by Sarah Valentini, principal/president
While I’m not really big on making New Year’s resolutions, I do like to take time to reflect on the past year and consider what I plan to achieve in the year ahead.
When I began looking back at the past year, my initial thought was that it was a challenge, given the shifting mortgage market and my dear mom, whose health has continued to decline. Then I caught myself and thought again…
I was out of town on April 15th, Patriot’s Day, when I received a phone call from my business partner saying he was around the corner from Copley Place and heard some kind of explosion. As the day’s events unfolded, I was in complete shock, as we all were.
Considering the lives that were senselessly lost and the families who continue to grieve in their wake, along with the debilitating injuries dozens others have suffered, my perspective quickly shifted: My year certainly had its challenges, but all things considered, I know how truly fortunate I am. I work with a team of amazingly talented, hard-working people, and have friends and family who are loving and supportive at every turn. I’m so grateful and thankful to all of them.
Meanwhile, in the weeks after the event, I spent a lot of time thinking about all the people who heroically jumped in to help that day, like the doctors and nurses who ran the race and then worked through the night saving people. I had such admiration for their selflessness and bravery.
It made me start to question how I ended up in mortgage banking and whether I should have forged a different career path. (For the record, becoming a doctor or nurse isn’t among them – no one would want me working in either capacity.)
Then, as luck would have it, soon after the marathon, I received the kindest note from a couple who’d just gotten an approval on their loan, along with a picture of their adorable kids who were so excited to be moving to their new home. The smiles on those two beautiful faces shifted my perspective once again: We certainly don’t save lives at radius or solve the world’s problems, but we do help people accomplish important milestones that make their lives better.
So while my work doesn’t fall under the category of heroic, it does matter to the people we help and that has value in its own right. Every time I look at the picture of those two children, which I taped on the refrigerator in our office, I’m reminded of that.
I think each and every one of us, in our own ways large and small, contributes to the greater good. But when you do anything for a very long time and going through the motions of the day-to-day, it’s easy to forget that.
Sometimes a simple thank you note or photo can help you see the big picture. It definitely did for me. So when I start to slip into my own little world of frustrations and stresses, I look at that picture and remember how lucky I am to simply be here, and to be helping others in the way I best know how.
I encourage you to find your own reminder of the value you play in other people’s lives. It’s there, you just have to keep your eyes open to see it.
Best wishes for a year ahead full of peace, health and a true appreciation for all you do and have. Happy New Year.