If you had told me a year ago I would systematically be breaking down the physical organization I've so carefully built out of over 8 years I would have laughed. But time marches forward.
Leap year is an odd occurrence. A calender course correction to keep the world on its proverbial axis. Funny then that I am making momentous decisions in a leap year.
The last couple of years have been rough at the shop. Vendors have come and gone. Large scale neighborhood construction projects have wreaked havoc not on just the physical landscape (read losing a week's revenue when the ceiling caved in from them piledriving the footers of the 5 story building across the street) but the PERCEPTION that there were traffic delays caused by construction (there were not). That tiny fall-off in revenue - a $50 invoice rather than a fifty five dollar ticket is the difference in me taking a salary or not.
Add to this a landlord who did not respond to rent abatement entreaties and a city that neglected to factor the impact multiple large scale construction projects have on its small businesses and neglected to ask for impact fees and a lease that expired and I am out. Done.
My husband and I refuse to be one of those yahoos you see on those TV shows like "Restaurant Impossible" who are working 70 hours a week and are 100 thousand dollars in debt. That is not going to happen here.
So sadly I am vacating a space that has become, for many, a Third Place- not home, not work, but a place where someone knows your name and you feel safe, amused, maybe even delighted and inspired.
I feel confident that my ability to create this Third Place is not building dependent. A community can be built and flourish in many different forms.
I love eye contact myself though. Don't leave me.
Losing the building will mean gaining other things. Freedom from the daily routine and new found time to write and create perhaps.
I am feeling the crushing feeling of letting people down, of not taking care of the tribe. But I look around at my neglected house, my almost grown child and feel compelled to re-engage. Phone calls with news of less than wonderful health reports from beloveds remind me that there is more than just minding the store.
The volume of the tasks ahead are daunting. But the options are many, almost too many.
It's time to leap.