My head is spinning. After the focused quiet of the shutdown, real estate in the Catskills has exploded into a frenzy of buying and selling properties.

I help people do that, so it’s a terrific time to be a broker. But wow. Just wow.

I had no showing appointments today, so planned to catch up on some paperwork, make some phone calls, things I’ve had to put off because more immediate business needs came first.


It’s after 3 p.m. I have not begun to do any of those things yet. Instead, I’m dealing with today’s forest fires.

I’m mediating negotiations for two different properties, potential sales that happened today.

There is a frantic client who has sold his home in the Hudson Valley, and now needs to find a new place farther out in the Catskills. Everything he likes is spoken for before he can see it. I’m lining him up a day of househunting, as well as connecting him with brokers in other parts of the country so he can see properties there, too. Perhaps it’s quieter elsewhere. If he can travel, that is.

One buyer is arriving to look at houses this weekend. She’s made an offer on a property she’s never seen. She wants to be sure it is still there for her to look at when she arrives.

One seller sold his house in one day, so now his friend wants to list her house, too. Her sister-in-law thinks maybe it’s time to sell as well.

I’d like to be one of those slow-and-steady personalities, those rock-solid personalities who proceed methodically through a busy day and coolly check off each task as it’s done.

I feel like a circus performer, frantically juggling as someone just offstage throws another ball, then another, then another, while I keep trying to keep up.

I’m not fun to be around when I’m like this, or at least I wouldn’t be if I let it out. Tamping it down is something I’m good at:  if you saw me on the street, you’d have no idea.

But I know.

It would be nice to be better organized, or handle stress better. But I think I’ve gone as far with those things as I’m likely to go.

I have to accept this is me under pressure. But in a year that’s done its best to get on everyone’s last nerve, I guess I could be a whole lot worse.

Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.