I have reached the end of the line at my job. My boss has made the decision to sell the business and retire, a decision not made lightly but out of necessity. He has cancer. He’s lived with it for six years and now things are getting serious. It breaks my heart, to see everything end like this, to know that one of the best people I know is being forced to hang it up before he’s really ready, to know that one day he’ll be someone I once knew.
Oh, and yeah, I’ll likely be out of a job by years’ end. Merry freakin’ Christmas.
Strangely enough, though, I’m not feeling terribly overwrought about it. I’ve got some other stuff in the hopper, true, and maybe that’s the reason. Or maybe it’s all a matter of perspective. I’m sure if I were the main source of income for my household I’d feel a little differently. But I’ve been getting by on meager rations for a while anyway, so I know what I can and cannot live without.
Over this past weekend, one of my dearest girlfriends came for a visit, and we indulged in the time-honored ritual of shopping, lunching, and gossiping. I don’t get to do that sort of thing very often, which makes it all the more delicious.
Denise and I are good for one another in a lot of ways. As a single mom in search for her next husband, Denise is my reminder to appreciate what I have and also my muse in keeping things fresh and new. Left to my own devices I begin to morph into my mother. For Denise, I am the sounding board she sometimes needs to make sense of her crazy life. We’ve known each other since junior high and to say there’s been a lot of water under our bridge is something of an understatement.
Both of us are at the age and stage in our lives where our “careers” are looking less like a career and more like Act One. And we know a lot of other women in the same boat, having worked 20, 30 years at a job and suddenly finding out there are other things to do in life. Had we known at our college graduation that we’d be in this position in our 40’s, would we have invested so much of our souls in our working life?
We got to talking about Second Acts over the weekend, and while I know the economy is something of a mess and this isn’t a practical idea, something I would love to do is open up a coffee shop/bookstore in my little podunk town.
I even have a name for it: R & R: Read & Relax. (Don’t steal my idea! I will hunt you down!)
Comfy chairs, tables, bookshelves, coffee, and pie. Doesn’t that sound like a great place to be? It would be another refuge from the world. I think people need that. It would indulge my need to share great books with people and also give me a good excuse to make brownies. I know that running a business is not for the faint of heart, and it’s a lot of hard work. Which is why I prefer to just think about the idea.
Oh, in a perfect world…