While this post has everything to do with, and is focused on the details of the real estate market, the economy, investing, buying and selling property, my little neighborhood in Curtis Park, Sacramento, sometimes I can get a little philosophical. What is the meaning of life? What is the purpose of my life? How do the situations and the context which I find myself shape life? Are there forces at work bigger than the indexes? Is this depressed economy doing something in our culture and country that may actually be positive?
I mused the other day over the thought that storms and hard times in my life have been the things that has been pivotal or a “rescue” of sorts for my life. Let me give you an example.
When I hit the ripe age of 31, I started having chronic back pain. This was the same time as we had our first child. I have painful memories of not being able to carry my newborn son very far in the Baby Bjorn (front carrier), due to back pain. My wife just thought I was trying to get out of carrying the baby 🙂 I tried a lot of quick fixes like a hot pad, muscle relaxing creams, simple stretching, and more. I continued to not be very active and I lost sleep due to the discomfort. As a result, I made a determination that I had to seek physical therapy and strengthen my core muscles, or I may go through the rest of my life with a dull, (kind of) bearable back pain. I could not deal with the idea that I would not be able to carry, let alone wrestle with my sons as they got older. As a result, I buckled down, swallowed my pride and got help. I now stretch daily, am aware of my posture, wear orthotics, work out 4-5 days a week (focusing on core muscles) and am in the best shape of my life. Oh yeah, there are nightly wrestling matches with my boys, now 4 and 6 years old. I can sleep soundly and walk/run long distances without pain. This pain-in-the-back changed my life for the better.
Whether it be a health situation, a tragedy of some sort, or a financial crisis, the “storms” in life will reveal in us who we really are and what lies at the core of our being. I wonder, is this housing storm revealing what our nation is really about? While it’s tragic for many (including myself), is there something underneath it all that is good? Is there a corrective measure that we need as a country that will be of great benefit in the long-run?
I read an article lately about “The return to frugality” – how saving money is back in vogue. Trends show that people are staying home and finding inexpensive ways to be entertained. Maybe couples are conversing more and experiencing greater intimacy? Maybe families are doing things like going on bike rides together, or spending a day at the park with a picnic lunch? Maybe people are reading more? Maybe consumption is down (I know that is not helping our economy in the traditional ways)? Maybe people are shopping more locally? Maybe people are saving resources by not driving as much, or using as much power? I’ve heard that micro farming is becoming a big thing for some families, or at least there is rise in growing your own produce. Maybe neighbors are talking more and sharing ideas and bonding over a shared plight? Maybe people are looking after their physical health more? I notice the gym is packed on Fridays with “furlough Fridays” in effect for state workers,.
I got to thinking a little deeper…. Usually I try to escape storms and run away from them – this is the rational thing to do, right? However, if I am constantly trying to escape the thing that could radically change my life for the better, maybe I should attempt to look at storms a bit differently? Do I just continue to put “Icy Hot” on my dull back pain, or am I going to embrace the trauma and enter into a larger, positive, more life-impacting shift?
Your deep thoughts?
Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker
Keith, this was a seriously thoughtful and provocative post. I get your posts via email and gave it a quick read as I sit here to find a hiking spot for my family today. Thanks for sharing. This is something to ponder more.
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Very good points. What is it they say about adversity revealing character (or something like that). I think we all go through the many stages of reacting to the adversity but which stages we pass through, or get hung up in, can dictate our quality of life. After we moan and complain we then have to identify solutions to these problems or we will always be miserable. Hopefully the Nation is now in the “roll up your sleaves and get back to work mode”. I know this country is great and its just a matter of time before we get back on our feet.