Happy New Year and Hello 2021!
As many of you know, and we wrote about in our letter last year, 2019 was a challenging year for our family so we were absolutely thrilled to jump into 2020. Needless to say, that didn’t go as planned so we now thankfully turn the page to 2021.
We start our focus on 2021 with reflections on 2020 and sorrow for all the people who lost loved ones last year. Many people who are close to us experienced tragic loss in 2020 and our thoughts continue to be with you. We take comfort in our belief that the spirits of those who have left us live on through all of the people they influenced throughout their lives.
Our reflections for 2020 also focus on gratitude. As each year passes, and particularly coming out of the last two years, our gratitude for all the love we get from friends and family grows. We recognize that a key part of our happiness is tied to the love we receive from others and the opportunities we are fortunate to have.
This continually growing gratitude strengthens our commitment to do more for others in 2021 and beyond. In 2021, we look forward to taking more action in a number of areas related to helping others including: helping more low-income children get access to a quality education (mostly through Marshall’s work), providing more support to people who are homeless (through donations, volunteering and activism), and doing our part to address racial injustices in our society (through donations, activism and personal actions).
On the family front, our whole family got Covid-19 in early December. We were very lucky in that none of us had really bad symptoms (Mason was asymptomatic) and beyond being locked in our house for 3 weeks, it didn’t have a big negative impact on our lives.
Mason is now 9.5, has been consumed by the video game Among Us, still loves YouTubers (he wants to become one), Minecraft and Legos, has been enjoying making scary creatures with oven-bake clay, and is looking forward to getting back to school in person sometime in 2021 and seeing more kids of course. In 2020, Mae had her hands full making clay figures with Mason, home schooling at times and helping a couple of start-up companies grow their businesses (check out Hebel & Co for awesome halva, H2OPs for a hops flavored sparkling water, or ExtraVallis if you are into angel investing). She has been enjoying working on brands she personally enjoys and the flexibility that consulting brings her. As for fun in 2021, Mae is hoping for more time for tennis, a little travel and some actual in-person shopping opportunities (online shopping, while satisfying, is way less fun). Marshall continues to focus the majority of his time on helping our most vulnerable children get access to a quality education. He spent 2020 working with a number of education non-profits (the majority of his time with Great Public Schools Now), got behind candidates and propositions related to improving public schools, and helped launch a Covid-19 relief fund (One Family Los Angeles) for families in Los Angeles most impacted by the pandemic. On the non-work front, Marshall still wins his wrestling matches with Mason (although it is getting closer), continues to be Mason’s top Lego assistant, has loved watching the San Jose State Spartans football team and is committed to playing basketball again at some point in 2021 (unclear if that is a wise decision). As a family we have had a lot of fun hiking this year and we are fortunate to live near so many awesome hikes like Vasquez Rocks (pictured above).
We are hopeful that we are all able to get out and about at some point in 2021 so that we can see many of you in person. In spite of the challenges of 2020, and the inevitable challenges coming in early 2021, we enter the new year with hope and optimism.
Happy New Year and Sending Love out to you for 2021!
Mae, Mason and Marshall