It has been a year of unprecedented anxiety and hardship — the phrase “dumpster fire” keeps getting tossed around — but I can’t help feeling grateful for so much of what has happened this year and the resilience it has produced in all of us and in our industry.

Thanksgiving this year feels like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, everyone seems to agree that 2020 has been a year of unprecedented anxiety and hardship — the phrase “dumpster fire” keeps getting tossed around.

At the same time, however, I can’t help feeling grateful for so much of what has happened this year and the resilience it has produced in all of us and in our industry.

As we slow down for a day or two to reconnect with family and friends — even from a distance — I wanted to take a moment to offer some thoughts on gratitude this year. For me, this is a Thanksgiving to remember because my family and I have a lot for which to be thankful.

Earlier this year, my toddler, Rhett, had a playtime incident that could have been disastrous. Instead, his recovery has been truly miraculous. Every time I see him running through the room or hear his voice, I am reminded that I have much to be thankful for in 2020.

Just recently, I myself was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It was a terrifying thing to hear, yet the outcome was incredibly positive. According to my doctors, the surgery I underwent effectively cured my cancer. Every day is Thanksgiving when you have an experience like that.

Between the pandemic and the election, plus the fears and frustrations that arise from our increasingly complex and polarized society, it can be difficult to find that place of serenity and gratitude that we usually associate with this time of year. However, I truly believe that God won’t put us through more than we can handle, and I have felt him watching over my family this year.

I’m thankful for my neighborhood and for the opportunity I’ve had to get to know my neighbors over the past few months. I think many of us have slowed down, perhaps for the first time, and really taken the time to learn more about the places we live and the people we are living among.

I’m proud and thankful for the way that our industry stepped up and kept transactions moving from Day 1 of the March shutdowns. Many agents and brokers pivoted from in-person networking and event marketing to online marketing and a more personal type of outreach to our spheres of influence. In many cases, I think we stopped talking at our clients and colleagues and started listening to their needs and their fears, and we responded with action.

I’m grateful for the way in which 2020 built resilience into so many of us and our businesses, teaching us how to return to fundamentals and refine our processes and operations. At The Address, we’ve worked hard to keep the lines of communication open, both among our colleagues and outward to our separate spheres of influence. We’ve learned together, shared with each other and developed new ways of serving our community, to everyone’s benefit.

While this year has been different, to say the least, we have a lot for which to be grateful. I hope that you and your family find a way to take delight in the upcoming holiday season — even though it will be different than what we’re used to — and that you keep your eye on the positive throughout the rest of 2020.

Even more, I hope that you will find a way to share a positive perspective with your neighbors, your sphere and your colleagues. A word of reassurance and encouragement can make all the difference in the way you, and they, experience and remember the months just past and the months ahead.

Troy Palmquist is the founder and broker of The Address in Southern California. Follow him on Facebook, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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