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.

About Carolynn Waites

I enjoy the opportunity to learn and discover new things about the world in which we live. Along with freelance writing, I work at a library and I enjoy animals, reading books, gardening, crafting, and watching good television shows. I volunteer at a local zoo where I work as a keeper aide. This is one way I feed my passion for animals. I am a licensed airplane pilot and I strongly believe in the power and importance of education. My husband Shawn and I currently have one cat (Sami) and one dog (Rocky). We live in Manvel, TX just outside of Houston.
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