This weekend was exhausting. I participated in the summer activity affectionately known as, The Great American Garage Sale.
Whether you call it a yard sale, rummage sale, or junk sale, I’ve meant to have one for a while. There were lots of “things” cluttering the basement and attic in my small home. Many of those items belonged to the business Husband #2 and I ran for over a decade. After closing our doors 2 years ago, I finally generated the motivation to clear the last of those things out.
If I would have had about 20 more minutes I would have put the living room sectional out for sale, but I didn’t feel like sitting on the floor as I waited for a new couch to arrive. I think my college days are behind me…at least that’s what my hips are telling me.
You’d be surprised how desirable business items are to others. I sold file cabinets, computer desks, client-area furnishings, even envelopes, pens, and a paper cutter. Except for a couple of chairs, a conference table, and a printer stand, just about everything went out the door.
This weekend effectively brought the end to our business life. SELLING those things this weekend shut the door on any lingering thoughts of reopening the company. Even if I wanted to start up as a solo entrepreneur, I would now have to BUY things in order to function effectively in the field.
But those days are gone.
I miss some parts of being my own boss, like setting a later start time in the summer months. Now I get up and hustle in to my desk by 8am. No longer can I sit in the backyard sipping tea and watching the morning unfold until 10am. I miss the decision-making, setting our yearly goals, our marketing efforts, and the training conferences. Husband #2 and I would split up early in the morning, hit every seminar we could, and join back up for dinner at night to talk about new ideas, new trend, new equipment, new processes…
I don’t miss other parts. I no longer go to sleep with the fear that something would go horribly wrong and we would get sued, even with liability insurance. Hey, you just never know where a loophole can appear. I don’t miss dealing with an unreasonable client. I don’t miss having most of my schedule dictated by a seasonal workload. Or the deadlines that vendors put in place and customers predictably ignored.
I don’t regret being a part of the business, but I can look back now and see the mistakes I made as a self-employed person. First and foremost, I let it consume my life.
I found it interesting to sit back and watch people come in and fondle the wares. Plenty of people sat on the couch I had out. Several high school kids went for the funky chair that only a rebellious teen could love. And I could tell who the crafters were. As a group, they went for items that could be chalk painted, upholstered, or re-purposed in some way. Our business was a boutique so there was some eclectic vibe going on.
Now I have emptiness where there wasn’t a space before…perhaps I’ll clean the basement this winter for my year end project. Will I fill the newly found space with anything else? Most likely not. I’ve lived with a feeling of being buried for a long while. I’m enjoying the emptiness.
Glorious, clean emptiness. I have the option to put things where they “belong”. Work stays in the office. Sleeping takes place in the bedroom (with no unfinished work looking at me with an accusing eye). The TV is in the living room.
I’m enjoying my new organized life.
Even the kids cleaned their rooms…