As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to step away from the market and highlight the blessings in my life for which I am truly thankful:
- My wife, Dara. She is literally the glue that keeps everything together. No matter what is happening, she has it covered. Planning family trips to planning random weekends when my daughters are with us, she takes care of most of the heavy lifting. I have never met a person who gives so much of herself and truly expects nothing in return. She is an amazing wife, mother to a 13-year old son and stepmother to two little ladies. Dara was my first real girlfriend more than 20 years ago. Then life happened. We reconnected and were married last April. She is “my person.”
- My daughters. Sonya (9 years old) and Gabby (5 years old) are the sunshine and angel in my world respectively. The wonder with which they view all things is inspiring. I often wish that I could go back and see everything for the first time the way that they do. They are two of the kindest people I know. When I look at them I see hope for all things and it is a blessing to have them in my life.
- My stepson. Mario (13 years old) went from being an only child to having two siblings in the blink of an eye. Not just siblings but sisters. The basement that was filled with sporting equipment and video games has been infiltrated with the likes of American Girl dolls and more sparkly items than any 13 year old boy should have to endure. But he watches over my ladies, he includes them when he is with his friends, he teaches them to play video games instead of ignoring them. In a situation where he could have become resentful, he has taken to the role of “big brother” without a hitch. I and my girls are really lucky that he is in our lives.
- My parents. I talk to my parents everyday. I bounce ideas off of my father whenever I have a decision to make. I don’t always take his advice but I always value his input. He spent over 40 years on Wall Street and if you ask anyone who knows him, they will tell you that he is a great guy…that’s a big compliment in this business. As for my mother, let’s just say that I am the first-born and leave it there. I am her “boy” and I always will be. But she is brutally honest and keeps me on my toes. She tells it like it is and sugarcoats nothing. Everyone needs a person like this in their lives and for me it is “mom.”
- My grandmother. I was lucky enough to make it two the age of 36 with all four of my grandparents. Then in the span of 14 months, three of them passed away. Now at 42 years old, I have my “grandma.” My mother’s mother will be 90 in May. She is tough as nails and also “calls them as she sees them.” If she doesn’t like you, you will know. But if she does, she is your biggest fan. She came here from Italy and all of the traditions in my family come from her. We still make our own pasta sauce (from scratch) and now my kids look forward to it every year. My daughters cook with “great grandma” most Sundays and I am glad that they are able to know her.
- Chaikin Analytics, my coworkers and our clients. You need a reason to get up in the morning. Yes, my family fits that bill but it is also taking pride in what you do, who you do it with and who you do it for. I work in a great place with great people. We help our clients navigate the turbulent waters of the stock market every day. Investing can be daunting and being able to guide people on their journey gives all of us at Chaikin a strong sense of purpose. We have a great team with a bright future.
I am sure that I am missing some things but these are the big ones. Perhaps I should make this more of a daily habit, writing down all the things (big and small) for which I am thankful. But for now, as we head into my favorite holiday of the year, these are the ones which I would like to share.
So to Dara, Sonya, Gabby, Mario, Dad, Mom, Grandma, my team at Chaikin Analytics and all of our clients…Thank You!
Here are the kids in action, working on said pasta sauce!