As I look toward at least a partial retirement, I am exploring my passions to identify what I want to keep in my life. I expect everyone anticipates more time with both family and friends, recognizing priorities. But what we do when we have alone time is an essential component in a balanced life.
I have always loved writing and know I am fortunate to have an activity that can be done alone, at no cost, with much satisfaction. I can forget to stop for lunch while on a writing roll. And, it can even provide some income â€“ what activity can compare with it? The essential element, of course, is following our passion.
Enjoying antique shows and shops has been a fun
part of my life. Our recent stories about the Smithfield and Suffolk
antique shows enticed me to go. I had not forgotten how much I enjoy
seeing the treasures of yesterday, but I had forgotten how wonderful the
people who trade in antiques are. It is not an enterprise that often
leads to monetary wealth. Still, they are enriched with an appreciation
of history, ancestors, and each other!
Real estate has been my most profitable interest. It began while I was in college, reading the newspaper classifieds to live vicariously in the homes listed for sale. Eventually, when I enjoyed helping friends find the house just right for them, they would ask me why I wasnâ€™t a Realtor. My answer makes me laugh today. â€śI donâ€™t want to work 24/7,â€ť Iâ€™d reply. I laugh now because, over these last 40 years of developing and publishing The Shopper Magazines, I was completely enthralled. How fortunate I have been all these years to be involved in writing and publishing, with a team of people I admire, hometown magazines for clients who are also entrepreneurs. Many became friends and readers have given me encouragement and appreciation. It doesnâ€™t get better than this and it is with me 24/7.
...what we do when we have alone time
is an essential component
in a balanced life.
So I have identified my passions. Writing and publishing. Antiquing. Real Estate. Time with family and friends.
We have space available in half of my commercial building, the other half occupied by my wonderful tenant, Dr. Kelly Ramthun of The Cat Clinic of Chesapeake. The building is across from the water tower at North Battlefield Boulevard and Kempsville Road â€“ a fantastic location.
I could open a country store, but it would tie me down. Or, we could share space and resources with other small publications as I would like to keep or share one or two of my magazines if not sold to one buyer. Iâ€™m a dreamer still. Itâ€™s nice to realize retirement is as much a beginning as an end.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.