Time flying by. Or standing still? My assumption is that many of you can relate to that feeling over the past year and a half.
Here I am, right on point for another how has it been so long since I’ve posted here?! post.
Last word here was I had gotten hitched and was in the process of passing the big test to get my real estate license. That post was last YEAR. (What the?) That is seriously ridiculous.
Time warp or something?
I’ve always been a pretty hard worker, but during the past lockdown/Covid/stay-at-home/what end is up? year and a half, I have gone full-monty work addicted and just recently realized (after losing my…ahem…a couple times), I needed rehab from YES! SURE! NO PROBLEM!
So I am playing catch up now, and breathing a little bit.
We humans have done and felt all kinds of crazy things over the past 500 or so days, losing our minds, ourselves, and all “normalcy.” I happened to replace all my social activities, community events, tropical travel, and other big adventures that typically keep me sane…with work. The good thing is, I passed my real estate test on the first try, dancing out of the testing center at midnight, and I’ve helped a LOT of people (clients) since, make big life changes or get into their dream homes! The bad thing is I never read all those books I was going to while things were shut down. The good thing is Jason and I walked about a zillion miles at to entertain ourselves most days, and I got pretty good at selfies, because, well…we were just with ourselves. The bad thing is my gym that I used to spend 4 to 5 days at a week at the most fun booty shaking classes shut down for months on end and now is open but pretty much all my favorite classes are never coming back. The good thing is, business is slammed busy, the bad thing is, it’s really hard to say no when you work for yourself.
The best thing on any day is that we are alive and healthy.
Even if I never fully learn not to burn the candle at all ends, I always learn a little bit more about myself. I still absolutely love my work, living on this Blue Lollipop Road, and being able to have the freedom to write my own story.
Here’s a little montage from the past blur of a zillion days: Showing houses masked up, taking walks, celebrating house closing day with bubbly, taking our first flight in months this spring, and bike riding to preview homes for clients…
I’m so glad to be here again. As always, this is my most favorite place in the whole wide world.
I hope you have realized and recognized some things about yourself and life during this twilight zone-esque 2020 and 2021. I realized I’ve totally sucked as self-care, so I’m letting myself sleep a little more now. My biggest takeaway lesson is once again…we never have any idea what is going to happen in this life, so we may as well live while we are living.
Here’s to self reflection and catching yourself before you go too far down a rabbit hole in the wrong direction.
Does a few days mean 2+ months to you? I didn’t think so, me either. But life always steps in, and here we are again so long between posts, even though I promised you some very big news “in a few days,” – back on August 25th.
(Let’s be real…it’s probably always going to be like this. We all wish there were more hours in a day:)
So, onto the VERY BIG NEWS!
For about the past 20 years, I’ve been told I would be an amazing one, that I would “love it” and that it would be a perfect fit for me. I always said, nah, I don’t think I want that. I really rejected the idea of this thing for a very long time for no good reason.
Then? Over the past several years and many many experiences, added to the place I’ve grown to now, a huge shift has happened, so I can’t believe I am sharing this with you all, but…
I’M GETTING MY REAL ESTATE LICENSE!!!
You didn’t think I was going to tell you I was pregnant, did you?
(HA! I had to mess with you there leading into this news because so many throughout my life have told me they wished I had babies.)
Yes, it’s OFFICIAL! I have finished my real estate classes and I’m just 1 test away from being able to help you rent, buy, or sell a home! (And yes, anywhere in the country, but I’ll get more into that in a later post.) By the time you’re stuffing your face with Thanksgiving turkey, this Blue Lollipop Road will be a licensed agent.
Can I get a WHOOP WHOOP?!
Insert nerd alert photo shoot here with me and my slim 886 page book. Crazy face included:
Do you notice anything in these photos you haven’t seen on me before?
Take a minute to do a little Where’s Waldo-ing.
