Sep 8, 2023

What I'm Up To - Vol. 74

Here's what I've been up to since Volume 73...

What I'm Up To Volume 74

Hey friends,

Here’s what I’ve been up to since Vol. 73

1. An Odd, Uneven Time

Sylvia Plath wrote about how in August, “...the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born.” She called it an “odd, uneven time.” I love that and it’s certainly true this year.On the 22nd, Austin broke a streak of 45 100-degree days. By any measure, it’s been the hottest, driest summer on record. A summer home up north has never been more appealing.The ultimate summer bucket list for 2023 might be seeing Taylor Swift and Beyoncé in concert, watching Barbie and Oppenheimer, and seeing Lionel Messi play for Inter Miami. So far I’m 0 for 5, but I might yet catch the flicks and Beyoncé. If anyone on this list is 5 for 5, I salute you! Gus is named after the first Papasan to alight in America, Augustus Papacin. Augustus Caesar is the namesake of August. So it only seems appropriate that this month revolved around Gus. He took a summer job working for Papasan Home Services and learned how to install floors, patch drywall, and hang a light fixture. In a full circle moment, he helped do a make-ready for a rental home we bought when he was 3. Back then, Wendy acted as our GC and would sequester the kids in a “safe space” while she painted, cleaned, and supervised work. He bought a 3D printer with his dough. You never feel so rich as when you get your first adult paycheck!

Two days after MegaCamp, we moved Gus into his dorm at Southwestern University. I cannot describe the seachange in our home. No clomping down the stairs for breakfast. The soundtrack of our evenings was his muffled yells and hoots while gaming with his friends. It’s pretty damn quiet now. I’m profoundly proud and sad at the same time. It’s also comical. I broke down at the grocery checkout when the bill was $100 lower than usual. Thankfully, he’s less than an hour away and has already come home twice.On the plus side, we celebrated Wendy’s 52nd birthday and caught Beck and Phoenix in concert. Wendy also traveled to New York for Inman Connect, where she hosted several panels. I definitely married up.For the first time, we marched in the Austin Pride parade. I’m the executive sponsor for our employee LGBTQ+ employee group and our our real estate team sponsored the event. With politics being what they are, especially in Texas, it was a bright spot for our team. We had hundreds of agents fly in for our mid-year event, MegaCamp, who joined us to cheer from the sidewalk. A little kindness and inclusion go a long way these days.Speaking of MegaCamp, we filled up the Moody Theater for our CEO Summit to kick it off. I got to meet Molly Bloom, whose story was made into the film Molly’s Game. I interviewed author Ryan Holiday. Tim Grover, the former trainer for Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, wowed with a talk on the mindset of a champion. For the main event, we hosted 7,000 agents from around the world at the Austin Convention Center for two days of training. You can read about my aha’s and takeaways here.

August is also draft time for my fantasy football league. The league predated my participation by 6 or 7 years, but I’ve been traveling for our auction draft for the past 17 years. This year we held it in Vegas. It’s good to see old friends you haven't seen in a long while. We shared stories of dropping kids off to college, talked smack, ate a few great meals, and played a little blackjack. I returned home with almost as much money as I left and a very mediocre team. My sure thing, Cooper Kupp, is broke. And my gamble in Jonathan Taylor looks like a terrible reach. Hello, waiver wire.To complete the odd, uneven month, my Aunt Ann Papasan passed away after a battle with cancer. My earliest memories of her were arriving at their home in Tunica, Mississippi before dawn to hunt with Uncle Bobby, my cousin Jeff, and Dad. Ann would be up sipping coffee and making breakfast. She could whip up an extra biscuit in a coffee mug. She was an extraordinary lady and will be missed.Finally, a huge shoutout to my sister Jan who rang the bell after completing radiation. She’s been unbelievably brave and upbeat throughout.

2. What I’m Listening To

Not too long after The ONE Thing came out, a jeweler in Baton Rouge posted about the book on Instagram. We connected and became friends. Madeline and Dawson Ellis started Mimosa Handcraftedafter leaving their careers as landscape architects. They drove down to New Orleans for one of our conventions and we had breakfast with their family in Austin. At some point, we commissioned a line of domino jewelry to promote the book. They told their story on a podcast (Apple, Spotify) recently and I loved every minute. Bookmark their site for your next Mother’s Day or holiday gift.

3. What I’m Reading

I finished Dust by Hugh Howey to complete the Silo series. Wool is still my favorite but the series finished strong. I also read The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor as part of my prep for MegaCamp. It’s an excellent science-backed book on living a happier life. I also read a set of illustrated children's books by Kobi Yamada. What Do You Do With an Idea? perfectly encapsulated the entrepreneur’s journey. I loved it and gave it to Wendy for her birthday. What Do You Do With a Problem? and What Do You Do With a Chance? also hold lots of wisdom for the young person in your life.

4. What I’m Watching

We watched a lot of the Women’s World Cup. While the US women’s performance disappointed, the overall level of play did not. The Spaniards deservedly won, set the bar high for challengers, and likely sparked an overdue #MeToo moment for their country.We bid adieu to Elle Fanning’s Catherine the Great with the final season of The Great (Hulu). I watched the final season of Broadchurch (Amazon) while Wendy was in NYC. It was a strong finish for the dark, celebrated crime drama. Hijack (Apple+) exceeded all expectations. We also enjoyed the free diving documentary The Deepest Breath (Netflix).On a lark, we watched Cocaine Bear (Netflix) – a good, bad movie. I thought Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (Disney) was simply not good. I think I’m Marvelled out.

That’s it for this month. Please reply back and let me know what you’re up to!

Be well, do good deeds, and eat tacos!


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