I am tired of the mask. The good news is many businesses are MASK FREE. Ohhh, the smell of fresh air and not my breath. Yes, I was a compliant mask wearer. I covered both my mouth and nose. Finally, I can put away the mints! Relatable, you say?

I hope you are moving about and leaving the confines of your home with more confidence now. The resonating tone with my clients is that they managed the risk by not leaving their homes from March 2021 until last month. Most of our clients are at the higher- risk age of 65 and over. But age aside, we all felt some level of fear. There just was not enough history or consistency on the virus to bank on the risk.

Here in Arizona, our adaptation to living with the virus and still getting out the past few months has included filling our weekends with excursions to areas just north of Phoenix including, Payson, Prescott, Sedona, and enjoying the outdoors. Nothing like the fresh air of the pine forests near Flagstaff. My son and I even got in a quick overnight camping trip. We dusted off some gear, made a fire (No desert fire ban up north when we were there), baked potatoes, and grilled perfectly seasoned steaks on fallen timber. Taking advantage of local outdoor spots is an incredible energy boost. Nothing better! We might have even challenged ourselves with a few off-road adventures to kick up some dust and barrel up some rocky terrain.

No matter where you live in our great county, you are never more than a few hours’ drive to something amazing to see and do. The positive side of the virus is that it provided an opportunity to explore and appreciate things right near our backdoors. So, in bouncing back, I have personally added more weekend explorations to my itinerary.

How are you bouncing back? Currently, Arizona employment is at 109% over 2019 numbers. Single-family home prices are moving up rapidly. Folks seem to be moving to Arizona, Nevada, and Texas. They are leaving California, Illinois, and the greater northeast, primarily New York.

What is weird is the housing prices in California are still going up; even though folks are leaving in such high numbers, the state may lose a congressional district. The effect of supply and demand, I guess. Bottom line? As we progress through this unexpected and challenging period in our lives, we learn to grow from our experiences and create opportunities and succeed by making tomorrow a better day for everyone!

Get outside and enjoy, I think it’s over!