As it turns out, as I have been able to keep myself busy, I have not had much time to contemplate the loss. I found myself in a conversation yesterday morning with another local business owner who recently closed her business. It was somehow comforting to me to know that I was not alone in this “figuring it out” phase after closing something that was such a big part of my life.
We both agreed that our lives had changed into something more positive following the closures and that many doors have opened as a result. Later in the day someone I had not seen for awhile asked both Brenda and I how retirement was treating us. I had to point out that we did not retire. If anything we have just changed directions.
This seems to be a hurdle for many who know us. I guess that seeing us on a regular basis and having the connection with us through our newspaper business must have felt as if we were a part of their lives. Now that the newspaper is gone and we are not a daily fixture in many lives that connection is gone or lost.
My explanation is usually along the lines that I am just about as busy now as I was before we closed the business. “I’ve heard that about retirement” is the regular response. I then have to explain that Brenda has been busy with her canning business (JamBusters!) and pretty much everyone we know is aware of that product.
Where things get interesting is when I start talking about my freelance work, the online things I do and the webcasting for the local hockey club. I tend to receive confusing looks back at me and a comment along the lines of, “You can make money writing online?” I guess I’m a bit more ahead of the curve than I thought I was.
Regardless, the fact of the matter is that neither of us has really slowed down. The main difference in our lives from pre-closure to post-closure is that we have a lot more freedom and control over what we are doing. We are no longer 100-percent dependent on the local market to support us and we are much more relaxed and having fun doing what we are doing.
It is far from retirement.
We are not sleeping in, watching the news all day and planning our next RV trip. If anything, we are still working as hard as we were but our careers have changed and we are enjoying the change. One day we may actually retire, but I don’t see it coming anytime soon. Semi-retirement is possible but I doubt either of us will fully retire with the way things have been going for us so far.