When I was a kid, my dad received a book called “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – And it’s All Small Stuff” and the title caught my eye. I don’t have any memory of my dad reading it, I had never picked it up, but it sat in our house for all my years living there. I remember pondering over that title. I had heard the phrase “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” many times but had no understanding of why you would? At that point in my life, I only started sweating when biking as fast as I could to cross the busy highway to get to the park to watch little league games. As life continued and successes and failures shaped me, I started to grasp an understanding of “Sweating the Small Stuff” – events that blind-sided me into the fight-or-flight decisions.
Today I sit, being woken up from a phone call at 6:30 am on a Sunday morning from a situation that causes gushes of perspiration- what feels like big things to sweat over. It could be assumed my work as a REALTOR® expired once the keys were exchanged and my commission check was cut. But it doesn’t. I am the first one they go to when their home they have just moved into shows off its quirks and perhaps “used” condition. As the waves have settled into a calm from the storm of the morning, the realization that the size of the problem is completely relative to one’s own experiences and current situation. A stressful move, lack of sleep, hefty down payment that hits the bank account, and all that frustration of not being able to find where you packed your toothbrush can break someone when something goes awry their first few days in their new home. Moving – and even more so home ownership – is for the resilient.
Our country values the hard work of putting energy and resources into something to call one’s own. Taking responsibility and taking control of the problem is one of the first lessons in home ownership- especially when a parent or mentor is unable to help. Knowing who to call, when to call, what to expect, and not to literally freak out is a lesson from the school of hard knocks. My husband and I have walked a few miles in those shoes- waking up to a broken furnace with a new baby at home and a forecast of below zero temperatures, appliances that went rogue, and living in sheet-rock dust and construction with toddlers. But let me tell you, those miles were just the warm up on the marathon of being a REALTOR® and providing post-closing services to clients. With each client and house, I am putting more tools in my toolbox to serve others in the future- just from today I can tell which electrician & well specialist will answer the phone on Sunday morning- and that is a valuable thing to know!
So to all you homeowners – add an extra layer of deodorant because home ownership- and even more so LIFE – is going to make you sweat. Don’t beat yourself up about sweating the stuff, give yourself a pat on the back that you just had a rocking workout, learned a few valuable lessons, and have earned yourself a cold beverage at the end of the day.