Finding Gratitude In Challenging Times

Finding gratitude

The economy is tanking.

The stock market is plumbing new depths every day.

Everyone is stressed out trying to figure out how the Covid-19 pandemic will impact their health, careers, and finances.  I certainly have spent a lot of time pondering what my future looks like.

M&A bankers don’t have long shelf lives to begin with, with crises like the current one accelerating the inevitable layoffs.

With two sets of aging parents to support and two young children to take care of, there’s plenty of food for thought.  And yet, as I reflect on everything going on, I simply can’t stop counting my blessings.

No Place I’d Rather Be

Everyone has a different view on how effectively the UK government is tackling the situation.

But let me ask you this – are there many other countries you’d rather find yourself in at this moment?

Over 30,000 retired staff, doctors, nurses, and students are (re)joining the NHS.

Thousands more are signing up for the volunteer ranks.  I feel nothing but overwhelming gratitude for each of these brave, selfless individuals.

And with mass coronavirus testing at our doorstep, it may well be many people go back to their normal lives much sooner than expected.

The government has shown unprecedented willingness to do whatever it takes to keep the economy afloat.  And who knows – perhaps the Covid-19 pandemic is THE wake-up call that will lead to a wholesale revitalization of our healthcare system.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you know that I’m a first-generation immigrant to the UK.  Nothing in life is perfect, but I couldn’t be prouder of the country I have chosen to call my home.

Slowing Down The Pace

The nationwide lockdown is clearly an unprecedented measure.  At the same time, it is also an unprecedented opportunity to re-calibrate the way we live our lives and refocus them around the things that really matter.

I finally have a chance to see my children more than once a day.  We have breakfast, lunch and dinner together pretty much every day.

In a matter of days, my daughter started calling me her best friend.  Probably won’t last, but I’ll take it.  While my son is too young to even comprehend what is going on, a single smile on his face when I enter the room is enough to make life worth living.

Once the kids are in bed, my wife and I get to have dinner together – and even catch up on a few episodes of Succession.  It’s a welcome change from having dinner in the office or yet another hotel room.

The lifestyle improvements don’t stop there either.  For the time being, there are no more 4 am wakeup calls to catch a 6 am flight out of Heathrow.  I certainly don’t miss the daily full-body massage on the Jubilee line.

Instead, I now work out five times a week, the best I’ve done in over two years.

My back pain is gone as I finally have an opportunity to do the physio I’ve been constantly reneging on.  And with the weather nothing short of glorious, I make a point of spending as much time as possible on our terrace.

The stats don’t like – there’s a high chance I will come down with Covid at some point.  In the meantime, I’m feeling as good as I have in years – and I plan to keep it that way.

Crises suck, plain and simple – and the Covid crisis is one of the worst ones we’ve had to live through.

But as in every crisis, we have a choice.  We can get carried away by the torrent of bad news.  Or we can focus on all the positive aspects of the current situation.

I choose the latter.

Stay indoors.  Stay healthy.  Stay positive.

About Banker On FIRE

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Banker On FIRE is a London-based M&A (mergers and acquisitions) investment banker.  I am passionate about capital markets, behavioural economics, financial independence and living the best life possible.

Find out more about me and this blog here.

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4 Comments

  1. Same, I am really enjoying the extra sleep and time to do creative projects (finally starting my blog!) and learning to use the internet more efficiently.

    Also, although I don‘t get to see any of them, I‘m in touch with my family and friends more often than I usually would be. Evening phone calls are a regular thing now.

    • Great to hear! Nothing like some time and headspace to start working on things we’ve not been able to get to

      PS: Very catchy name for your blog, look forward to reading up! Feel free to ping me a message if you need any advice on getting started.

  2. Thanks! I’ll post for the first time tomorrow – so far it’s just the About page. Everybody seems to be enjoying blogging so much, I thought I’d give it a go.

    • If you are a creative type and like connecting with people you will definitely enjoy it. Look forward to seeing how it goes!

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