We are well into 2023. How does time seem to speed up every year? It’s been three years since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Do you remember those first days and weeks? When the entire world shut down almost overnight? The quiet streets, asking your neighbors if they needed anything when you made a grocery run.

Most of the readers of this newsletter are in healthcare. For us, those first few months of COVID were scary. We had no idea what this virus was capable of. We had almost no therapies to offer patients other than mechanical ventilation. And I know all of you were worried about bringing this virus home to our families.

And here we are, three years later. What lessons have you learned? What changes have you made in your life? This year feels different like we can make plans again. So what did you discover was most important to you? And what did you discover was missing in your life?

I almost cannot imagine my life pre-pandemic. It feels so desperately far away. My laptop background is a picture from a road trip my wife and I took in November 2019. We drove down the Eastern Sierras (one of the most beautiful places in the US), through Death Valley (for our first time), and over to Sedona, Ariz. We finished the trip by meeting up with Julie’s parents to take her mom to the Grand Canyon for her first visit.

I keep the picture up as a reminder of this ‘former’ life. Since then, so many groundbreaking events have happened. I had time to start Greeley Wealth. Working with all of you brings so much joy into my life. Julie and I had a baby, little Wesley. For all of the parents out there, I know you know this, but I had no idea what I was missing! I had no idea I would love being a father in this way, and that Wes would crack my heart open.

Even though I am eternally grateful for these enormous shifts in my life, I also missed seeing friends and family. The canceled vacations, the postponed weddings. I know the same is true for each one of you.

Recently, I came across a fantastic Wall Street Journal article on creating a rich post-pandemic life. Whether that is having friends over for casual appetizers and catching up or calling a dear friend just to say hi. These are the things we’ve been craving and missing for the last few years.

Even more, they highlight why we do financial planning. To create time and space for the people and activities that help each one of us create a rich and full life. I enjoy the work Ramit Sethi does on making personal finance accessible for all. He talks about creating your “rich life.” I think what he means is spending – both time and money – on the areas of your life that bring the most joy and add the most value.

Ramit uses the example that he loves to stay in fancy 5-star hotels, while his wife couldn’t care less. But it matters to Ramit, and he loves planning trips around the places he will stay. For him, this brings joy. For many of us, it may be more time with our kids. Or buying a cabin for our family to return to each summer. What does your rich life look like?

Reach out here if you want to chat about your current situation.

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