Open Doors

”Listing Opportunity” the e-mail is titled

Another marketing spam my mind reacts

A closer observation before deletion reveals sincerity

The e-mail is opened and legit

In my work the listing is key

The key  to my future income and financial security

A response is sent with hope awakened

Anticipation mounts as an appointment to meet is made

Comparble homes are noted and pricing is set

Presentation prepared I properly dress

Upon arrival I stand before a home I might sell

A face of an owner waves me to the side door

Introductions made then a tour ensues

A large flowing floor-plan, a modern kitchen, luxurious baths

Views over the valley and to the ocean in the west

Expansive entertaining patio featuring gardens of beauty, privacy and tranquil

One million seven hundred ninety five thousand the asking price will be

Oh wait there’s another agent or two to interview

Feeling confident I am with the bond we made

Put off another day with more questions asked

Reassurances received from compliments conveyed

Seems they are busy and haven’t finalized decision

Another question, another compliment, yet a few more days

Tomorrow they will confirm with me my listing to be

The Dear John e-mail comes and my hopes fade

Two weeks of hope that my next paycheck will be are lost in a moment

That door open, that door closed

Another door will open as they always do

Which door will let me in I never know

Learning to accept and remain at peace is my goal

Gratitude that doors do open, enriches my soul

Living

However blissful the daydream we entertain, we must wake from it sometimes and struggle with the hard conditions of real living.”  …Dorothea Brande

Dreaming is good and daydreaming an escape. However reality is, that life is real. I need the dream to help me see outside of my reality. My dreams help me set goals. I can’t live nor make a life by sitting in a dreamland state. I must work, experience, grow, strive, move, produce, contact, connect, learn and if I fall I must get back up.

No one can live for me. I can only live my life.

Life is fun, but life is work.

Today I contemplate the joy of life that is known as work, struggle, reality and accomplishment.

Reflections

Yesterday I had a meltdown.

Emotions got the best of me. My assistant at my office who is a company employee was let go this week. I freaked out going into the holiday weekend. I’ve got lots of business Monday and will be trying to get out of town. Fear hit.

Was this meltdown really due to her termination? I mean I had just sat down and made plans with her about how we would handle the workload with my upcoming absence.

No the meltdown wasn’t about her. My company would never leave me out on a limb without back up. My boss was most understanding and helped me to see that I am human. I had a world of weight on my shoulders and I wasn’t seeing it. My boss is a ray of light. I am blessed to have her.

This post isn’t dwell on the negatives of the year. I write this to acknowledge the stressors that I might see the hidden success, strength and blessings within those clouds that facilitated the meltdown.

-2016 was the year I was to have the largest real estate deal thus far in my career. For reasons beyond my control the deal was lost to a competitor. I thought all the energy and effort I had put into securing it for a couple years prior was lost. In hindsight I learned. I learned I am capable of presenting a complete marketing package to a corporation and that I actually am capable of marketing a new development for an investment group.

-2016 was the year my shoulder pain would be cured as I was to have surgery for its repair. Well I’m still in pain and my range of motion is very limited. I can’t even pick up more than 5 pounds with my left arm and the surgery was 7 months ago. In hindsight the worst is behind me. It wasn’t one but three different surgeries performed that day. My body is re-cooperating at its own pace. I gain more range of motion weekly and I am down to just two Motrin a day, which is the least amount of anti-inflammatory medication I’ve taken daily in three years. I will regain range strength and fully recover in time.

-2016 marks the year of my brother’s death. He died one year and 1 week after my father died. Our immediate family went from all five of us down to just 3 at the anniversary of my father’s passing. Watching my mother loose her oldest son was heartbreaking. In hindsight my brother was ill for many years. His struggle with alcoholism, pancreatic disease, liver failure and diabetes had left his 62 year old body destroyed and mangled. He was suffering as were his loved ones caring for him. His demise was early yet it was his time. He touched our lives as we touched his. He lives on through us. His soul is at peace and his body no longer suffers.

-2016 marks my mother’s stroke. She is 84 and still works. My mother is young at heart, full of love and hope. She gives freely and loves unconditionally. Suddenly she can’t work, she’s stuck at home, she is weak and unsteady on her feet. She can hardly use her right hand. In hindsight it was mild. It was a warning that her blood pressure needed to be monitored daily. She was having spikes in her blood pressure and had thrown a few clots leading to several small strokes that will only temporarily limit her. She is in physical therapy. She should fully recover in time and be able to drive again and possibly work again which is her goal.

-2016 marks the worst year of my business and income since about the year 2000. My business faltered even though the real estate market is booming around me. Where- o -where had I gone wrong? Where were my referrals and clients? In hindsight I look at what I wrote above. My energies had other priorities to be directed toward. Life freakin’ happens and I met the terms life gave me. I lived. I grew. I laughed, cried, loved, traveled, gave, comforted, recovered, shared, healed. I stressed. I accomplished. I slept. I did all of it sober. I freakin’ stayed sober.

Life, it has struggles. Life, it has blessings. Life, it is a miracle. Life, it is meant to live.

Happy New Year, may the next year bring all of us challenges, growth, love, and life…yes lots of life!

