Life Along the Continuum

blogphoto2Realtors are given intimate access to lots of life lessons by virtue of their work. We are blessed with opportunities for insight into the good, the bad and the ironic of human nature – simply by doing what we do.

Everyday we are invited into people’s homes and lives.  Asked to play a role in the life transitions our clients choose to navigate. Or in the transitions that unexpectedly arise to choose them.

As long as we keep our eyes and hearts open, we get to work with all the biggies.

Marriage.  Growing families. Birth of twins.  Job promotions. Career goals. Coming of age.  Empty nests.  Divorces.  Second marriages. Health challenges.  Assisted living.  Death of parents.  Loss of friends..

For better or for worse. Richer or poorer. In sickness and in health.  And everything in between.  These are all the reasons people move.  And why homes are bought and sold. Life transitions are what home-lives are really about.

YThe essence of home isn’t rooted in the notion that people should stay put forever and resist change as long as they can.  It lies in people trying to find the most appropriate means and comfortable ways to shift their center in relation to life’s inevitability.   Not to change really isn’t an option.

When people spend hours surfing the web or driving around neighborhoods looking for three bedrooms rather than two, bigger backyards, proximity to schools, more privacy, less grass to mow, deeper connections to nature, shorter commute times, fewer stairs …   they are really just participating in the evolution of life and the grander scheme of things.

Realtors have front row seats to the entire drama. Theirs is a perfect vantage point along the continuum.  They get to watch it all unfold while the clock continues to wind down.

And that’s something incredibly rare these days.  The gift of the big picture.

More and more, the world seems intent on compartmentalizing life.  Diminishing the whole. Breaking things up into smaller bits.  Deconstructing them into disparate fragments and fodder for the digital age.

Our right-brains selves that connect us to the larger, analogous flow of life, are losing ground to our left-brain selves – whose aim, it appears, is to Balkanize everyone and everything into separate realms of existence.

It’s sad to hear people talk about seniors like they are from a different planet. (Is that the octogenarian seniors who are really our parents? Or is it those of us who just earned the dubious honor of purchasing cheaper tickets at the movies? )

It’s also sad to hear people talk about millennials like they are from some different time in history.

Like all of us are somehow different populations of “other” people simultaneously occupying alternate universes instead of co-existing together in the here and now.

Trans-generational living was once the norm.  Families transitioned through all of life’s changes and stages together as a whole. Children were born into households that had parents and grandparents and often great-grandparents living under one roof.

Aunts and uncles lived next door or nearby. Cousins were playmates.  Children learned from all the adults in their tribe. They saw all of life’s stages unfold up close and personal.  They witnessed death and integrated the memory of it.

People didn’t stray so far from home.  Society/Culture wasn’t as fluid or transient as it is now. An appreciation for the continuity to life was communicated it’s  most visceral human level.

Somewhere along the way, that quality of life left the building.  It deserted our homes and our towns. Migrated to the suburbs. Met a dystopian future.

But that’s not the end of the story.  My own optimism about the future has been buoyed in recent years by the choices I am watching my clients make more consistently in the face of change.   Next week we’ll talk more about that.

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