Tuesday, November 21, 2017

OMG...Thanksgiving is this week?!!

Thanksgiving is Thursday!
Up until yesterday, I thought Thanksgiving was next week.  Like isn’t it usually the last Thursday in November?
Anyway, I take baths regularly and some of my best thinking is done when I’m trying to meditate of sorts in the bath (is that TMI - too much information?).  I can’t help my mind from going where it wants to – vs. where I want to take it – into a peaceful state even if just for a few minutes.  The trick for me is remembering the ‘brilliant’ idea after I get out of the tub. And the idea that came to me just a short while ago was to write to you today.  
I have a coffee mug in my apartment that says, “Don’t Let Yesterday Take Up Too Much Of Today.”  I don’t know if any of you can relate to that saying but I can.  The reminder, when I use the mug is poignant as I had, for many years, thought about what could have been, what might have been, if only I had done this or hadn’t done that.  It’s draining and not very helpful.  Even before the mug message I had done a good job of putting the ‘yesterday’s behind me and only referring them for guidance – as in ‘Don’t make the same mistake again.’  And, if I do say so myself, I’ve done a pretty good job of it, not perfect mind you, but pretty darn good so I'm patting myself on the back as I sit here early on a Tuesday morning (if we don't pat ourselves on the back once in a while, who else is going to do it for us?). 
I’m going to equate giving thanks for being grateful for purposes of this column and I am grateful for many things – don’t worry, I won’t list them all (and I’ll probably forget to include some).
I’m grateful to have my health.  Yes, I’ve got some little things to deal with but it’s so sad to see folks that I’ve known over the years who aren’t as fortunate.
I am thankful that my sons, their wives and their children (yes, 4 grandchildren!) are all healthy and happy; they all like each other and they seem to like me as well.  I’m thankful that my sons are doing things in their careers that each are good at and love what they do.  I’m so proud of them.
I’m grateful for having conducted a business with a partner like Liz Weiner for the past almost 5 years.  I’ve learned a lot from her and, even though we get on each other’s nerves sometimes, we’re a good team (and our clients tell us that as well). 
I’m thankful to those in the Asheville, NC area who have made me feel welcome. - after just over two years here I've started making some friends.
I’ve been fortunate to have lived in a number of places:  Forest Hills, NY; Livingston, NJ; White Meadow Lake, NJ; Parsippany, NJ; Millburn, NJ; Short Hills, NJ; Sea Bright, NJ; N. Plainfield, NJ; San Francisco, CA; Napa, CA; the upper west side of NYC; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Around Columbus Circle, NYC and now in Arden, NC (just outside Asheville).  (I think that may be the first time I’ve written down all those places).  And, I'm grateful for the acquaintances and friendships resulting from those stops along the way.  
I’m also grateful for having had the opportunity to have worked for and alongside some terrific people in the great global commercial real estate industry.  I want to single one out here.
Many of you know Geof Dohrmann, founder and CEO of Institutional Real Estate, Inc. (IREI).  In the summer of 1998, Geof hired me to join IREI and relocate from NJ to the San Francisco Bay Area. For 10 years, Geof and I worked side-by-side (although we were both ‘on the road’ independently quite a bit).  Until joining IREI, my involvement with the ‘institutional real estate world’ had been limited to doing workouts for banks and insurance companies on the ‘real real estate side.’  Geof opened me up to a whole new community and that experience has made a huge difference in my life and my career.  Many of you who read this column have come into my life as a result of my time with IREI and the industry friends I have made along the way, across North America, Europe and Asia are very special to me.  And, this column had it's birth when I was at IREI. Thank you Geof!
With everyone being so busy and in some cases living far apart, it’s not always easy for families to physically get together to celebrate what may be the only universal, non-sectarian ‘family’ holiday in America – Thanksgiving.  With the luxury of technology, we can see each other and wave hello or throw kisses into our computers and phones.  It’s not the proximity that matters; it’s the feeling behind it all.
For those of you who read this and are in a country that celebrates Thanksgiving, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!  If you aren’t in a place that officially celebrates Thanksgiving think about starting to – just on your own, without any fanfare or governmental permission!  
We are all in this thing called ‘life’ together and we need each other now more than ever before in my lifetime.  We need to let our love for each other blanket the earth.  We’re all the same – just human beings no matter where we live, what we believe in or what we look like or wear.  Each of us can make a difference towards creating a more peaceful society.  Maybe starting on Thursday would be as good a day as any.
In the great movie, "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" the Abraham Lincoln character has a great line:  "Be excellent to each other...and PARTY ON DUDES!"
Enjoy your Thanksgiving and safe travels.
Last week from the Arboretum, Asheville, NC

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