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Here’s a great story about baseball – and perspective:

A little girl was overheard talking to herself as she marched through the backyard, wearing her baseball cap and toting a ball and bat. “I’m the greatest hitter in the world,” she announced. Then she tossed the ball into the air, swung at it, and missed. “Strike one!” she yelled. Undaunted, she picked up the ball and said again, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” She tossed the ball into the air. When it came down she swung again and missed. “Strike two!” she cried. The girl then paused a moment to examine her bat and ball carefully, and then rubbed her hands together. She straightened her cap and said once more, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” Again she tossed the ball up in the air and swung at it. She missed. “Strike three!” “Wow!” She exclaimed. “I’m the greatest pitcher in the world! ”Either way – she’s right. Isn’t perspective a wonderful thing?

DID YOU KNOW…

Did you know— the ancient Vikings measured age in how many winters someone lived through? I just love that idea, like we aren’t merely surviving the winter months with extra-thick socks while clutching a warm mug, but we are living through them and truly taking in all they have to offer and thriving in response.

I think we can all agree that 2021 was challenging and we are all likely to anticipate 2022 with a sense that there is a fresh start on the horizon. However, if we channel our inner Viking (skipping the horned hats), we are obligated to bring vivid life into this typically bleak month, rather than seeing it as something to survive until warmer times. There is living to be done in January, my friend!

Those ancient Vikings were masters of the sea and had an innate understanding of navigation by natural elements. Like many ancient cultures, they noted landmarks for reference points and used the stars to navigate their way while out at sea, however they also kept track of their route through storytelling. Reciting the route they took in a poetic tale was not only entertaining, but it was also a way to hand down trade routes through generations.

I’m sharing this with you because I think there is value in giving voice to the course you plan to take as you begin the journey through 2022, whether you plan to redo your kitchen or embark on an adventure later this year.

When There Is Work To Be Done… 

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This story uniquely captures how it can feel getting ready for the holidays.

During a winter hayride, a wagon pulled by a friendly mule slid on a patch of ice sending the back of the wagon into a steep snowbank. The farmer who was steering the cart, unhitched the mule to help guide the travelers out of the snow and said, “Come on Jasper, I’m going to need your help.”

He hitched the mule to the rear axle and shouted, “Come on Molly, pull!” The mule didn’t move.

The farmer then yelled, “Come on Gus, pull!” Again, the mule didn’t move.

Once more the farmer commanded, “Come on Francis, pull!” Nothing happened.

The farmer then said, “Come on Jasper, pull!” And the mule moved and dragged the wagon out from the pile of snow.

The passengers thanked the farmer, but being somewhat puzzled one of them said, “You called the mule three times by the wrong name. Why did you do that?”

The farmer laughed and said, “Oh, Jasper is a blind old mule, if he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn’t even try!”

Most people are busy this time of year and it often feels like we are the only one pushing and pulling to get everything done. Just a quick reminder that you are not alone and everything you are doing will be appreciated.

Thanksgiving Day 

These words from an unknown poet remind me to be thankful on Thanksgiving and all the other days, too.

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times, you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.

I love the thought that Thanksgiving is less of a meal and more of a mindset. May your Thanksgiving be filled with friends, family, love and all that is important to you.

Thank A Teacher

Did you know that September 21st is International Gratitude Day?

I know that I’m certainly grateful for having autumn arrive with cool winds. The nights aren’t quite as warm as they were even a few weeks ago, and stores have already begun stocking everything pumpkin related.

I’m also grateful for something much more traditional as so many people go back to school in the fall: teachers.

I am appreciative of all the teachers who turn up throughout the course of our lives. Those unexpected teachers come out of nowhere and change us forever. They are the elderly ladies with time to chat, the child who surprises us with insight that most adults overlook, and the average person who takes the time to explain a process, that is specific to their field of expertise, in common terms.

Who are the unexpected teachers in your life? Have you told them that they positively changed you, irrevocably, by teaching you something new? Perhaps this would be a good week to share your gratitude.

A simple card, an unexpected phone call, or even an email would likely be much appreciated by a teacher who made a difference at some time in your life. It might just lead to a larger conversation and a deeper friendship. If nothing else, you made someone’s day with a positive comment by simply expressing your gratitude. After all, one of the first things that we are taught in preschool or kindergarten is to say, “thank you”.

