Waiting for Stage 5

A week from today, the business that I helped co-found, co-create and co-own will be, in the physical sense, gone. Closed. No more. Nada. And that makes me beyond sad…

In her (now iconic) 1969 book, “On Death and Dying,” author Elisabeth Kübler-Ross outlined the five stages of normal grief that happen when the loss of a loved one occurs. These five steps are, in order:

1. Denial and Isolation

Entering the state of Denial

2. Anger

Shô's_anger

3. Bargaining

a sign

4. Depression

depression_by_3rd3m

5. Acceptance

acceptance

With all due respect to anyone that has lost a loved one, I believe that the shuttering of my retail store is probably just as devastating – perhaps even more so as it impacts my income. I seem to be frozen at Step 4, and keep asking The Universe to grant me Acceptance.

I spent some time at my soon-to-be-closed store this afternoon, clearing boxes out of the basement and getting ready for our final big “Move Out” one week from today. The basement is now all but empty; a few boxes of records and old client files remain. Upstairs on the main “selling floor,” our once beautiful showroom has been cannibalized by bargain hunters, leaving behind a broken assortment of mismatched pillows and furniture, rugs with no “room settings” and some random art on the walls.

I started crying today as I sat alone in the store, no music, no people, no future. It was a great six and half year run, but now it is almost over and I am sad. I hope depression gives way to acceptance soon. I keep reminding myself that there are many positives in my life – my Beloved Martin, a handful of great friends and a supportive family. I also have a reasonable job, and will continue “doing design” as a freelancer. I guess I just never really realized what a sort of physical anchor the brick and mortar store was in my life, until today…

Both Ends

Candle Burning at Both Ends

Increasingly, I am coming to understand what is meant by the phrase “Burning the candle at both ends.” I am currently pursuing two different jobs, both of which I like, but I am reminded almost daily that I am now 56, not 26 – I mean, tonight I “took a nap” from 7:30PM till almost 9:00PM – what adult does that? (I am actually waiting for a LOT of you to chime in here and admit that you do, too!) In an effort to get a little ahead in my life, I am starting to question if these efforts will not eventually cause me to collapse, LOL! Sigh…

Sometimes I get a little sad that my life is not what I imagined it would be at this point (imagine Robin Leach here, doing a voice-over about my “rich and famous” lifestyle). But when I think about all that IS great in my life – a spouse I adore that adores me back, not one but TWO jobs that I truly enjoy, a small but great circle of friends, a family that is no more or less crazy than anyone else’s – I realize that maybe Robin Leach had it wrong all this time. Or maybe I did…

Maybe my lifestyle was never supposed to be rich and famous in the monetary and celebrity sense, but rather rich in all things beyond value and famous for living a life full of joy and happiness… I think THAT is the life I was always “supposed” to have – and look, I just might have it…  🙂

That said, and with all thankfulness due The Universe, every night I still ask to win the Mega Millions, Powerball or Classic Lottery – I mean, a boy can dream, right? And, more than anything, great life or not, I definitely would like to avoid this:

Burning_the_Candle_at_Both_Ends

Here It Comes!!!

Today is the last day of November. Sigh. Goodbye Fall. You know what’s next, right? That’s right – Christmas. This is the general feeling of anticipation at my house today…

Waiting-for-Santa-ClausMy Sweetie loves – and I mean LOVES, L-O-V-E-S – Christmas. I do too, actually, but not to the extent he does. It is actually one of the reasons I love him so much – he is totally invested in holidays, and makes every one special for me/us. Plus – the good news about marrying someone from another culture? You get to celebrate the holidays observed by BOTH. So, while I have always enjoyed Christmas, now I also get to enjoy St. Nikolai Day, too. St. Nikolai Day on 06 December is observed with a small gift and delicious cookies:

cookiesCookies? A gift? Then Christmas two and half weeks later? How could it get any better?!?

I’m a lucky guy in so many ways – I have a great spouse, a loving family and friends, a job I enjoy (I guess I could be richer and thinner, but…) and my health is pretty sound. So, going into Christmas, I really don’t have “much on my list.” I pretty much have everything I need/want already. Like I said, I am a lucky guy!