fieldtripbusWith my Barbie lunch box filled with extra treats and my play clothes freshly pressed, I headed to school ready for a day of excitement. It wasn’t often St. Charles Grammar School allowed their student’s free dress. It was even rarer to go on a field trip.

“Now class,” Sister Margaret announced as we sat on the bus. “Remember, today is a day for learning. Not fooling around. I expect good behavior out of all of you.”

Despite the fact the outing would be more hours of strict rules and regulations, I was beyond thrilled. Field trips weren’t just about having an experience while obtaining new knowledge; they were a break in the routine. Years later, I discovered grownups needed them too.

Since 2004, I’ve been a realtor in Los Altos, eight of which were at Alain Pinel Realtors. Remembering the joy purchasing my first home brought, I’ve made it my mission to make realty a reality for all. And, like other distinguished agents in town, I’ve giggled with delight as I handed over the keys to my client’s new dream home.

Sadly, I’ve also white knuckled the challenging roller-coaster as yet another deal was lost due to the feeding frenzy multiple offers create. But, carrying on as a team, we continued until victory was ours.

A year ago, after I finished placing my last client in their home, I found myself feeling the need for a change. However, unlike our job-hopping youth of today, my conditioning taught that you stay at one place of employment for the rest of your life. Then, an opportunity landed in my lap.

The Forum, a senior retirement community in Cupertino, was looking for an agent to aid in the selling of the memberships. It was a real estate model where I’d focus on an age group I adore, our senior citizens. The position was for six months and came with something I hadn’t seen since I was twenty-six-years-old: a regular paycheck. Intrigued, I decided to take the job.

Arriving on the beautiful 54-acre campus, nestled in the Rancho San Antonio foothills, I quickly realized this wasn’t going to be a lazy stroll through the preserve. Their policies, procedures, and contracts were different than anything I’d ever dealt with before with a learning curve straight to the moon. But, excited for the challenge, I put my head down and dove in. Days flew into weeks and before I knew it, a year had passed.

Then, one night last May, I discovered I was feeling at odds over the job, and I wasn’t sure why. I adored my co-workers and found the residents to be exceptionally lovely. It wasn’t that I was unhappy, but something was missing. Then it hit me: I was homesick, so back to Alain Pinel I went. Sometimes you need a change to appreciate what works best in your life.

I’ll be forever grateful for my time spent at The Forum. I learned new skills, have a richer understanding of what our older citizens go through (their fears and excitement) when selling their lifelong home while looking for a retirement community, and created a new host of friends; gifts that have made my life richer, both personally and professionally.

In my youth, field trips weren’t about enhancing knowledge; they were a day off of school. Today, I’ve learned they’re fabulous for enriching the soul. Why tread water in a little pond going nowhere (no matter how old you become) when there’s an entire ocean just beyond the fence.

Now, where is that lunchbox of mine? While I’m home to stay at Alain Pinel, I can’t wait to explore what other opportunities are out there for me to uncover.