Ten Years Later…

Wow. I’m looking at this blog and I realize that I let an entire month pass by without a single post. Why? Because I’ve been busy. I let myself get caught up in the hustle and bustle of work and life, and I have to admit that I really haven’t taken the time to appreciate all of the things I have to be grateful for (and there’s a lot).

I woke up this morning and let reality wash over me. It’s been ten years since the September 11th attacks and yet I can recall every detail as if it were yesterday. I lived in the bay area at the time. I had my alarm clock radio tuned to Z95.7’s Jean & Julie Show in the Morning. I hit the snooze button twice that morning before I heard what was happening and in an instant I felt small and insignificant. On September 10th 2001 I was absolutely convinced the world revolved around me and my needs, and the very next morning I realized how little it all mattered. As I watched our nation band together in the following days I was filled with sadness but also overwhelmed with a sense of pride and companionship. Kathy Ollerton-Krafchow, co-owner of Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Mason-McDuffie, created a charity called the World Transformation Center. She led a group of individuals to Ground Zero to assist the families of the victims and care for the rescue workers between shifts. I was still fairly young at the time, and not yet working with Mason-McDuffie. My mother, however, had a relationship with Kathy and followed her to New York. I believe she was rightfully changed for having experienced it. Eventually, I was able to join her for one of her many return visits to New York to work with students who survived the ordeal. I gained a greater sense of belonging in this world. I had an understanding that I was one piece of a grander puzzle.

I’m ashamed to say that over the years I’ve managed to lose that. I woke up yesterday morning, September 10th 2011, back to believing the world revolved around me and my needs. I’m blessed to have a career that I love. I impact the lives of people on a regular basis. Whether I’m helping struggling homeowners to short sale their houses and get on the road to a fresh start, or helping buyers to make the next step, I’ve always felt that my work has the potential to change people’s lives for the better, which is a pretty amazing feeling. Even so, I’ve really let that philosophy fall to the wayside. I’ve gotten so wrapped up in the paperwork, and negotiations, and marketing, and meetings that life has really just been passing me by.

That reality hit me like a ton of bricks today. I’m grateful that the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy fell on a Sunday, because a realization like that really left me needing a good church sermon. I have a lot to be thankful for in this life. I am married to my best friend of 9 years and we have a beautiful little girl who’ll be celebrating her 4th birthday next month. I have a great job that I’m passionate about. I live in Elk Grove, an amazing community with all the amenities one could think to ask for. My husband is a combat veteran who has served our country honorably and was blessed to be able to come home. I know many women who cannot say the same.

Today has been a long day of reflection for me personally, and I’ve realized that I need to get back to the basics. I need to make a point of dedicating time to appreciating the many blessings this life has to offer instead of dwelling on its obstacles. I hope you do the same.

Sincerely,
Jessica Hays

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