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Communing with Nature Wherever, Whenever

One of the things I love about being a real estate agent (leasing agent specifically) is the freedom I have. I can set my own hours, I can go on vacation whenever I want, and I can tell people "no" without fear of repercussions. I find I work way past my normal availability and during the summer like it is now, I easily put in 75 hours a week - oftentimes 90. I actually force myself to stay out of my home office on Sundays, which is my self-designated day off, because otherwise I'd work every day of the week. I also take a "day off" in the middle of the week as well, but that's only a day I choose to not do showings. Instead, I schedule for other days and get caught up on paperwork. And lately, those showings have piled up so much I've been all but have been living out of my car.


(Yes, that's my lunch in the tin foil back there. My giant Samsonite briefcase has just about everything I could possibly ever need, and things you probably wouldn't think about. Like air freshener. The "American Nose" dictates an occupied residence should smell like either nothing or subtly pleasant.)

It's even gotten to the point my husband, Ron, bought me this just so I wasn't killing my back as much to write things down:


(I stick pens in the tablet slot, since I work from my "phablet", and having a wrist rest while having an easier way to write is a huge plus. Oh, and yeah, this $20 gift also doubles as an easier way to eat in the car. Would that count as a crumb and condiment banishment ritual?)

Thanks to the Xfinity app that turns my cell phone into my work (Xfinity VoIp) phone (I keep separate numbers!), I get to retrieve voicemails, emails and texts between showings and get them scheduled right there. I find I get more showings done when I'm in the car rather than at my home office, simply because I'm already dressed and out, and that really helps to banish procrastination. Some agents prefer working in coffee shops when they're out of the office, but not me. I would get too comfortable. Being in the car is just comfortable enough to work (the seats I admit are plush!) but not so much that I would rather sit than walk around.

People ask me all of the time how I can handle "living like that", and how on Earth I can possibly connect to Nature, much less practice my faith, being stuck in a car all day - in the city no less! Actually, I do just fine. The other day, I observed five dragonflies dance with their beautiful swoops and swirls in the air while waiting for a prospect. From sitting or standing around, just waiting, I notice the minute changes in the seasons, like the first robin's song of Spring or the first autumn leaves to fall on my windshield. Sometimes, I even get to park right at the lakefront and have views like this while eating my lunch.


When you see things the way I see them, it's a pretty sweet gig, and I remind myself of that every time I have a bad work experience. Many people I know, they hate their jobs. They're just there to collect a check and pray the day goes by quickly and without incident. Me, I don't know if I could ever go back to working inside an office all day. Sure, a reliable paycheck, solid (and fewer!) hours plus paid time off, on top of any benefits, are all things I used to appreciate as well. But at least doing what I'm doing, even if it seems I'm not home all that often anymore, makes me happy.

And yeah, with the amount of hours I've been in my car this summer, I keep joking I should move right on in like Matt Foley.


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Lori Dake is a life-long native several generations back, a mom to an adult son and has been together with her husband over twenty years. She is a real estate broker primarily serving the North Side and has also worked as a paralegal for several years. Sometimes, she’s a hardcore fashionista, and sometimes a concert shirt and jeans are more her style. Hobbies include painting while listening to 80’s metal, writing, participating in various forms of philanthropy and creating fabulous meals on a budget.


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