Patience and Serenity In Real Estate: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Irene

by Rich Vetstein on September 5, 2011

in Massachusetts Real Estate Law

I will get by. I will survive. —Touch of Grey, Jerry Garcia: Grateful Dead

Submerged home, Waterbury, VT

Lately, I’ve been doing a fair share of reflecting on what’s important in life and in work. I think Hurricane Irene had a lot to do with that. My family was without power for four days. I thought it was the end of the world. Literally. I bitched. I moaned. I complained to anyone who listened and even those who didn’t. I even wrote on the Facebook wall of our local state rep, complaining that he stop campaigning for U.S. Senate for a day and start lambasting NStar. Then I told my Facebook friends to start doing the same.

Closings were being pushed back due to re-inspections after the storm. Borrowers, agents and loan officers were all bent out of shape. We scrambled to get deals closed and everyone was super-stressed out, myself at the top of list.

Outwardly, I was trying to exude patience and calmness. But inside I was, well, pissed off! At the end of the power outage, I just stared into my work computer screen muttering “serenity now…serenity now” like Kramer on Seinfeld.

Then images of the massive destruction in Vermont started coming through. I saw some pictures of my friend Realtor Heidi Zizza’s flooded and destroyed Vermont office. I reflected. I quickly realized that I overreacted. Big time. Sure Irene was an inconvenience. But for me, that’s all it was. An inconvenience. I lost power for a few days. Big whoop. No wi-fi. No laptop. No TV. No Ipad. Oh, the horror!

For others not so fortunate, it was a disaster in every sense of the word, and their lives will never be the same.

I became so wrapped up in my own little world that I lost my sense of reality, my rudder. A lot of us have the tendency to do this, and we don’t take the time to reflect on what’s really important.

So now, I’m endeavoring to do more reflecting and far less self-absorption in all life affairs. To really practice patience. Not just on the outside, but in the inside too. To obtain that Zen like serenity which so few people (it seems) enjoy. It will make weeks like Hurricane Irene all the more bearable.


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