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Alan, this is a really wonderful idea!!! You're making me wish that we had a yard!!
In all seriousness, it's been a hard lesson for me personally since I prefer to be liked- going against the grain pisses people off and while it improves the industry in the long run, in the short run, you have to sacrifice popularity. The problem is that EVERYONE in the space thinks they're innovative and EVERYONE thinks they're not sheep and EVERYONE thinks they're making a sacrifice for the whole and EVERYONE thinks they're an authority on real estate even if they've never set foot inside of a brokerage. BUT, the truth is that it's a tiny minority that breaks the mold. You can spot them by whether or not they're talking to the same ten people, repetitively linking to, twittering with or sitting in a corner of eliteness at real estate conferences with each other. The polite term for this is "the echo chamber" and the unpolite Texas term is "the circle j*rk." T, you've always been genius in that you're just outside the circle and not inside which is why you're respected and loved.
I've been struggling with how to write this response because I agree and disagree at the same time. I've been on the other side, wondering when some friends were going to have children, not because that's the natural step but because to me, they seem like they would be wonderful parents (trust me, people that seem like they would be crappy parents are NEVER asked when they'll have kids, so at least take compliment in that). The other compliment is that people *care* enough to give advice because inside, they know they can't solve your problem but it's human nature to offer a hand when someone you care for is down (even if being "down" isn't in your eyes but theirs). That said, we have informally tried for 5 years to have children and our only semi-successful attempt was a stillborn baby boy. So, I know the pain of wanting a child but not being sure it will ever happen. That said, I continue to ask some people if they plan on having children AND I get that question at least three times a week myself (and yes, it stings). My answer?? "We'll see, it's not up to me, it's up to God" has worked for me. Despite your faith background, that speaks to a sentiment people can understand. Most people don't even press further but when they do, my response continues to be "it would be a wonderful blessing, we'll see" and I'm not *usually* pressed to tell the story of years of temperature gauging, delivering a dead baby or even plans for the future. It's a tough position to take, but I don't see the harm in people asking or even being helpful; at least I know they care about me.