For over 15 years we’ve lived in the same house we bought new while we were waiting to deliver our youngest son to this world and our family. A brand new house, with a new baby, and our then older son, just a toddler – who was sinking farther and farther into Autism as the days went by.

We’ve done a lot of living in this house, and it shows. The floors are worn, the tiles cracked, the carpet threadbare – every room needs a facelift or overhaul. Daily living is exhausting enough with a busy family of four. Add in Autism along with the special diets, therapies, processes and procedures thats not covered by insurance…….not a lot left over for interior design.

Our neighborhood is one of “those’ neighborhoods – and while I rebel a bit by planting enough poppies along our fence line to invoke a little Afghanistan along the street, we love it here.

Stan is the original real estate agent who listed the homes in our ‘hood from the very beginning. Being an astute professional, he keeps in contact by letter or postcard a few times a year. These tips and news are usually market driven – and a pleasant reminder that he’s still alive and so if you have real estate needs, give him a call.

The last letter from Stan is different.

Stan baldly discusses the poor economic news, flat market and the need to remember conventional wisdom of home values rising – may be a matter of the absence of falling prices. This is not the usual Stan letter, no….not at all – but I was at attention. He delivered a personal punch in the gut, if you will. Yes, your crappy house is falling prey to the economy, but guess what – you aren’t special. Everyone is in the pool. What can we do? Not a lot really but tread water, together.

This is not your typical salesmanship by any means.

So, here’s Stan’s advice – direct from his letter…..that has me thinking, what can I give up?

“Now let me change gears and list 15 things to give up this summer, if you and I want to be happier.

1. Give up on your need to always get the last word
2. Give up playing the blame game
3. Give up your need to be in control
4. Give up your need to always be right
5. Give up complaining
6. Give up criticism
7. Give up your need to impress others
8. Give up your resistance to change
9. Give up your labels
10. Give up your fears
11. Give up your excuses
12. Give up your past
13. Give up living YOUR life to OTHERS expectations
14. Give up self defeating self-talk
15. Give up your limiting beliefs

“Easier said than done, but with so much gloom and doom around us, will you join me in making decisions to give up some, if not all on this list, and be happy? Not only will you see a big difference, but the ripple effects will bless those close to you.”

“Good luck with this,
Signed ~ Stan”

Timely advice, provided by an unlikely source. Myself, I will give up criticism, and accept my house for what it is, our home. A home full of love, compassion and understanding. Our families home.

Thank you, Stan. ~ Wendy Frye

“A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else.” ~ George Saville


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