The Traffic Circle of Life

I feel as though my life is crashing down all around me. I honestly do not know life without stress right now. My blood pressure has skyrocketed so much that both my doctors are freaking out about it. Hopefully we will find the right medication to help lower the blood pressure. The main source of my stress will no longer be part of my life in a couple of more months. That will lead to different stress, but I think my life will, for the most part, be better.

We have made the excruciatingly tough decision to close down our family business. I have been doing this for 22 years (half my life!). I am actually excited to start a new chapter in my life, but completely terrified about finding a new job and what I am going to do with the rest of my life. I am also scared about the next two months. We have not announced our closing, and we’re not really sure if and how we are going to. Right now it is all about selling inventory and reducing debt. We have no idea what we’re doing. Shutting sown a business, the right way, is way more difficult than it should be. I am meeting with our accountant in a week with a long list of questions. Hopefully, we will be able to get the guidance we need without hiring a lawyer.

It kills me to be at work, and sidestepping a customer’s questions about our future. We have definitely let it be known that things are not good, and that we may have to close. We just have not let very many in on the secret that we have already made the decision to close. It has been three bad years. We should have closed three years ago, but we kept at it waiting for the turnaround. Now we have accumulated three years worth of debt and there is no turnaround in sight. Hindsight sucks, doesn’t it?

We have not announced our closing for a number of reasons. We would like to be able to still make some small purchases from a small number of our vendors. We are afraid that they will not want to sell to us anymore once they know we are closing. Another reason, is that we do not want to deal with a “pity party” from our customers as we wind down. I am already on the verge of tears half the time as it is–I do not need that. Some of our customers have become great friends through the years and I will miss them very much! Also, there is quite a bit of legal mumbo-jumbo a business has to deal with once they announce “a going out of business sale.” We’re hoping to avoid all of that. Hopefully, the meeting with the accountant will give us some options. Perhaps a “retirement” would be better.

The good news (hopefully) out of all of this is that we own the building and we already have a buyer for it. We have finally found an appraiser that we can afford, so hopefully he will give us a great number to work with. The building is owned by a separate corporation from the business, so we are hoping that we will not need to use the proceeds from the sale of the building to pay off the credit card debt that the business has accumulated. Once again, I pray that the accountant can give us some good advice regarding this.

Of course after I come out the other side of this, then I have to figure out what to do with my life! Do I find a full time office job with BENEFITS? Do I take a part time job and try to buckle down and earn more with my WRITING? Or none of the above? I’m trying to not freak out too bad about all of those decisions, yet. I have to get through the first crisis before I can deal with the second.

It feels so good to get this all out in the open. I do not have to worry about any of my customers reading this, like I would with other social media. My chest has been so tight lately, I’m just ready to be able to BREATHE again!

I am not at a crossroads in my life. I am in a traffic circle with so many options and directions, and I have no idea which spoke I will end up taking. Maybe the wrong one, but u-turns are allowed (I think). That is why I am excited and terrified. I am so ready to take the reins of my life and do what I want to do for a living. I just do not know what that is.

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Advice to a New High School Graduate

Do you remember what it felt like when you graduated from high school?  This last weekend, my husband and I traveled to see our Godson’s high school graduation.  It sure brought back a lot of memories.  It’s been almost 30 years since I graduated from high school.  Knowing what I know now, I found it interesting to hear what these young adults were saying about graduating from high school.

I want to sit them all down and let them know that this will not be the best thing that ever happened to them.  Okay–there may be a couple of recent graduates where high school really will be the best years of their lives.  I feel sorry for those who look back on their lives and realize it never got better than that.  Let’s ignore those few and talk to the majority.

This is really only the very beginning of your lives.  You may feel that you know what you want to do with the rest of your life.  Good for you!  I will tell you that you may get there and not like it.  Very few of us have the same dreams in our 40s that we had in our late teens.  I hope that you have no idea what you want to do with your life.  I think that is perfectly okay at your age.  Now is the time to explore.  You are young; you do not have the responsibilities that you will have later in life.

You have three options when you graduate from high school: get a job, go to school, or be a bum.  I do not recommend being a bum, but if you can get away with it for a little while, go for it.  Enjoy being taken care of financially while you still can.  If you can do it, travel.  See a little piece of the world that is not your own.  It will change your perspectives on your life.

I recommend that you go to school.  It does not have to be a four-year-university.  A trade school, community college, art school, training academy, armed services, apprenticeship; any of these are okay.  The most important part is learning more about yourself.  You might find out that you like working with your hands. Maybe an instructor will present a subject you thought you hated in high school in a different way and you may discover that you love biology.  Try new things that interest you.  It may lead you down a new path and you may discover what you love.

If you do not already have a job, you may as well get one now, unless you are going to school full-time or going the bum route.  A part-time job will still allow you to take classes and it will introduce you to the real world: paychecks, taxes, responsibilities.  I will not even pretend that this is awesome.  Work sucks.  We all hate having to work, but it is an important part of life.  Work hard and save whatever money you can.  This is important–start saving your money now, even if it is only a couple of dollars a week.

You have your whole life ahead of you.  There is no reason to stress over your life at this point.  You have the rest of your life to figure it out.  Almost everyone graduates from high school.  It is not really a big achievement.  It is for your parents, but that is another story.  It is a milestone for you, one of many that will occur through your life.  Enjoy this time of your life and do not be scared.  Have faith that no matter how much the trail wanders, it will get you where you are supposed to be.

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My First Blog

Hi!  Welcome to my first blog.  A new endeavor for me–nothing ventured, nothing gained.  I started freelance writing in January of 2014.  It started as a lark.  I’ve always loved writing and I just wanted to see if I could do it.  I was curious if I could write something that would get published and that I would get paid for.  It worked!  I’ve had 25 articles published on Yahoo! Voices.  I realize that this is a small accomplishment, but it is a start.  I’m ready to venture a little deeper in the water and see what floats.

I like to learn new things and I like to voice my opinion.  So, here I am at my new blog.  I’m going into this knowing that no one will be reading it, which is making it easier for me to write without thinking about it.  I will keep writing and I will get better.  The more I write, I will learn what I like to write about and I will find my voice.  I hope that by the time anyone reads this, this post will be buried deep in the past.  By then I hope to have found my niche, my rhythm, and my voice.

So to you, my imaginary reader, welcome aboard.  Let’s see where this crazy train takes us.

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