August 2023 Challenge: Life's Lessons

Real Estate Broker/Owner with 406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® RRE-BRO-LIC-75443

This post is in response to Anna "Banana" Kruchten and Carol Williams August 2023 Challenge: Embracing Life's Lessons. Our challenge is to share life lessons we may have picked up so far, both in terms of our business and personal lives. So here are a few of the lessons I've learned.

Lesson: Life is short. Live it

I've shared this here before, but at 15 I learned a big lesson that is still with me today. My sister Maureen passed away from a complication from measles. It was called measles encephalitis and within a week she went from healthy and laughing to dead. I learned that none of us are guaranteed more than this very moment. If a teenager could pass away, so could any of us. And since that day, my mother and father and mother-in-law and father-in-law have all moved on to the great beyond. So while it's an amazing thing to have plans for the future, we should be truly living in the now because that's all we're sure to have.

Lesson: Fear is not your friend. Eliminate it.

This is another one I've shared previously, but I was incredibly shy as a child and young adult. And I was definitely afraid to speak in public and/or in front of even just a few people. When I joined the workforce, things did not get better until I realized my fear was messing up any chance I had of having a successful career. So I addressed it. I volunteered to speak in front of people, I took public speaking classes, joined a debate class and put myself in situations where I was forced to speak. And not only did I overcome my fear, just the action of addressing it significantly improved my confidence and self-esteem. Fear is not your friend. If it's getting in the way of forward movement, it must be addressed. And the only way to address it is to do it. Hard but totally worth the effort.

Lesson: Not all people will stay in your life. Move on.

We meet people all along the path of life for all sorts of purposes. I have learned there is nothing wrong with letting a person go, and if a person lets US go, there's nothing wrong with that either. It's all a part of the journey. It doesn't mean it won't hurt, or we won't wonder what went wrong, but it's all going to be fine.

Lesson: Learning never ends. Keep doing it.

I am always learning something about something. Whether it's through a class at the community college, or something I read or listen to, expanding my knowledge base is a must for me.  I do not want to become stagnant. Even now as an adult I am always looking for new knowledge. And as with everyone else, I will always actually know less than all the stuff I don't know.  I would love to even those ratios a bit.


So how does this relate to my business and personal life?

Business: In my business life, the above lessons resulted in my starting at a telecommunications company as an entry level clerk many years ago. Because I learned to speak up for myself, and I wanted more knowledge, I moved from an entry level clerk to a higher level clerk to a secretary to management to a director. And when I felt I had learned all I could at that company, and had done all I could, I did some investigating into other possible careers. And then I took the leap into running my own real estate business which could not been more different than corporate life. It was so exciting to make that big switch. So all life's lessons have been incorporated in my business life. And continue to be.

Personal: And the same goes for my personal life. I have made some difficult decisions in the past to move on from people who weren't right for me. I've eliminated or at least significantly reduced interactions with negative people in my life. I've taken classes in gardening and turned that into an actual garden that actually grows stuff (who knew?). I've experimented with various cooking styles and have taken classes about that also. I've tried all sorts of outdoor activities that I hadn't done before. I've learned how to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. I have learned how to use all sorts of tools and vehicles that have been very useful at my current home. I've volunteered my time and efforts to help the community because I'm not afraid to try new things or speak to new people. So the lessons I've learned so far have helped shape my personal life as well.

So what kind of lessons are still waiting to be learned?

Who knows? As long as I am still above the ground, I will continue to learn and experience. Isn't that what life is all about?

Thank you for reading my entry into this month's challenge!



Comments (38)

Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Thank you for the feature Kathy Streib - I appreciate you!

Aug 27, 2023 05:01 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Kat. I am late to the party but thanks to Kathy Streib caught you post. If you keep your mind open to learning and are willing to adapt to new information you will continue to grow. You are a prime example. Enjoy your day.

Aug 27, 2023 05:12 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Thank you Wayne Martin !

Aug 27, 2023 06:33 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

I'm so glad that Kathy featured your post as I had missed it. Love this so very much. You are living fully each and every day!

Aug 27, 2023 07:12 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Thank you so much Dr. Paula McDonald !

Aug 27, 2023 09:02 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great post!  Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day!

Aug 27, 2023 07:18 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Thank you Kristin Johnston - REALTOR® 

Aug 27, 2023 09:02 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I am so onboard with the thought that learning is forever. When we stop trying to learn, we just stop being happy and successful.

Aug 27, 2023 06:21 PM
Kat Palmiotti

Ed (Edward) Silva, 203-206-0754 - and we turn into couch potatoes.

Aug 28, 2023 04:51 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

Kat, The insights gained from a multitude of life's experiences have certainly enriched your understanding of the world around you with numerous valuable lessons.  By the way, it's intriguing how your demeanor doesn't reveal any traces of shyness you once had!

Aug 28, 2023 06:04 AM
Kat Palmiotti

That's wonderful to know Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 !

Aug 28, 2023 09:48 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Monday morning, Kat.

Have a great day and an outstanding week.

Aug 28, 2023 09:07 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Thank you Roy!

Aug 28, 2023 09:48 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Kat:

Life is full of learning and lessons, some more meaningful and valuable than others. You've shared lots of wisdom from your personal and business life, and I enjoyed about it. Thank you.


Aug 28, 2023 04:00 PM
Kat Palmiotti

And thank you for taking the time to read it Jeff Dowler, CRS !

Aug 29, 2023 04:38 AM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Great post and entry into the contest.  The move to Montana has been a positive one and it's nice that you're able to learn new things.

Aug 29, 2023 07:07 PM
Kat Palmiotti

Thank you Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089 !