That Fearsome Mr. Disney

“Disneyland will never be completed as long as there is imagination left in the world” …..Walt Disney July 1955

As a child I watched Disney’s weekly show on tv every Sunday. I remember fantasizing about one day going to Disneyland. I loved Walt Disney and everything he produced. Little did I know that he would one day become one of the most inspiring figures in my life.

Then it happened. In 1972 my grandfather moved to Orlando Florida. That was the year Disneyworld opened there. In 1974 I got to finally go visit Grandpappy. I remember the anticipation riding in the back of his Oldsmoblie Delta 88 beside my best friend Shawn. Yes we both had the same first name. No parents, no brothers, just us, Grandpappy and his wife Dot. Two weeks in Orlando…in June. Yes Orlando Florida in June. Ouch!

We saw and experienced things we had never imagined from back in our small Virginia town. Miles of straight flat road, orange groves, palm trees and swimming pools. Then the fateful day came. Dot drove us to the entrance of Disneyworld, gave us each a twenty dollar bill and told us to meet her back out front at 6 pm, when she would be back to pick us up. 1974, when you could drop two 10 year olds off at the gate of Disneyworld and leave them for the day. 1974 when you could gain entrance to Disneyworld, eat all day and buy souvenirs all for under $20. Disneyworld was beyond our imagination, even at 114 degrees F that day. Dot even agreed to bring us back the next day. We terrorized that place.

My inspiration from Mr. Disney would come many years later. Don’t worry as I will not take you through his life story here, just the most recent inspiration. Check out the clip to see where the opening quote comes from and what it’s an answer to.

The opening day of Disneyland was a disaster. Many a naysayer told Disney not to even open the park. The naysayers continued their negativity after the park opened due to it’s many problems. Walt didn’t listen to them. He had a vision. He was a visionary. He didn’t allow others to influence him, his direction or his vision. His park became a success even against all odds. His dream became reality.

When Walt Disney imagined building Disneyland his dream was one that had never been done before. To obtain this dream he did several very important things in order to achieve his desire. First he set the goal, a lofty one, and put a time limit on it. He connected himself with investors that believed in him to raise the funds. He stayed at the helm and worked furiously hard. He hired appropriate associates who would share his vision, ones whom he could delegate work and trust. Whatever was done yesterday he wasn’t interested in, he wanted to know where the vision was going and what could be contributed. Disneyland was started, and then completed in 1 year.

Today Disneyland is the cumulative most visited resort in the world. It set a stands a success which set a standard that the public respects and now expects. Disney learned from his experience in building Disneyland; dream, dream big, work hard, achieve and then dream bigger. As evidenced by Disneyworld, his Disneyland was too limited. The bigger than life vision wasn’t big enough. Due to the space restraint of only 160 acres, it could thrive but it’s growth in size would be finite. Thus in Florida he took the unimaginable and dared to expand beyond imagination, over 25,000 acres (40 square miles) of imagination.

What does this have to do with me? It teaches me to dream, set goals and work toward those goals. This is wisdom I already know, however I need to be reminded of. Walt Disney’s experience teaches me to also go further and not limit my dreams. He teaches me that if I do hit a limit that I have unknowingly placed in my path, to expand the vision beyond into the unimaginable. As long as I have imagination left in me, my personal Disneyland will never be complete.

Go ahead, dream!

Gratitude for the ability

Right now I am filled full of gratitude from the soles of my feet up through the warmth of my heart. I am grateful for my abilities to do what I do.

I awoke today with a start knowing it would be a busy one ahead. By 07:30 I was at work on my computer sending and answering e mails. I had three homes closing escrow today and another one almost into escrow. Showering and eating breakfast between calls I managed to get my gym clothes on for that one moment I could break away for “Me” time.

Nine thirty AM found me unplugging the car and speeding away to the gym during a period of the day when I could see calm. Finally an hour and a half to sweat, pump and stretch! After my muscles were pumped, I hoped into the car for a quick stop by the post office to mail a few bills and home to get back to work and eat a bit of lunch.

Many E-mails and a few calls later attempting organizing the chaos, I was able to grab a quick coffee with a dear friend before grocery shopping and stopping by my favorite liquor store for the weekly lottery tickets. Back at my computer and several more E-mails later I spent a half hour consulting with a past client who has decided to sell and move closer to the coast. Only then was I able to find a moment to start my meditation series online with Deepak Chopra.

By 4 PM all three of my escrows had confirmed closing. Today’s total is $3,565,000 in closed sales. Dinner went into the oven and I raced out to give possession to one of the buyers. Now that I’m back home I just exchanged E-mails with the agent for the offer I have out and looks like we will not hear if we are accepted until tomorrow. After dinner I will head to my 6:30 PM meeting.

What the hell am I getting to here? I’m getting to gratitude. The gratitude for the physical ability to do what I did today. The gratitude for the ability to manage my clients emotions and stress and my own at the same time. The gratitude for the monetary return of my work. The gratitude if the blessings of life that I get to work, share, run, love, stress, relax, drive, workout and even cook dinner. The gratitude as the lasagne crosses my lips and titlates my tastebuds before sharing some time with dear friends at a meeting I will soon find myself enjoying, before returning to my wonderfully comfortable bed that will transport me around the dark side of the sun into yet another day of blessings.