On January 5th, the landscape of my life changed dramatically. Not only did my dear hubby turn 60, but he also retired from our business. This is not a surprise - in fact, this was always the number that he associated with retirement.
In the advertising business, very few people reach 60 actively working. You are generally "old" in your 40's and new blood is the lifeline of staying creative and cool and desireable to the young brand managers who are churned out each year from the biz schools and into the companies that have big marketing budgets.
But everything has changed!!! The internet has had a more profound affect on our industry than just about any other. Not only is traditional adveritising (TV, radio and magazine) going the way of the do do, but the plethora of designers and writers who you can find online willing to sell you a logo for $50 or write a brochure for $75 is staggering. We have been commoditized!
Years of experience matters little when you are dealing with young clients, shrinking budgets and the new reality of a world that allows people to control what messages they see. It's incredibly easy to edit out all commercial messages from your life except the ones you want to see. And not that there's anything wrong with that - I think it's brilliant actually. It's just not a good thing for a 30-year copywriting/creative director veteran. Or for a new one either, for that matter.
This was not meant to be a diatribe on the state of marketing in the universe, but somehow that all needed to come out.
And, by the way, I am NOT retiring - at least not yet. And I'm hoping in the next few months to be able to establish a "virtual" scenario that allows me to stay as involved with this business as I choose to be.
Now that the line is drawn, it does set in motion a number of changes and we have a timetable and a plan to move forward. I'm relieved, since I kind of feel like we've been in limbo for a while now. We will be listing our home on February 1st and depending on how quickly it is snapped up and what kind of closing is arranged, we will mark the calendar with a definite departure date.
As I start sifting through the 26 years of stuff in the house, in an effort to "de clutter" and maximize the assets of my wonderful house, I realize the magnitude of all of this. Luckily, since we are going to the cottage (which will need a new moniker), we can start moving as much stuff as we like at our leisure. And we can determine what is not going to make the trip.
But I also realize that for the first time in over 40 years, I have no real clue about what happens next. I have dreams and hopes and wishes - but nothing concrete. And I find that very exciting - Rick on the other hand is a tad terrified. I am definitely a glass-half-full gal and figure that we'll just make the leap and figure it all out on the way down. I'm a believer that what will be will be - not a fatalist - just a person who thinks that it will unfold as it was meant to.
My big thing is to cross all appendages for good health for enough time for us to enjoy this. Too many times, I have heard stories of people who retire and then one of them immediately gets sick. It's like the stress of their lives is what kept everything glued together and when you remove the stress you remove the glue. That's a scenario I do not wish for.
But when you think about the last time that you really didn't know what came next, that's really kind of fun.
We won't have the finances to traipse around the world, exploring here and there like some of our friends, but I'm sure we can do some exploration within certain perameters.
And the prospect of not having to go to a job every day is pretty darn appealing. Everyone tells me that I should expect to be even busier in retirement, and I'm up for that too, but not right away.
So the first step is gearing up for February lst. (Oh, to add to the frenzy, the office is also moving - January 31st!)