Saturday, April 28, 2012

Where is the Pause Button?

I am a licensed realtor salesperson and have been for about 9 years.

Don’t worry. I’m not going to try to sell you a home in this blog.

When I studied for the Real Estate Exam, the class and the material were difficult for me. In the end, I excelled, but it took me longer than I thought to understand all of the terms, perform pretty simple mathematical story problems, and pull it all together.

My brother is my sponsoring broker. He is excellent at his job and has weathered the tough market due to his excellent reputation and customer service.


We had some friends over for dinner tonight and their two children. Something my friend said a couple of times about seeing two people she knows always “rushing around” has prompted me to write.

I am guilty of this. I’m constantly thinking about what I need to do next, almost to (or just above) the level of compulsivity. This makes me extremely productive, but sometimes I wonder if that fury is fueled by negative energy.  When I’m not being productive, I often get stuck in feelings of anger, disappointment, exasperation and guilt.  It’s only when I return to my normative frenzied state, that I can take a break from those toxic feelings.

Some might say I should address the cause of the toxic feelings and correct them. I don’t think the feelings will ever go away, because to some extent they are based in reality, or at least my perception of reality. What I do have control over is how I respond to those feelings.

The frenzy is the easiest way to escape emotions, but it’s not the healthiest, and it takes a toll.

The best weapon is to pause.
Really Pause.

Pause to have nice friends over for dinner, but not being compelled to cook a four course dinner for them. (I made soup, chicken and veggies, they brought the starch and dessert).

Pause to make a cake this week. I never bake.

Pause to catch up on the phone with a few friends.

Pause to write an old friend a verbose email.

Pause to write a blog post.

Pause to call my brother to give up my real estate license. I had until April 30 to become a broker, as Illinois is removing the salesperson designation. The transition called for many hours of continuing education (which I had decided to do online).  I finished 75 percent of it, (the class was actually quite interesting) but to complete the final 25 percent was going to take gargantuan will on my part, and in the end I just didn’t have the time.

I felt bad for a while (I’ve had a year to complete it) that I wasn’t prioritizing it. But between work, exercise, a Hebrew class, and getting married in Israel and having a reception in Indiana, and writing thank you notes, it just wasn’t going to happen.

You may ask why I had a real estate license in the first place. Part of it in the beginning was to help my brother out, make a little money, and also due to the encouragement of my dad,also a realtor, that it could be my back up plan.  My dad really wanted me to complete the course.

 My brother was really nice about it when I called him. It was a little bittersweet.


So without thinking about it too much, I hope to include many more pauses in my life that will help me not to be as focused on yesterday and tomorrow. I don’t have a plan (because I plan too much as it is), but it has to be my priority.

Because I believe living a life consumed by what’s next and resonating hurt is no way to live at all.

On Thursday, Rabbi Wolpe who I follow on Facebook posted this on his page which has really resonating with me:

"To pray is to pay attention to something or someone other than oneself. Whenever a man so concentrates his attention -- on a landscape, a poem, a geometrical problem, an idol, or the True God -- that he completely forgets his own ego and desires, he is praying. Choice of attention -- to pay attention to this and ignore that -- is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer."
W.H. Auden

I hope this weekend and week that you will have the inspiration to pause, and I hope that I do too.

1 comment:

GLensch said...

On NPR this past year, I heard a story about how people who are depressed by reality are depressed because their brain has moved beyond allowing them to delude themselves into happiness. Conclusion of the show: Reality is depressing.