy goal.) Regardless of whether you’re ‘nearer than further,’ I hope you feel the same way.

I’ll end by wishing each of you and your loved ones a Happy and Healthy New Year. I hope 2023 brings you unexpected pleasures, and I hope you get to appreciate the people around you who bring you joy.



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