Top SF Realtor Perspectives: The Artist Within? Maybe Not

Top SF Realtor Perspectives: The Artist Within? Maybe Not

The Artist Within? Maybe Not by Shelly Sutherland

Reading time: 1 minute and 40 seconds

Shelly Sutherland is a top San Francisco Realtor who has partnered with buyers and sellers of residential property for nearly 25 years. Explore her website at

I’ve had all year to work on a hobby. That’s my view of it: “working” to get a hobby. Not a great mindset when I’m supposed to tap into my creative brain (left or right side?!?!) and enjoy the process.

When the pandemic launched, I told myself to choose from the following list:

1) improving my Spanish
2) painting classes
3) percussion lessons
4) bridge re-boot.

As March rolled into April, nothing creative happened. My business brain calculated the need for a shift and gnawed at me to shake things up. Nothing shook out.

Instead, I have embraced my inner lounger. I love lying on my couch, reading or listening to my favorite podcasts or music. Or signing up for an online lecture on politics, art or books. Or sharing recent TV series, movies or books with friends and catching up on life. These are all perfect ways to end my day and all can be done from my sofa.

Now that I’m out and about and seeing people again, I like hearing what everyone has been doing with their free time. My hairdresser has been taking Spanish classes and building a super-fast electric bike. (Okay, I felt a little jealous that he executed on the Spanish!) Then there’s the friend who is growing all sorts of mushrooms (for culinary purposes). Another friend spends hours painting. Another takes hip-hop classes almost every day.

Me? I’m leaning into lounging. It is fully me and balances well with work stress. Over the years, I have embarked on dancing, singing and photography classes. I embraced the joy of learning and was exhilarated by honing new skills. The best part was not caring if I performed well. No comparing myself to others. No pushing to excel. No agenda.

I understand the benefits of balancing the brain spheres. But for now I’m doing the same ‘ol activities and enjoying them. Practicing real estate is an intrinsically intense pursuit — made more so by this intense period in history. I’m inspired by friends who are fully embracing their creativity. Yet, for me, keeping quiet company with a good book is my perfect hobby. Followed by a nap, of course!

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