Goal-Getting Glory: Anniversary Day Unveiled! The Big Trinity

Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

Goal-Getting Glory: The Big Trinity Day Unveiled!

Oddly enough and without planning, two of my life's turning points; my milestone moments if you will, occurred on 4/5 ten years apart. This is the story of my Goal-Getting Glory: The Big Trinity Day Unveiled today, my self imposed deadline of April 5, 2024!

100,000 Celebrating 25 years Vector Images | Depositphotos


1. Celebrate my 25th Anniversary of my first day at work as a licensed REALTOR®
I started work April 5, 1999 at Cashin & Company Realtors in San Mateo, CA
I'm 25 years in the resale business and just over 35 years in real estate investing today. Special thanks to my bride Ailina Nelson for being there with me my whole career and to my buddy and the best lender I've had through my whole San Diego chapter of this career, Jason E. Gordon!

My First Listing in San Mateo circa 1999-2000 (and my first "REALTOR-Car")

2. Celebrate reclaiming the #1 Active Rain blogger position in La Jolla, CA after it was "taken" from me 7 years ago by William Johnson  who suddenly switched from San Diego to La Jolla, dropping me to #2 and then not long after that he retired! I set a goal that day to reclaim it. The competitor in me was awakened and it became a seven year long, epic effort to earn about 1 million points through several thousand comments, posts and contests combined.

While I understand that the points may not hold significant value, they represent the dedication and commitment I poured into this endeavor. Competitiveness fueled my determination, and achieving this milestone in time for my 25th anniversary as a REALTOR® was incredibly fulfilling.

I owe thanks to William for igniting my competitive spirit and driving me towards this achievement. I wrote some posts I likely never would have if not for this goal.
I achieved this goal yesterday, 4/4/24 simply by signing in to Active Rain!


3. Celebrate the 35th Anniversary of overcoming one of the biggest challenges in my life: Celebrate with me as I mark the 35th anniversary of overcoming one of life's greatest trials: the double amputation of my hands during my time as a sheet metalist in SSF, CA, on April 5, 1989. The subsequent two years were filled with surgeries and arduous recovery, serving as a testament to resilience and unwavering determination.

A decade prior to obtaining my real estate license, I was confronted with the bleak prognosis of never using my hands again. Yet, I steadfastly refused to succumb to these imposed limitations. My journey underscores the importance of perseverance and self-belief—never surrendering to adversity and always trusting in one's inner compass, even amidst uncertainty.


June 1989, two months post surgery

The Days Are Long, The Years Are Short.
It's A Good Life!

Cover Image by Peter Lomas

Posted by

Thomas J. Nelson
REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, e-Pro, Certified Military Home Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, Author, Keynote Speaker and  Podcast Host 

Serving Coastal San Diego from Carlsbad to Coronado, Downtown, Balboa Park Area,
La Jolla/UCSD & Mission Bay Park Areas
I Offer Rebates to Veterans
& Active Duty

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(858) 232-8722
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RCS-Divorce     Southern California Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists (CRS)

Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Thomas,
You are a man of great spirit and pride! Congratulations on all of your accomplishments in spite of the challenges!

Apr 05, 2024 07:17 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Thomas - point (and point attainment) well-made.  Here's to celebrating the many achievements in life.  

Apr 05, 2024 07:36 AM

Pun taken Michael Jacobs -thank you for all your kindness and comments. You always make my day!

Apr 05, 2024 08:19 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Thomas, your story is amazing, and you clearly have a lot to celebrate - including picking up a great attitude somewhere along the way!


Apr 05, 2024 07:39 AM

Many thanks for your kind words. I do feel blessed.

Apr 05, 2024 08:13 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Thomas,

I'm stunned! Wow  you really over came adversity and have so much to be thankful for and to celebrate! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Apr 05, 2024 07:57 AM

Thank you Dorie Dillard Austin TX it's been a full life with some challenges, but a good life.

Apr 05, 2024 08:14 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Congratulations on achieving your goals, and your story carries bigger and future successes.

Apr 05, 2024 10:57 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Thomas and 3 top things to remember over the years.  I know I been in Real Estate since 1997.


Apr 05, 2024 01:02 PM

Well Will Hamm then happy 27 years to you!

Apr 05, 2024 01:44 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Thomas- I remember the first time I read of your double amputation. Admiration is putting it mildly!  It's easy to see that perseverance is one of your many strong suits. Congratulations on the Big Trinity and all of your achievements. 

Apr 05, 2024 06:57 PM

Thank you Kathy Streib - I can't believe it's been 35 and 25 years respectively but my path brought me here and I know good people like you because of that path!

Apr 06, 2024 08:15 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Being able to persevere and thrive with health or other challenges is doubly rewarding, Thomas.  Congratulations to you!

Apr 05, 2024 08:26 PM

Indeed, it's either the making of you or the breaking of you...but it is a choice.

Apr 06, 2024 08:14 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Thomas, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Apr 05, 2024 08:35 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing some of your personal story. Best wishes for continued success.

Apr 06, 2024 09:05 AM

Thank you Roy Kelley - I've been enjoying your photos on Facebook!

Apr 06, 2024 07:34 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Apr 06, 2024 06:34 PM

Kathy Streib thank you for this honor!

Apr 06, 2024 07:35 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Congratulations on all three anniversaries!  Your determination speaks volumes.

Apr 07, 2024 06:35 AM

Ah Kat thank you, luckily back then I was young enough and ego enough to do so. Younger me reminds older me sometimes not to forget those lessons. 

Apr 07, 2024 07:57 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Oswego, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Thomas. What an amazing story of your life. Your perseverance is simply amazing. Your thought of long days, short years and a good life ring true. Enjoy your day.

Apr 07, 2024 06:42 AM

Thank you Wayne Martin it's never amazing when you're going through it, but like Winston Churchill famously said, "When you're going thorough Hell...keep going!"

Apr 07, 2024 07:59 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

What I find most admirable is that you don’t lead with the adversity of your youth.  I have been reading your posts for a while and I had no idea that you had gone through a double amputation.  No pity parties here or look at poor me

Apr 09, 2024 04:55 AM

Lise Howe Thank you so much for your encouragement. Yes, it actually took me decades before I could even talk about my accident, it was too emotional and I never wanted it to be a crutch for excuses. It was actually my bride and Brian Buffini that encouraged me to start sharing my story as a means of helping and uplifting others. I've never been one for "poor me" because it's a trap for mediocrity. You have to learn to live with what you can't rise above and I choose to rise up. (Well, except when I'm sick, then I'm very "poor me" to get Ailina to dote on me 😂).

Apr 09, 2024 07:57 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

And you are my kind of person.

Apr 09, 2024 11:06 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Thomas:

Congratulations on all your achievements, real estate and otherwise. You have a tremendous positive attitude, and that's what it's all about!!


Apr 11, 2024 08:15 PM

Thanks Jeff Dowler, CRS - and you better watch out; based on the 7 years it took me to get #1 in La Jolla back, it's only 28 more years before I grab #1 in San Diego County from you 🤣😂😅

Apr 12, 2024 08:31 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Time will tell Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets but I likely will not be around blogging then!


Apr 12, 2024 08:55 AM

Well, I hope you are still giving me a run for my money then: ❤️🥂🍾 to your health sir! 

Apr 12, 2024 09:12 AM