In the meantime, I will say that I’m THRILLED to jump in and now be able to handle the last piece of what I haven’t been professionally/legally able to handle for clients during the big life transition processes I have been managing all these years…
the HOUSE piece! (Condo, apartment, etc. included.)
I’ve been a part of real estate transactions each week for years and years at this point through proximity/planning/osmosis during client projects, and I’ve seen the really good, the really bad, and the very, very ugly. It’s been frustrating at points to not have my license to be able to directly help friends, family, and clients through and with renting, buying, or selling. The good thing is, it’s at least been a little easier for me to be involved on this next level real estate thing over the past couple years, since my husband is a broker.
Did she just say…HUSBAND?!
(I asked you if you saw anything different on me in the above photos. There’s a ring on my finger:)
I GOT MARRIED!!!
Well hot diggity, there’s big exciting news coming from every direction now!
(If you look closely, there are 2 blue lollipops in my bouquet.)
We were married exactly a YEAR ago, (see date in the sand?) in a tiny town in South Carolina with only 1 other person in the room (the one who was marrying us), on a Friday morning with a slight chill in the air, then drove straight to Hilton Head Island where we had been engaged a few months earlier. The goal was to have toes in the sand with bubbly in hand by sunset, and it turned out perfect. Beach, bubbles and sunset were the only things we planned, and strong mojo took care of the rest, including temperatures warming throughout the day, and the one random stranger walking on the beach who took these amazing photos with our old iPhone. All we said was “Hi! We just got married! Would you mind taking a few photos? Just quick shots…whatever you think. Thanks!”
How fabulous that a few snaps on a cell phone could’ve captured such a special day so beautifully.
One other little addition to the wedding day story to illustrate how mojo works? We had written vows and said them to each other that morning when we actually got married, and wanted to read them to each other again alone when we made it to the beach and popped our bubbles. We made it to the resort and out to the beach, set up our blanket, bubbles in hand, and Jason read his vows to me again, then I read mine to him. At the EXACT moment I finished my words, and we said cheers! – a huge roar of clapping and woo-hoo-ing erupted behind us from the place we were staying. There was another couple getting married that day at the event venue, and we had seen them upon our arrival setting up. As we were making our way out to the beach, it looked like they were about to start. They must’ve hit their “And now you may kiss the bride!” moment, right as we finished our second reading of our vows, too, sitting on our blanket in the sand. It was such a cool moment.
I love, love.
We never made any kind of formal announcement about getting hitched, so there you have it, 1 year later, coupled (see what I did there?) with a huge professional update/real estate licensure news!
We thought we may have a big huge happy shindig celebration in July this past summer, but you know…COVID, so we shall see what the future holds as far as us all shin-digging together to officially toast our marriage. This might be a long series of micro-shindigs. We’re good with that. We love good old fashioned quality time with friends and family in small groups.
My husband’s name is Jason. We grew up in the same Vermont small town, but didn’t even know each other or meet until the summer of 2017. I lived and traveled around the country and globe all those years, and my person not only ends up being from my same town, but I met him there, too?
Tell me you don’t believe in the mojo (magic) that can happen.
Oh yeah…and that whole anniversary celebrating thing today as well of course.
To staying open, and curious, and always learning. To not being afraid to walk away from something to walk to the next. To getting creative, to loving your work, and to chasing dreams. To following your heart and finding your best friend. To respecting the clock, to letting love rule, and to always keep looking up.
My mother says I talk too fast. A little over 10 years ago, I remember hearing back from mom after leaving a message for her. (The good ol’ home phone, still kicking since 1978):
Honey, I’ve been your mother for 30 years and I still cannot understand you on the answering machine!
Mom isn’t the only one who says I talk fast. If the words, thoughts, ideas, and excitements that run through my brain in a 24 hour period were Olympic track athletes, they’d win gold for being the fastest, every single day. “You must be from The North” is a regular (correct) assumption, and “You should take some valium/smoke some weed/lay off the coffee” are regular suggestions as well.
