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How I Used Work As My Anchor Through Life’s Curveballs

Dolly Hertz Feature Image Jan 2020 Blog

Lifestyle Kuel Life Contributor: Dolly Hertz

I feel like I’ve been empty-nested many times. When my daughter went to camp, then to college. When I got divorced. And finally, when I recently ended a long-term relationship.

I always kept the house. And the dogs. But my life changed. And I was forced to change, too.

I really don’t like change. Who does? Scary. So difficult to depart the comfort of the status quo. Fear of the unknown. Of loneliness. Of what happens to the marriage when the kids have fledged.

For me, the one constant was work. I suddenly had the time to redouble my efforts and take my business to the next level. Work saved me, actually. My divorce was final the moment my daughter left for college, so I had to earn a lot more money, and fast. I was focused on staying afloat. And remaining steady for her.

If you’re well-set financially, the world is your oyster of course. A pied-a -terre in the city. Or the country. Or in a different country.

Life’s Curveballs:

But are you bored? Or do you suddenly need to work or desire to work?

If you’ve been out of the work force for some time, re-entering is a massive challenge. Discovering what interests you can be equally elusive. Fortunately, you don’t have to solve this alone – there are many able career coaches to help you get your footing.

In my case, I was forced to close my direct marketing business in 2011 – my clients were all in the rapidly shrinking magazine business and quite frankly, direct mail was suddenly over.

Always impetuous and probably unreasonably confident, I simply decided to become a real estate agent in New York City, a place I hadn’t lived for 20 years and where I had no contacts whatsoever. I knew nothing about the business and, though a brokerage gave me a desk, I was entirely on my own to learn by trial and error.

Taking Action:

I started walking around the city with a yellow legal pad, writing down addresses of buildings I liked. I wrote letters to residents, and soon my phone started to ring. And, I made a ton of mistakes while learning how to handle multi-million-dollar deals.

Today I am again at a crossroad. Fully committed to my career in the city while still living in the burbs, perhaps it’s time for me to make the obvious move.

Not so fast, though. We have a new little addition to the nest and I’m wondering if my daughter and family will be headed to the burbs, perhaps even my burb, in the near future.

So for now, I’ll keep my comfortable old nest a little longer till I see where I’m needed.

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About the Author:

Dolly Hertz is a real estate broker in NYC, an empty-nester, a mom and a grandma. She is a single woman of a certain age, trying to live her best life humbly and authentically. Her greatest pleasure is to be of service wherever possible. You can follow Dolly on Instagram; connect with her on LinkedIn and check-out her real estate website Engel & Volkers.