Aug 30, 2023 05:41 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

First of all, I am so very sorry about your sister - I can't imagine what you and your parents went through losing Maureen. 

I love each of your lessons and agree wholeheartedly with them all, Kat! The one that resonates with me is that you believe that we're never too old to learn. I love that you took gardening and cooking classes and know how to operate all of your equipment on your property - that is amazing! 

I think I told the story about offering one of my clients the use of a raised garden that I put on my lot. He recently died and was unable to help me at all this year. I have had the worst harvest ever this year and I was actually weeding it yesterday morning and thought how much I missed him and that I REALLY need to take some classes on gardening! 

Thank you so much for sharing these life's lessons in this month's challenge. I was captivated by every word...OH and I also enjoyed working with Habitat for Humanity. I wish I had started volunteering with them many years ago!

Aug 31, 2023 08:53 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Debe Maxwell, CRS - I am so sorry your gardening friend isn't there and your garden isn't doing as well. I bet he would have loved it if he knew you were taking classes. Sign up! :-)

Aug 31, 2023 12:31 PM
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Hi Kat Palmiotti What a blog!  First, I am sad that you lost a sister at such a young age. Just doesn't seem right.  I lost a brother on his 31st Birthday so I know how it feels to lose a sibling.  Your advice for personal is spot on as is your business advice. Thank you for sharing. Mike

Sep 01, 2023 06:42 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Thank you for your input Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker - I appreciate it!

Sep 01, 2023 02:49 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Dear Kat Palmiotti - where do I begin? I think  you know if we were together having some time in Montana again, I would have no problem saying all the personal things I would like to say now, but can't. I'm glad we met in person - so much better than just writing buddies on AR. 

The fundamentals we learn early on in life can make or break us. I can't imagine how lonely those first few years were without Maureen. At some point in life. we are expected to let go of our dolls and toys, but never a sister. I wish I had known you then. I'm glad I know you now! Deep down inside, I always knew you were a phenomenal woman with hopes and dreams and a lot of talent for problem solving. Montana has agreed with you and someday I hope I have another opportunity to hang out with you. You're a great person and you treat others well. The Kalispell community is better and richer by far because you are there. As for ActiveRain. it is even greater now than when I first began because of you. 

Sep 01, 2023 05:19 PM
Kat Palmiotti

Good morning Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP and thank you for all your kind words. As for the fundamentals we learn early on in life, yes, they are a huge starting point on how our life goes. And I am glad we met as well and am sure we will do so again!

Enjoy your Saturday!

Sep 02, 2023 04:25 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Kat Palmiotti ,

I absolutely loved your post for the August entry...not sure how I missed it! I can't even imagine that happening to my sister. Loosing Maureen shaped your life for years to come. I still marvel at you picking up and moving to Montana but it was the perfect move for you to make. After visiting you there and seeing Kalispell I can see why it suits you.

Sep 05, 2023 05:23 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Thank you so much for your kind comment Dorie Dillard Austin TX !

Sep 05, 2023 05:57 AM
Dennis Neal
RE/MAX, Big Bear - Big Bear Lake, CA
Your Home Sold in 21 Days or We Sell It For Free

These are very profound lessons. I'm bookmarking this one.

Sep 05, 2023 10:47 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Thank you Dennis Neal !

Sep 05, 2023 02:38 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I applaud this post and it was a joy to read. I am student of life and living it  to the best of my abilities ☺️

Sep 06, 2023 10:50 PM
Kat Palmiotti

Thank you Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS - we are on the same wavelength regarding this!

Sep 07, 2023 04:27 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Learning is a life-long goal, Kat and you are definitely up to any challenge that comes along. I love that you took classes and now are a true gardener!

Sep 10, 2023 03:58 PM
Kat Palmiotti

Thank you Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! - a greenhouse is next!

Sep 11, 2023 05:40 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!

We have been thinking a lot about doing that plus adding a few chickens.

Sep 11, 2023 06:14 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I must say that it appears that you have learned a lot more in your life; but I am still learning more and more about myself as I get older (There's still hope) 🙂

Sep 13, 2023 04:39 PM
Kat Palmiotti

I'm still learning also Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS !

Sep 13, 2023 05:53 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Hello, Kat Palmiotti I apologize for being so late to this party.  I'm dedicating time today to read more posts written by the people I follow here in the Rain. 

I cannot imagine losing a sister at age 15.  It is hard enough to lose a sibling as an adult. That was a powerful lesson at such a young age. 

The generous precious moment is all we truly have. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone. 

Oh my heavens,  I feared speaking as well and did the same, joined Toast Masters. 

Fear is not our friend. Fear will kill dreams. 

I always wonder - what did I say or do or not say or do that caused that person to go poof out of my life? 

On the other hand, they may wonder the same.  In a few cases, I told them. That was a lesson I learned to not do again. 

Wow - Impressive. From an entry-level clerk to a Director!  

I love your volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity.  

I appreciate all that you shared. We have more in common than I believed before reading this.  


Sep 17, 2023 10:03 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Thank you so much for your encouraging and kind comments! I agree with everything you said! :-)

Sep 17, 2023 01:34 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I'm happy to say I learned something new today. I was invited to play Pokeno with a group of ladies, and I had never played before. It was fun, it challenged my brain, and I made a few new friends. Granted, that is one small thing, but if you do one small thing every day, it adds up! I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

Sep 29, 2023 03:50 PM
Kat Palmiotti

I've never heard of Pokeno Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty but I just looked it up and it looks like fun! Now I learned something!

Sep 30, 2023 12:24 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Kat, Pokeno is a lot of fun and it makes you use your brain! I can't wait to play again.

Oct 01, 2023 11:56 AM