Give and Take

In the last few weeks, we have had the unfortunate luck of coming in contact with a number of “takers” in the world. You know, the ones that are always the victim, the ones who are always inconvenienced, the ones that think they are the only people being affected by the ups and downs of this thing we call life. Not sure what we did to attract this bad karma, but enough already.

We know the world is made up of all different kinds and we pride ourselves on being flexible enough to work with all types of people. We love the little old ladies as much as we love the analytical brains of the engineers in this world. What we don’t love are victims, in any shape or size.

Don’t misinterpret this because I am not just referring to clients. However, if you worked with us recently and find yourself wondering, “Are they talking about me?” you should pause for a second because if there is even a remote chance that we are referring to you, that is just not a good thing.

As wives of police officers, we hear some of saddest situations the world can hand down. Notifications to families their loved one was killed, memorial services for fallen officers who now have orphaned children, 911 calls from an 85-year-old Alzheimer patient who thinks her husband of 60 years is an intruder. I can only imagine there is a time or two that any of the surviving parties in the above incidents feel like victims, but they sure don’t act like it nor make it a lifestyle.

Lately, we found ourselves pondering what could’ve been so bad in each of these people’s lives that they would treat others with such rudeness and disregard; why they felt they were worthy of something at the expense of someone else. It went far beyond the art of negotiation and came right down to just doing the right thing and being kind about it. In the end, it occurred to us…what difference does it make what made them be this way? Is that behavior ever justifiable? Is your character dictated by the circumstances before you, or is your character something that remains consistent regardless of what life hands you?

We live in a great big world with a lot of moving parts. As we raise our young children and teach them the importance of kindness, tolerance, and the concept that life simply isn’t always fair, it’s impossible not to fear they are being equally exposed to the sense of entitlement and that the world owes them something.  Heck, Grady (age 4) tells me at least three times a week that he can’t pick up his toys because, “It’s hard work, Mama.” Oh, Glory. Let me tell YOU about hard work.   Alyse has told Dyan on numerous occasions, “We all win…we all get trophies.”  Please…you may all get a trophy in Little League, but that is not the case with life. There are always winners AND losers.

The silver lining in all of this is we choose joy. I am not gonna lie; it isn’t always easy not to carry this home when we leave the office and we most certainly have to make a very conscious effort to check it at the door. But still, we choose joy. We choose to remember all those who are less fortunate than us: those who are unemployed, fighting cancer, deploying on another tour in Afghanistan, struggling with depression, Bi-Polar disorder, and the list goes on.

In this business of ours, we are encouraged to bite our tongues as an act of professionalism and, for the most part, we do a darn good job at it. I am grateful that our business is such that we don’t have to be the punching bag for our clients, fellow Realtors, or any other disgruntled service provider for our industry. We are on your team. We have the same goals. We all need to work together. We are also stubborn as all get out, so the more obnoxious and demanding you become, the more obnoxious we become. Our version of obnoxious just may be over-the-top sticky sweet or it may be greeted with an equally sharp tongue, but there’s no double standard around here. It makes for a healthy relationship and that’s the way it should be. I have spent thousands of dollars on therapy learning to set boundaries. I also know the value of knowing someone has your back as much as you have theirs.

I will admit that I am the sharp tongue and Dyan is the sweet one, but in my defense I’m going to pull the mom card here. Something happens to your inner filter after birthing a baby. Admittedly, my filter has always been on the brink of non-existence, but something must occur internally when you grow a placenta because, I swear, ever since I delivered my boys I am on the verge of out of control. It’s not necessarily a bad thing and most appreciate it. Dyan, of course, is still getting used to it. After more than a decade of friendship, she knows she can count on me to tell her if her skirt is tucked into her underbritches or if she has a booger and, hell, I might even just pick it for her, but when it comes to clients she gets all red in the face. All I am saying is if my breath smelled liked I ate a poopsicle for lunch, I want to know. I tell you out of love… for the most part. Or maybe it’s out of selfishness, because, in reality, I don’t want to hold my breath the entire time we are together in our very quaint office. Treat others as you wish to be treated, right?

We are blessed beyond measure for a thriving business, for the flexibility in our schedules to enjoy our children and their milestones of the early years, and also for the quality of clients we have the privilege of working with. If dealing with grumpy butts is the worst it gets, I will take these “problems” over so many others in the world. Besides, a few sour grapes here and there just keep it real. It’s a great reminder to us of the importance of choosing joy and not letting the Ca-Ca Poo-Poo heads of the world determine your state of mind. Actually, now that we think about it, we are thankful for the Takers we have run into the last month. They have reminded us of what we do not want to be in our business or personal lives.  They have reminded us that there is more joy in giving than receiving and we would rather die a giver than a wealthy taker.

Take a moment to reflect on the greatness in your life, no matter how insignificant it may seem, and choose joy and be kind.   Why not?

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DeAnna Sickler & Dyan Lane

DeAnna Sickler and Dyan Lane, Brokers 320 E. Main St. Ashland OR 97520 541-414-4663

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