Take one look at my planner and you’ll understand why I’d like to schedule my coffee with you two weeks in advance (three weeks if it’s dinner), why my kitchen looks the way it does (horrible), and the reason I have to hit up the gas station every few days (thank the Lord for low petrol prices).
It’s interesting how becoming a realtor has changed the way I live from the day to day. Integrating work into life is something that is challenging and will likely take quite a while to do. My phone is my boyfriend and some of my clients are like family and my work literally never ends. I remember listening to Billy Joel’s “Vienna” on a day when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed and boy did it strike a chord. If you haven’t listened, do yourself a favor. I’m naturally inclined to anxiety, overworking to the point of breaking, and basically filling my plate to the brim without leaving the time and space that a normal human being needs to exist. Someone recently shared a tool they had learned during their time in AA: HALT.
H: Hungry A: Angry L: Lonely T: Tired
Apparently, if you’re ever at any moment feeling two of these things at once, it’s time to pump the brakes and take time for yourself to get to a point where you’re not going to collapse under the pressure. While I think of this advice every day, I don’t take it into account as much as I should. For one, if you know me I love to feed particularly on burgers and pizza and cheeses and all things bad for you and existing on coffee throughout the day can be a tough deal. I know I should almond and PowerBar up but come on.
You’ll understand also if you know me well that anger is an emotion that rears its ugly head quite easily with me: whether warranted or not. The smallest thing can set me off simply by principle, sometimes what could be shrugged off by a more laid back person gets me snarling, or someone does really screw me over and it sends me into a rage blackout. Thankfully, anger usually passes quickly now that I’ve learned how to handle the emotion so that’s helpful and learning how to deal with that has helped enormously. Now to work on being annoyed less!
Loneliness is a tricky one. One of my best friends Jesse Morrow wrote a song “Like a Thief” with the lyrics: you can stand to be alone but never to be lonely. These words couldn’t be truer for me. I require alone time and a lot of it- so being in an emotionally driven and heavily people oriented industry takes a big chunk of that alone time unless you consider driving. I also hate being lonely, which has bitten me in the arse a few times in the form of a bad relationship, being overly needy from others when ultimately what I really need is to be alone and float in that solitude, or just getting to the point where I feel devastatingly lonely and taking that on my own shoulders. In an age and stage where most of my friends are married/engaged, in a relationship, and/or have families, where many of my closest friends live across the world, and my own family have their own relationships and lives it can be a very lonely time. Making sure that I listen to myself when waves of isolation begin to wash over has changed the way I react when I get to that point. I can sometimes even nestle into the calm of being alone and the aspect of loneliness leaves me and I am then surrounded by grace. Still, loneliness bites.
Being tired is a big one. I make a point to try and get at least eight hours every night, and considering it takes me one to two hours to get to sleep every night (overthinking…) it means I’m usually in bed pretty early. Pair that with a full calendar, trying to maintain a social life, and staying connected with loved ones who understand the process I’m going through can be a heavy burden: my mind never stops, making sleeping and lack of sleep and reliance on pharma and coffee a vicious cycle.
I love the work I do and even more than the work- the fruits that come from the labor in the form of happy clients who have a place to call home. I admire the people I work with and I am honored to be part of my client’s lives. I truly commend anyone who passionately and tirelessly works towards they feel is truly important, that somehow incorporates giving back and goodness into their careers, and actually do rather than talk. There are some of the mindset that living to work and working to live are two separate entities entirely. I come in now and disagree: work and life can go hand in hand and I’ve seen it done beautifully, seamlessly, and for the most part, without pain or frustration.
For those who don’t or can’t understand why I drive myself so hard, I can’t explain it other than what I’m doing right now isn’t for the sake of working just to work. I answer to a calling beyond anyone or anything tangible. It’s so that I can build to the place where I want to be physically, financially, relationally, and locationally to give what I want to give, be where I want to be, and share everything that I possibly can to make up for the time lost now. For those who stay around for that time in life- I so desperately look forward to celebrating that time with you.