I hope everyone has had a wonderful Memorial Day. I spent the weekend with my oldest son, Ryan, who is a member of the 82nd Airborne, 2 Brigate 325th (white falcons). Ryan will be deploying in the next week or so to join his unit who are already in place in Iraq. While we were just spending time together I realized that life really is too short. What would I do if I knew my life would change completely tomorrow? Really, nothing other than being with your family and friends matters. My son will be in Iraq until March 2008. And, all he wanted to do this weekend was spend time with me, he didn't want to go anywhere or do anything, just spend time with his Mom. Now, Ryan is 21 years old and single.
This weekend made me realize that we all spend too much time trying to fill our days with things that take us away from our loved ones. We spend too much time prioritizing our clients and not prioritizing our own lives. I remember when Ryan was 8 and he used to lay on my bed at night and tell me stories. But, I don't remember much of what happened between 8 and 21. I think that's because I spent too much time trying to make everyone else happy and not making time for my family and my friends. A lot of us chose real estate as a career so that we could spend more time with our families when it counted. But, I think a lot of us have let real estate run our lives instead of our lives running our careers in real estate.
I have been involved in the real estate industry for over 21 years. When I first got into the industry I worked pretty much 9-5 with no evenings or weekends. I worked in Property Management and then for a Brokerage in the day when there was no such thing as a Buyer's Agent. But, when I became an Office Coordinator real estate started to run my life. So, I took some time off when my youngest was born and started back as an agent when he started school. I didn't want real estate to run my life, I told myself. But, ultimately, it did. I am now a new Office Manager (again) and I am recruiting new and experienced agents to join my team and I'm thinking how many of these agents are letting real estate run their lives rather than properly planning their days and times and making quality time for themselves and their families.
The one thing we so often forget is ourselves and our families. This career of real estate that we get into so we can spend more quality time with our families often becomes our family and the one's we are closest to and the one's we love are often left on the sidelines while we take that very important phone call, or show just that one house that will result in a contract, but that one house becomes 5 or 6 or more houses. Today, this Memorial Day, we need to take stalk and remember those that are important to us, the one's we love so that we don't go from 8 to 21 with very few memories of them growing up.
June Piper-Brandon, Office Manager, Advance Realty Anne Arundel Inc.