I hear people calling this past year a “lost year.” To be sure, this past year has been a journey – it’s been a journey for us as individuals, as families and as members of our communities. We have learned how to cope with isolation, fear, depression, grief and societal unrest. It has been a journey that we are, hopefully, reaching the end of. In spite of all the negative and disturbing things that have happened over the past year, for me personally, professionally and spiritually, I have grown. I have grown in realizing that relationships are the most important thing in this life. Having people to lean on when things are not going so well is more important than work. And that in order to have those people to lean on, I must be someone who can be leaned on. Also important is figuring out why I believe, value and support what I believe, value and support. They why to the what. As 2 year olds we know that we must ask why our parents want us to do what they ask us to do. We dig deeply to the point of irritating our parents and to the point at which most will reply, “Because I said so!” But the “why” as adults is still very important and we oftentimes forget to ask this question. How often do we ask ourselves why? Why do I believe this or that? Why is this or that cause important to me? Why is this or that valuable to me? For me, this last year has made me question my beliefs and either abandon them or build them deeper; it has made me identify what is important and discard what is not important; I have combed through my spending and eliminated those things which I either no longer use or forgot I was automatically paying, and looking at where I spend my time and where I want to be spending my time. By eliminating that which I wasn’t using or was outright wasting, by ordering my day a little differently to maximize time, and by making sure I was taking care of my body, mind and spirit, I believe I have become a better realtor, a better friend, a better co-worker and a better person. As we end this journey, I am hopeful that I won’t lose sight of all I have accomplished, gained, discarded, or figured out. I am hopeful that the trials of this past year amount to something I can carry into the future. I am hopeful that I will continue to dig deeply and ask “why” more often. And I am hopeful that as you read this, you can look back on your journey and see progress instead of what some are calling The Lost Year.