The Way Things Change ~ Wisconsin Photographer

So, if you follow us (and by us I mean Type A or Tin Dog) on Facebook, you’ve probably heard by now that as of yesterday we have made the decision to close the record store.

This decision was not made lightly….and it was met by a pretty humbling outpouring of support from the community that really eased our minds and touched our hearts.

Anyone who knows me well knows I value a full day’s work. It’s the way I’m wired. I love to work….I love thinking about work….I love devising new ways to work. It’s the way I am and I’ve always been a proud “workaholic”, especially since owning Type A. It’s my baby and I love hanging out with it. Tin Dog was baby #2….and I added it with excitement and commitment.

But, we live in a culture that worships the concept of “busy”…..being “too busy” = “successful”.  You see it all over Facebook:

“OMG, so much to do and no time to do it!”
“I need coffee SO BAD because I got NO SLEEP because #omgsobusy”
“Apologies that I’m late…..tired……not on my game……I’m ridiculously busy”
“Haven’t seen my kids all day but I’m gettin’ work DONE!”
“Holy cow I have 1000 emails and I’m never going to finish getting through them”

We glorify busy. Busy is letting everyone know that we are in demand, popular, and….let’s face it….better than the person who is NOT #omgsobusy and wading through a pile of emails. You only got 1 email today? Pshaw!!! Loser.

You are 2 weeks late delivering that order? Well….brilliance takes time and well, you’re so so so BUSY that no one expects you to be on time with anything. Right?

There’s something inherently WRONG with this thought concept and the big flashing red “WRONG….YOU’RE WRONG” lights were staring us in the face.

As much as we loved our store and what we had created…….the WHY of what we were doing became less and less realizable. Our kids were spending 90% of their time with either teachers, daycare workers, or our parents. They were being shuffled to and fro and we only saw them in the early morning, as they headed off to their caretakers, or at night….where, let’s face it, we just wanted them to go to bed because we were EXHAUSTED and just needed some alone time to decompress.

It wasn’t working. We tried very hard to make all the puzzle pieces fit together. All the while adding more and more to our already overflowing plates. Because busy = success.

I decided, hell…why not go back to school?
Why not take my ONE day off (Monday) and squeeze as much as humanly possible into that one day?

I decided in order to try to make up for being largely absent for the last year and  a half, I’d add dance classes for Betty into the mix. But yeah…..someone has to TAKE her to those classes. I spent most of the classes checking email or, as of late, reading class assignments and flashing the occasional smile at my kid.

We were waking up every day and doing what we thought we needed to do, but this was no life.

The levee finally broke and, honestly, as much as I am grieving the loss of what we built with Tin Dog…..I feel a weight has absolutely been lifted from my shoulders. I know my husband feels the same way.

I cancelled daycare for the summer…..and after June 6th we see a sense of freedom we haven’t had in a VERY long time.

I’m going to miss the store. I woke up this morning feeling sad….almost like a long lost friend had passed away and I had simply read about it in the newspaper after the fact. I’m going to miss being downtown every day to be a part of it’s revitalization…..I’m going to miss some of our regulars who have honestly become friends. I hope they’ll stay that way, despite the store not being around.

But I’m not going to miss the constant tension of putting the store’s needs before our girls’. I’m not going to miss the deluge of responsibilities that come with owning a retail store on TOP of being a mom….on TOP of owning a service based business that definitely was sacrificed at the altar of Tin Dog in the last year. I now get to focus back on Type A 100%, I can focus on school 100%, and I can focus on my girls….and have an incredible summer WITH them.

Some will say we “failed”….that “I knew it wouldn’t last”. And you know what, they’re right. In the last year, we failed our girls. We tried….and it didn’t last. That is totally OK! That’s what life is all about. Someday we can tell our grandkids about that year grandpa ran a record store (how cool was grandpa?!).  It’s part of our story now.  If people feared the unknown results of ideas, nothing would ever get made….stores would never open. You have to TRY. You have to jump….and assemble your wings on the way down.

This morning I woke up…..remembering the announcement we made yesterday immediately…and I felt a bit sad. For a moment, I thought “did we make the right move?”

I went downstairs and asked Betty if, in a few weeks, she wanted to go to Old World Wisconsin again with me (my favorite place in the whole wide world). She beamed….and said “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? Yes ! YES!”

We made the right move.

And I’m proud to say, maybe even with dramatic hashtags, that in a few weeks I’m not going to be #omgsobusy. I’m going to be hanging with my kiddos and doing not a whole lot of anything much.


And it’s going to be awesome.