The fact that I am a real estate agent does not ban me from pausing every November to be thankful. You see, I hear about agents that jumped up from a holiday meal to go show a house. I have heard the old wives tales about the biggest deals being done on a holiday.
I don’t believe it!
I think that I have the right to sit down with my family and enjoy a feast celebrating all that has happened in the last year. I think those that are buying and selling have that same right. “Black Friday” will come soon enough. My feelings on setting aside time to share special days are not a secret. My friends and clients know that I am a more rounded person because I balance the personal and professional aspects of my life. I encourage them to do the same.
Halloween is now the start of the great American holiday festival. We start in mid-October, preparing for the night of children’s delight. We decorate our walks and doorways with ghosts and goblins. Every knock is answered and we are treated to costumes, store bought and hand made, trumpeting the success of t.v., movie and books.
We begin our season giving treats to those that come and entertain us. Our journey into the fall and winter is a celebration of fantasy.
The decorations are no sooner packed away for another year, when we begin to prepare for Thanksgiving. It is a time for giving thanks. It is a time to see every glass half full and remember that there are so many less fortunate in this world.
Friends and family gather to enjoy the finest feast. Early in the day, the streets are filled with Thanksgiving parades that end much too soon to the jingling music that accompanies Santa Claus, high on his float, arriving to hear first hand the desires of every little girl and boy. By afternoon, football is found on every major channel. The meal is followed by a plethora of desserts that lead to many early afternoon naps.
As night falls, hot coffee and one more piece of pie are shared while eager consumers go over the ads for the “Black Friday” sales. Then the countdown begins.
We are a nation of many faiths. This is a special time for all of them. The most ancient of religions celebrate the birth of Zoraster around this time. The pagans have always celebrated the beginning of winter. Christians have chosen this time to celebrate the birth of Christ. Children of all ages and many faiths just wait for Santa Claus. I find joy in the season of giving. I don’t mind waiting in the lines to make a purchase. The large crowd in front of me represent so many happy faces on Christmas morn. Even Scrooge found joy on Christmas morning.
So, how does one find balance between the demands of a profession and the desires of the heart? As a real estate agent, my job is dealing with people. They are celebrating as well. They have the added burden of either a home on the market or the need to find another house. I always have my home to return to at the end of a day. I find balance by pausing and …..
I put myself in their shoes!
I have been fortunate enough to be homeless. I have been fortunate enough to have been confined in a place that did not allow holidays. I have been fortunate enough to have gone long periods of time away from friends and family. I have been fortunate enough to not have enough money to pay for food for my family. I have been fortunate to have suffered along the road of life. I have been rich and I have been poor. I have learned the value of comfortable which resides somewhere between the two. I put myself in their shoes, because I have worn them before and I know with a little support and encouragement, they too can rise above their situation.
It doesn’t matter if they are trying to rent a one bedroom apartment or purchase a $700,000 home. The basic needs remain the same. When I try to juggle their demands with the life I have chosen to live, I set the stress aside, put myself in their position and seek a resolution.
When it is time to share the holidays with friends and family, I let them know what I will be doing and encourage them to do the same. The problems we all face will still be there tomorrow. Today is a day for enjoying what we have, whom we love and the guiding hand that leads us.
Then I slip out into my studio………………
and I paint.