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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eating a big bowl of Fail

Today was a difficult day. I spent the afternoon with Ro and some friends cleaning out the Art studio I was a part of and help to run for many years. Years of accumulated projects, examples, clutter as well as members discarded projects they didn't care to throw out themselves. All of it reminding me of the many good times and the slow failure of the studio.

It was heartwrenching . I was sad, angry, frustrated and ultimately numb as I sorted through trash, treasure, useful items and things that aren't worth keeping for anyone. It was a great resource for the community, but except for summer campers it was underutilized. The only reason it was open for so long was the blood and tears of our volunteers, including myself and my family. Most recently Rowan tried to revitalize it, but it was just too far gone.

Years of working 40 hours for me and 20-40 for the studio has taken a toll on me and mine. One one hand I am so sorry to see it fail, on the other I am looking forward to have time, time I never had before. Family time and my own business time. My child came to the studio after school and we went home after I taught classes from 7-9. He's an adult now and when he heard we were closing he was visibly upset. He said it was the only stable part of his life. His Mom and I had split, she moved a lot, and later I moved a lot, but the studio remained constant. It never dawned on me how he would be affected by it's closure.

I am sure there are a lot of kids out there who feel the same to a lesser degree. Some of my little art campers from years ago are now Art teachers or Artists in their own right. I'm proud of that, it's one of the things that makes me feel good about dedicating so much of my life to it. I know we touched lives in a good way and that has always been one of my personal motivations. So in a few days the lease will be turned over to someone else and we can begin the paperwork to put it to rest. Most of that will be for lawyers and accountants.

Earlier in the day I said I regretted being involved at all because of how I felt today, but that's not true. It was worth it. I just wish I had had the foresight to know we should have closed the doors a few years ago. A business is a business and while blood and sweat might be part of the equation for success, it can't be a substitute for for the cash customers bring. When the students don't sign up, no amount of volunteering will pay the electric bill.

So is it a big bowl of fail, or just something that didn't work out?I think I am going to withhold judgment, move on, and try not to have regrets.

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