I received a rather irate phone call last month from a woman who refused to give her name but just wanted to tell me that she was sick and tired of reading about our family vacations. So, of course, my first instinct was to devote this entire column to sharing in great detail how much fun we had on two vacations this past July. We were lucky enough to return to our favorite UCLA family camp (Bruinwoods) after skipping it in 2020. Then, a week later, my wife and our Dodger obsessed son took a quick trip to Denver to catch the Homerun Derby. They flew from Denver to Palm Springs where our son Spencer and I met them along with a robust group of pals to celebrate our very good friends’ anniversary in the desert. Sharing these joyous tidbits from our lives is not meant to irritate anyone but instead to share the freedom and pleasure that comes from being vaccinated and getting to return to some of what we missed during that long year of lockdown. This summer our motto is: if we can, we do. Because we know life is short and we have to make up for a lot of lost time when we were stuck indoors.

But the other side to the coin when it comes to writing this newsletter is: I live and breathe Westside real estate for the majority of my waking hours. I am constantly juggling calls from clients or potential buyers/sellers, dissecting their needs and solving their problems. I am committing to memory the statistics and comparables of properties currently on the market or those that have recently sold. If you could get inside my brain for a bit (which I steadfastly do not recommend), you would see a flurry of numbers and data and square footage counts and lists of names and their home’s bedroom/bathroom counts swirling around like a kaleidoscope in vivid, maddening detail. The good news is this uncanny ability to fill my head with the intricacies of the business has just awarded me a nice distinction- I was ranked 6th out of over 94,000 Coldwell Banker sales associates in North America for 2020. So that felt really good! But in an effort to achieve some semblance of a work/life balance, I take a mental break from the business by writing about anything and everything but real estate in the pages of this newsletter. Now, if you see me walking the dogs or at the park with the kids and have questions about the market conditions in our neighborhood, BY ALL MEANS, ask away! I’m happy to share the information I have especially with people who care about it as much as I do. I just think that if I wrote about it every month, after 102 issues, we all would probably be bored to tears.

So it’s fun for me to focus on alternative subjects. One particularly nice event we enjoyed this month was a party we hosted to celebrate my father-in-law’s latest book: Westside Stories Too. If you are regular readers of this newsletter, you’ve seen the columns he has contributed every month that touch on the history of different landmarks around town. He has compiled those columns (plus more) into two books and is currently working on a third. It was so nice to have so many of you join the celebration at our home and it was particularly gratifying to overhear all of the well wishers congratulating Michael on a job well done. What really struck me was recognizing just how small a world it really is. So many people realized they were connected in interesting ways, figuring out which people they share in common. Whether it was from knowing relatives or from attending Hamilton High at the same time or just from being part of the shared community, it was great to have a gathering where the guests felt like they knew each other even if they only met for the first time that night.

The party was also a nice reminder to never give up on a dream and to see that it’s never too late to achieve your goals. My father-in-law has always been a brilliant guy and fantastic writer but put his efforts into his 60+ year law career instead of publishing books. He’s not yet retired from the law but decided there’s no time like the present to be an author, too. I couldn’t be more in awe of him and was so proud to be able to celebrate this particular dream coming true.

I hope you too can carve out some time in your day to work on what makes you happy- whether it’s writing or surfing or learning an instrument or traveling with your loved ones. Life is short and we’ve already lost over a year of it to Covid. Maybe one day I’ll follow in my father-in-law’s illustrious footsteps and write a book too. But for now, my goals are far less lofty. All I really want is to stay Delta variant free and simply make every day count. Hope you have a happy August and I’ll see you around the neighborhood!