FAQs of the End of an Era
I know a lot of people are going to be asking "Why are you closing?" and "What are you going to do now?". So, I thought I'd share as much as I'm able in one resource. Below are the answers to what I'm anticipating being common questions you're likely to have.
If you're looking for a referral of trusted, skilled, compassionate Massage Therapists to continue your sessions with, HERE is he page for that.
If you're looking for the nuts and bolts of our closure and if that applies to you, HERE is the page for that.
The BIG one: why am I closing?
This is a long and complex answer, so I'm going to sum it up in three parts:
1. Because the health and safety of my family is priority one. Not many know this, but my reality is, I have an immuno-compromised family. My household is high-risk for infection and I just can't take that chance. This isn't the flu, and it isn't likely to be a minor thing for me, my partner, or our closest friends.
2. Covid-19 is not discriminating and just because we feel fine, doesn't mean we aren't transmitting the virus. The office is an enclosed space, and we are in direct physical contact. There's no way to distance, and even with us both wearing masks, point number one is always on my mind. The changes we would have to make to increase safety for everyone are significant, and have a direct impact on point number three.
3. It's not financially sustainable. Self-employed people have been hit hard by having to close for 3 months (or more as this goes on), and I'm no exception to that. I've still been paying the rent as well as personal expenses, and even with receiving unemployment, it's been stressful. To increase safety and keep Massaging, I would need to space client session times out to deep clean between each person - this either decreases the number of people I can see in a day, or doubles the length of my working day, neither of which are viable options for me and my own health - physically, mentally or financially.
So, am I moving back to Canada?
The short answer is no, I am not moving back to Canada. I'm not even moving towns or houses. I'm staying right where I'm living.
The long answer is: we'll see. I see a stark difference between the two countries' response to this pandemic, culturally as well as in government, and it becomes painfully clear that the direction of profits before people is a key difference and not a sustainable pathway forward for the US. While I'm here with my family for a while yet, it's not off the table to move back to my home country should the need arise.
What about the Associates at MYB?
I didn't make the decision to close lightly, and even now I have some whisperings of guilt and grief about it. I imagine that will linger for a while yet. Rest assured that Tammi, Jen, and Eric were all involved in (remote) discussions about next steps and the future of MYB.
Right now, Tammi and Jen are also deciding to close their doors and might reopen later. That was their decision to make, and the physical space in which they work being closed was only a small part of that decision for them.
We are all still in close (virtual) contact, and I'm here to support them in any way that I can.
OK, so, now what will I do?
I don't know exactly what the future will hold, but I've always been excited for adventure and new directions.
I've been offered a faculty position teaching at a college near me. I'm likely not to take it, as it's still close-contact massage-related, but it's a) nice to be asked, and b) brings up a fondness for what I loved about teaching (and what I didn't), which brings me to the next thing...
Last Fall I started mentoring and coaching 1-1 for other Massage Therapists looking to advance their careers and build a business that was sustainable long term. I love it, but paused at the new year to re-evaluate if I would keep it going based on whether or not I had the energy to build a whole new aspect of the business up. I didn't then, but I might now. It would be a shame to waste all the knowledge and skills I've built over 20 years as a professional healer, and I'm excited to pass that along in a meaningful way.
Four years ago, I returned to making art and picked up a camera again. It's not well known, but I also have an art degree. Fine art / Photography to be specific. (so if you're somewhat familiar with my timeline, it went: history, art school, back to history for archaeology, then massage.. I'm older than I seem and started school earlier than most, so it does actually track). My fascination with the body and how we work evolved into how we interact with, relate to, and view our bodies, which evolved into a keen interest in self esteem, body image advocacy and how those things can merge with creativity. One year ago I got my own studio space, and started with my own mentor learning all I could on using photography to facilitate that message. I'm absolutely going spend a great deal of time with that. (I won't be posting info here about my photography because this isn't about that, but I will happily share if asked).
Lastly, I'm spending more time doing the neglected things I love, like tending to my garden, finally getting my house in order, and catching up with what and who I've missed. Essentially, slowing down and enjoying every moment I can.
Like this quote from some tv show I've never really seen says:
“Life is about change.
Sometimes it’s painful.
Sometimes it’s beautiful.
But most of the time,
And that's what I'm sitting with now. It's painful to let MYB in its current form go. It's painful to move away from a career I've spent two decades building and the clients and colleagues who I've met and connected with along the way. It's also beautiful and exciting and hopeful to be moving into a new adventure. Maybe it wasn't the timeline I would have chosen to do it in, but that's life, isn't it?
You want to know more, or wish me well...
Excellent, and thank you!
I won't be in Newton all that much, since I live 40 minutes west off 495, but do keep in touch. I would love to know which LMT you found to work with, what you're up to, and that you and yours are well!