Summmmertime —and the livin’ is eeeeasy…

I was thinking of this old song that was once sung so beautifully by Ella Fitzgerarld, and have recently heard it butchered a few times during the recent season of American Idol that I’ve been watching lately.  I quit watching after the first season because I really didn’t like Simon Cowell.  I do like Steven Tyler and JayLo –Idol with heart is much more appealing to me.

Back to why I brought up this song –it’s really not about American Idol.  It’s about my new occupation.  No, it’s not summer, but the livin’ has been sort of easy.  I haven’t had a deadline in a year to elevate my blood pressure, and I haven’t had anyone to call “boss” in more than six years.  I haven’t updated my website in two years and have not promoted it with the intention of getting new online customers.  In fact, the only contact emails that I’ve got from the site have been spam in a very long time.  My local clients are all (but one) out of business.  So, I guess you could say I’m retired…

I actually like to think of myself as “semi-retired”  as I’m not abject to doing a project or something design related if it comes my way.  I’ve also decided to maintain my membership with the NKBA –but mostly because I’m planning to go to KBIS in Las Vegas this year.  The reasoning is twofold:  I want to keep abreast of the latest products and technologies in kitchen design so I’ll have some interesting things to blog about later this year, and I want to see my friends that I’ve met or been “Tweeting” with over the past couple of years.  (Likely the last reason is the most attractive to me at this point.) 

This past year was an awesome “bang” that punctuated a career that I have loved.  As if the stars had aligned just right, I took two awesome, all-expense-paid trips to New York (for Brizo Faucets) and Louisville (for GE Monogram).  Due to a windfall, I have not had to worry about money much and was able to buy a new house.  Deciding to purchase this house in a town that has little hope of providing business opportunities for a kitchen designer was pretty much my way of acknowledging to myself that my work-a-day grind is over.  Well, that and my family likes it here and really doesn’t want to relocate either.   This was not intended as a self-imposed retirement, but of course is a direct result of the economic recession.  It also just happens that I’m turning 55 this year, so I guess retiring at this age is not unheard of.  I’m keeping my foot in the door.

My one local contractor with a showroom that still has its doors open called me yesterday.  He’s planning on doing a home show that’s coming up in May.  He wants me to do “free designs-while-you-watch” at his booth (using 20-20 Design no less).  A couple of years ago, I would have said “NO WAY”.  I’m not a proponent of giving away free design services… though these would not be some that you could place an order off of, it still represents my time.  I actually think it will be fun and will hopefully drive some business for this contractor who is also a friend. 

In the meantime, I’m spending time doing renderings with Chief Architect.  I may actually get around to painting and sketching again later this year when the weather warms up.

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