Would You Apply For This Job?

POSITION: Friend (also known as Buddy, Pal, Bro, Sis, Partner, Boo, BFF)
JOB DESCRIPTION: Long-term team players needed for support-based position. Candidate must possess the ability to show empathy and compassion while always speaking the truth.
WORKING HOURS: Usually requires unexpected shifts and late nights.
POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION: There are friends, there is family and then there are friends that become family.
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required. On-the-job training mandatory.
SKILLS:TherapistCheerleaderWingmanMoral CompassConfidantStylistComedianStraight ShooterGood Cop or Bad Cop (whichever is needed)
BENEFITS: Increased sense of belonging and purpose. Enhanced happiness and reduced stress.

These are only a few reasons to celebrate International Friendship Day and the friends we know and love! In some ways, this past year has taught us the value of keeping our good friends close. In other ways, it has reminded us about things we already knew. Good friends encourage us to be the highest version of ourselves, as we do the same for them.

Your Friend In The Real Estate Business,

We Are All Stronger

As you embrace the start of a more “normal” summer, it’s important to give yourself room to continue to reemerge at your own pace. It’s also important to remember that new beginnings are not always easy or obvious. I’m reminded of the following story, a valuable metaphor for embracing adversity and new beginnings: A man found the cocoon of a butterfly. A small opening appeared. The man sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no farther. The man decided to help, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that at any moment the wings would expand and the body would contract to the proper proportion. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around. It never was able to fly. In his kindness and haste, the man had not understood something. A restricting cocoon and the struggle for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need to become stronger in character and determination. If nature allowed us to go through life without any obstacles, we would not learn how to be resilient and powerful. We might never fly!
I found this Father’s Day poem and it reminded me of the true value of being a parent. On the day I was born I met you, Dad. Over the first few years, I learned you were strong and always there. As I grew a few years older, I could remember you leaving home. I’d say, “Daddy where are you going?” “I have to go to work.” you used to respond.

I was very sad. I didn’t understand. You would “go to work” almost every day. 
You were almost always gone
I didn’t understand. I can still hear you saying,
“I have to go to work – I love you.
and perhaps silently hoping…
“maybe one day you’ll understand.” You worked hard.
We always had enough.
I couldn’t understand. As I grew even older,
you provided experiences and opportunities. 

From being on teams to going to camps,
I made new friends and learned a lot. 
I repeatedly changed my mind, but I always excelled.I’m grown now. 
I work hard – like you did. 
I have children of my own.
I spend more time with them
– because of you, I can.Thanks Dad, now I understand. 
Sometimes the best lessons we learn from our mothers are not the things they try to teach us directly – like how to tie our shoes or how to ride a bike. We often learn the important ones when we ask, “Why did you do that?”Here is a story I heard that reminded me of the important lessons we learn from moms:One day, I asked my mom if she would cook my favorite dinner. She said, “Follow me,” and knocked on the neighbor’s door and asked to borrow a casserole dish.I was confused because we had plenty of baking dishes at home, so I asked, “Why did you ask for something we don’t need?”She told me, “They sometimes ask us for things and I wanted them to know we all need each other. So I asked them for something small that would not burden them. By giving us something, now it will be much easier for them to ask us for something again.”Then she smiled and said, “We also never return a dish without something in it, so we get to share your favorite dinner with them.”Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are. – Dorothy Canfield FisherHappy Mother’s Day!
 Many years ago a young couple with three sons bought a house out in the country. The previous owner, who spoke only French, said something that made the couple think that gold could be found on the property. They told their sons, who began digging up the ground looking for wealth.After a few weeks, much of the ground around the house had been turned over, and with no gold found, the father decided to plant some seeds: corn, tomatoes, potatoes, and onions. With his sons’ help, he grew so much that he went on to open a roadside stand to sell the extra produce for a little additional money.The boys kept digging and turning over the soil as they went deeper and deeper, allowing the couple to plant even more crops.This went on for several years. The vegetable stand prospered, and soon the couple had enough money to send all of their children to university.One day the original owner came by for a visit. He had since learned English, and he asked the couple how they’d gotten started in the vegetable business. When the husband reminded him about the gold, the first owner laughed.“I didn’t say there was gold in the soil,” he explained. “I said the soil was very rich.”And as things turned out, it was.