"There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there’s so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on."
- Zayn Malik
With NYC's recovery showing our city's typical resilience, which always happens sooner than most imagined after an existential crisis, we are poised for a great start to 2022! For the sixth time this year, over fifty contracts were signed last week at $4M+ in Manhattan. Geek stat: the highest dollar volume in contracts signed in one week this year in November, $613,744,899, shattered the previous all time record of $576M set in 2013. With a strong bonus season upon us, I predict another stellar quarter in Q1 2022 for both New York City and second home markets, especially my beloved Hudson Valley. If you're a value hunter, remember above all else: quality is value/ For those most driven to create value, find a property that needs your vision and work to shine. The best deals to be had in the pre-renovation market at all price points and markets.
Reflecting on the past year, it's been a roller coaster of simultaneous ups and downs. While COVID-19 won't stop dogging us just yet, even with Omicron in our midst, there is reason to be hopeful that the bulk of the crisis is behind us. Looking to history as a guide, the flu pandemic of 1918 lasted about two years, with three to four "waves" of sickness, until it had finally run its course. Like the flu, it's said that COVID-19 will inevitably become endemic to our world, but also like the flu, it's likely to become much less severe. This Omicron variant has already shown that, for the most part, it's symptoms are less deadly, and we have a much deeper bench in terms of tools to combat it.
What disturbs me even more than COVID is that the world has become way too polarized and the anger and vitriol among us has become too intense. Of course there's a lot to be angry and even sad about, including climate change and a host of injustices that plague our world, but we, as a society have come to devalue civility and basic human compassion. We need to become much better as a society at managing our emotions! I really want to be a part of changing that, and I hope that you do, too. If each of us upgrades our priority to understand, respect and even embrace our differences, we can make a REAL difference. If we start with talking, and more importantly, listening. to each other, and if we approach connecting with others with the simple goal of understanding more about another human being, even those on the opposite side of the philosophical spectrum, we learn about them. We also learn more about ourselves when we truly commune with others without no agenda other than mutual understanding. From that perspective, we can learn from and teach each other.
Giving back, and I know this may sound like a corny platitude, is another truly therapeutic growth tool. I've been working through Rotary this year to give back to our community, locally, nationally and internationally, not just through donating, but through volunteering and being involved in any small way I can. Rotary is a family legacy starting with my father, carried on now by my sister and me. I find that I have less and less time or interest in focusing on complaining. It helps me to keep it real. For example, today one of my fellow Rotary members initiated a sponsorship, which we will all partake in, to shelter and settle an Afghan refugee family in our little Rhinebeck community. I am touched and honored that we will be a part of making a real difference in the life path of this family, after they had to flee their war torn native land. Do I have political views on what happened (the war, and the handling of the withdrawal)? Damn straight. But I feel completely differently DOING something constructive, positive, and tangible, rather than ranting. How could I possibly feel like a victim, no matter how challenging life may get, looking at my life compared to their lives? I didn't have to flee my home and my country! I don't have to face the very rational fear of learning a whole new way of life, including language and culture. Let's get real and hold ourselves accountable for our own happiness.
Remember that it's not a myth that helping others leads to greater happiness. Nothing changes perspective like getting in the trenches to help in any small way you can (as long as you take care of YOU, too). Don't underestimate connecting in a meaningful way with someone you know, or a complete stranger, either. Strive to be the best possible version of you. If we all do it, this will be a better world.
Bottom line, it's time to sew new patterns, and to turn the page to a big, bright new chapter in which we are each the curator of our own story.
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