November has always been one of my favorite months. My mother’s birthday, my wedding anniversary and Thanksgiving are all in November. Sure, I love the Christmas season with its lights and trees, but there’s just something about November’s quiet lead into the well-lit festivities of December. It is the celebration of gratefulness that resonates with me.
The season always reminds me of home. The mountains in rural Pennsylvania can be blooming with fall color or barren and snow covered depending on the weather we have had in any given year. It is always a surprise whether you’ll have a sunny, 60-degree Thanksgiving Day or a blustery snowstorm with your turkey.
We have certainly had our share of surprises in 2020, right? We were surprised by what we experienced with the pandemic this year. We were surprised at how quickly we adapted. We are surprised by how much we miss our office and colleagues. We are surprised by how our days have become the same, repeated over and over (on Zoom in pajama pants!).
We were barely forewarned back in March about what was to come. Still, like the month of November—a time for connecting, celebrating and gratitude—the COVID-19 pandemic gives us renewed appreciation for the season’s hallmarks.
I’m living in gratitude this season as I reflect on a year where amazing CREW Network volunteers in North America, the United Kingdom and India innovated and created unique ways to connect—and stay connected—over the past several months.
I am celebrating CREW Network’s entire leadership—our board members, chapter presidents and committee chairs—for their resilience, perseverance and talent. They created connectivity that has been so crucial to each of us as the days turned into months.
Even though 2020 has been reviled by some, I find myself grateful that CREW Network’s members, leaders and allies have remained engaged and eager for each program, service and opportunity we have offered.
No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving or your season of gratitude, it is always great at the end of a year like this to pause and reflect on the ways you are grateful for the moments that brought you joy, support, connectedness and fellowship.
Together, we not only survived 2020, CREW’s network THRIVED because of you. Stay with us in 2021 as we continue to deliver what you need for business deals, professional development and career advancement.
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Wendy Mann is the chief executive officer of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network and president of the CREW Network Foundation.