I joined ActiveRain earlier this year with the intention of blogging several times a week and to really get my name out on the Internet. I was very fortunate to start off my writing for AR with several features, and as I have started and stopped many blogs, I realize I am more about quality than quantity. I've written about things that are related to real estate and things that are not. A constant in my writing is about family, spending time with them, having and making memories, caring about them, and above all, loving the hell out of them. My own family is of utmost importance to me, but I also recognize and treasure the value of family for everyone, whether they're blood related or not. It's important to be a part of something greater than yourself, where your needs don't always come first, and self sacrifice can reap great rewards for both yourself and people you love.
As my family and I have gone through some painful and emotional journeys this summer, prospecting for new business has all but gone out the window. I learned that sometimes, if in the position to do so, investing in family makes you richer in many ways. I used this summer to spend time with my kids, to nurture and help them through the difficulties they have faced, and to make what I hope are happy and lasting memories for them. Nothing made me more happy and a little whistful, too, at the beach last week as I heard them share happy memories from the 17 summers we have been going to that beach. Small clips of moments that seemed insignificant at the time are part of their stories: dinner with just mom, playing in the bay, catching a sea horse, riding a ride at the amusement park, or that time a bird pooped on my head at the beach. There are so many wonderful things to look back on, and how fortunate that sometimes it's easier to remember the good times over the bad ones.
At the beginning of the summer I took a listing from an old friend. For years I have talked to her every May about the possibility of selling, and this year was finally the year as they were relocating of the area. There was much excitement early on, but as feedback came back about the house and the price, and as comps dropped, that ended quickly. Nothing would convince them to drop to a price I recommended, and right before the end of our listing agreement I was told they wanted to withdraw because it was my fault the house didn't sell. I never expected to have it put that way to me, and did I ever feel bad. I learned the very valuable lesson not to continue with an overpriced listing or with sellers who find fault with you when things don't go the way they want, or ask for advice but then won't follow it.
I learned some other things, too. In my haste to clean before an agent viewed my house, I grabbed a bottle of Orange Glo and began spraying and mopping my hardwoods. After finishing almost all of them, I realized it was furniture polish. Our floors were super shiny and probably slippery for the showing, but after wiping them with white vinegar and water they were cleaner than they had been since they were new. That is my favorite new way to clean the floors.
As I inch upon another birthday and realize I am going to be the mother of an adult very soon, I've learned that everything that used to seem so important to me: how I looked, what people thought, projecting the "right" appearances, are just not.
A college roommate of mine beat cancer a couple of years ago, and does whatever she thinks sounds fun. She recently graduated from pole dancing classes because "why not"? I'm learning to adopt that attitude. Last week I went boogie boarding for the first time in my life. I have never really enjoyed the water (too afraid of sharks) and didn't want to embarrass myself, so this was way outside my comfort zone and really surprised my kids. Over and over I ran into the water, floating on a board small enough for a five year old, sometimes not going anywhere, other times being tossed and thrown under water. I laughed, I watched people laugh at me, and although I knew I looked like a fool, I didn't care. As I rode into the surf on a big wave I yelled, "Whee!" and saw my 17 year old smiling at me from the beach. Later I heard she said, "Look at her, she is having so much fun!"