If they only knew I worked for Red Bull during my 20’s and never even needed or drank the stuff to be a part of the Mobile Energy Team! (I did actually have a few vodka Red Bull cocktails that time our boss showed up in a limo fully stocked for a night out. Free drinks, friends, and a fancy car with a hired sober driver. I had my moment feeling like a Hollywood kid on prom night.)
I think I’ve been asked if I was on a speedball about 55,000 times.
I have the opposite of writers block. Too many words and too much energy I’ve been told. When I sit down to write here, there are so many things I want to say, and so many opinions, life hacks, thoughts, and ramblings I want to share, that I start, and my writing goes in 100 directions because I’ve waited too long. (Translation; not allowed myself the time/not taken the time, fallen into workaholic mode again, not shut my cell phone off enough, taken care of everyone else first, etc.) So my posts (book) end up in my drafts folder.
That friggin drafts folder!
It’s your own fault, sister.
As I call myself out publicly here again, for not gifting myself nearly enough time to do what I love the most until I start bursting at the seams, I hope you’ll take a little quiet time to think about what’s eating you up inside, and figure out a way to start feasting.
My favorite silent moments to recalibrate are during sunset each night:
(Yes, those are flowers in a vintage Cowboys juice glass. You’ll have to ask me about that time I married a huge Dallas fan.)
A classmate from elementary school just posted these photos on Facebook about one of the books we made in Mr. Collin’s 3rd grade class. This one was Native American Stories Author Bios:
All of these write ups we did about ourselves are cracking me up! I think we were the ones who came up with these paragraphs? Maybe a bit of guidance from the teacher:
Kelly, above me had favorite “maple sugar trees” – so this shows how all kids from Vermont are hooked on the good stuff from birth. (Schoolhouse Maple is my favorite syrup hands down by the way, made by hometown friends in case you need a supply.) I can’t say I remember writing a single thing before age 8, so what was this supposed sense of humor my “readers” found fascinating? I did get straight off the plane and beeline to Taco Tuesday in Barrio Logan this week for the start of adventure #2,859,443:
…so as I sit here sipping coffee on the west coast today, I have to think our small fry selves must have the instinct to know exactly what we wanted to become…far before we are even close to getting there.
As life keeps flying by and I ebb and flow in and out of writing here, this Blue Lollipop Road remains my absolute favorite place, no matter where I go.
Thanks for the post, Lenny. And to you little Diane…thanks for the reminder.
Here’s to continuing to give yourself permission to do and be everything you wanted to, before you were even tall enough to get on that ride.
It’s Saturday afternoon. We’ve just finished up another project helping a client take back control of their life, and I’m finally having a few quiet minutes at my desk. Shocker I’m thrilled to have some time to read articles about lifestyle and minimalism that have popped in my inbox recently. I’m adopting the following as the quote of my month of February. It makes me cheer and imagine high-fiving all the soon-to-be clients I will repeat it to:
“Never underestimate the importance of abandoning crap you don’t need. It has the power to change your life dramatically.”
We helped this client abandon a LOT of crap. No, her lifelong items bought with hard-earned money were not garbage, but they were things she no longer needed/wanted/used, and they were holding her back from moving on to the next adventure in life she wants to be on. So? We said peace out, crap! as we waved goodbye and thank you to the donation truck and driver from AMVETS.
(Did I mention how much we love our clients and they become like family?)
Circling back to today…
I just texted one of the realtors I work with and told him the first thought that popped in my head the instant my eyes opened this morning was I wonder if the donation truck has picked up the items from the house yet. The house I’m referring to is the one we prepped for market ready this week. Photos are being taken on Monday, and the house is officially up for sale next weekend. Most people on a Saturday morning would be waking up thinking of coffee, a honey-do list, kids sports games to get to, or who’s turn it is to cook the bacon. My 24/7 thoughts are constantly trying to come up with more ideas on how I can help those around me abandon more crap, so they can seamlessly get to where they’re trying to be.
