“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.”– Gustav Mahler
24 or 25 years ago, (this is still a matter of debate), I started hosting a holiday lunch for my buddies. We have maintained the core group the entire time; there have been some interlopers over the years and a couple of people have dropped out for various reasons but as I said – the core group remains. Aside from a fantastic meal and the company of close friends, we have an annual wager on something topical … Who’s going to win the election, the world cup, the price of a barrel of crude oil, this year’s bet was on the exact day when the entire group would be fully vaccinated. The bets are never serious but mostly a way to remember the year and look forward to the future.
What I find most meaningful about this tradition is how in a very memorable way, it marks the passage of time, big life events, and keeps us all connected. Even during the peak of Covid, we sat outside with a roaring fire six feet apart, reminiscing on our year. Some years are more joyful than others, but the most important thing is we affirm our friendship and commitment to each other. My dad always tells me that if in the twilight of your life you have a half dozen close friends, you’ll have had a life well lived.
As I’ve grown older, I recognize the importance of traditions and habits. You’ve been receiving this Desk of Brad every Friday without exception for more than 6 years, for example. When I look back on all those DOBs, I see the history of our company and gain some insight into what was important at that time, and it’s really fascinating to me. If you have a moment and are curious about some of the older DOBs, feel free to check out www.letsgobegreat.com . It’s a work in progress but a shoutout to Maria and Harrison who have been working to keep it organized, updated, and tagged properly.
With the year coming to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on your traditions and habits. Celebrate what you’ve accomplished, your traditions, and habits. It’s never too late to start a tradition or a new habit, just start. Maybe just maybe, many of you will be writing a letter like this to people you care about, sharing your traditions and habits. I am trying to pay my life lessons forward and I hope that you do the same.
Let’s go be great!