Can you imagine trying to wake up and get dressed and out the door to your job, or get your kids off to school after walking into your closet looking like this?
If you can’t find your socks, how can you find your sanity in this busy life?
The above photos are from the Blue Lollipop Road collection of before and after. In this case, the “after” aren’t even fully complete, but you get the idea. The before are the reason I wake up thinking about abandoning crap and donation trucks. They also make my head hurt thinking of how stressed I’d be if that was the closet I attempted to dress myself in on a daily basis. No wonder why everyone in America is beeping and angry by the time they reach the Starbucks drive through at 7:30AM Monday – Friday.
IF YOU HAVE LESS CRAP. YOU HAVE LESS CRAP TO MAINTAIN.
Luxury Home builder, Toll Brothers has asked me to come for a 3rd time to host a downsizing seminar for their prospective and recent home buyers. Tomorrow (Saturday February 8, 2019) I will be at their Regency at Palisades location, just outside of Charlotte, NC. I was at this property last year and LOVED it. During my first visit, I asked the ladies in the office, Is this where our parents move to have more fun than we do?! Pool, golf, club house with chef’s kitchen, tennis and bocce courts, massage therapist, fitness center, and more…and all on site? Yes, please. This community is designed for an active lifestyle. (Didn’t you know 60 is the new 30?)
So what happens tomorrow? I will casually sit and have a conversation in the gorgeous open living room/kitchen/dining area one of the model homes. I’ll advise on how to declutter a lifetime of “stuff,” and plan for a path to more freedom and fun. The Palisades homes are not tiny homes, they’re between 1,700 – 2,400 square feet. Downsizing doesn’t mean living in zero space, it means living simple so you can DO more. It means clearing the chaos from your life, so you have MORE time, space, and money. It means stepping out of the Drone Zone, and getting unstuck.
For anyone who thinks working for yourself would be awesome, you’re right. If you think after you start, you’ll also:
Have easy as pie days
Always wear pretty things
Sleep 8+ hours a night
Actually be done when you walk out the door
I’m on a 10 day straight run of work like mad, time crunch, let’s get this house on the market now, I’ll sleep later, run. Just 2 more days before break time.
Have it any other way? No, thanks. As my friend Aaron says, I’d rather work 80 for myself any week, before I work 40 for someone else.
AMEN! (And also, we spent the holidays in the Caribbean, so being the boss means you get to choose when to burn the candle at both ends at work, then relax while you light one on the table next to you at the beach as you sip on a corona:)
We finished up a 5,000 square foot purge, organize, and stage to sell in Charlotte, NC last week, then Team BLR directly road tripped up to VA for a much smaller 1,700 square foot home project, filled with lots more than the bigger one had. (Yes! We LOVE to travel to clients. From Texas to Tokyo…we can do it! Call us. We will come to YOU anywhere.) Let the open all drawers and closets, and SEE everything, begin! You’ve got to make a mess, before you make it better. (That’s with everything in life, right?)
(In case you missed above, yes, this is the glamorous uniform I sport in my “office” each day.)
Whoa. Lots of stuff! Intimidated? Never. We aren’t done with this current project yet, but here’s a good idea of a before and after:
This is only just taking off/out/away the piles, and coverings, and repurposing furniture around the house. We snapped this quick photo before we ran out the door tonight, and might change things around another 10 times, but oh the freedom of light, space, and what’s already there to stage if you don’t have the money/time/need to stage with furniture brought in!
The best feeling is that we know this client we are working with on this downsize, will soon move closer to her grown kids, grand kids, have less to maintain/less work to keep up with around her next smaller space, and she’ll be able to relax and have more time to do what she loves.
Ok, better hop in the shower and put on something other than my BLR sweatshirt and old jeans so I can get out for date night dinner, all fresh and clean, with my partner in crime. I’m not sure he’s seen me in anything but that uniform in quite some time…