There are so many ways to measure time - say, 33 years. That's how long I've published The Shopper. "That long?" I think sometimes. Other times I think, "Only 33?"
It is in these moments when I know for certain that a good life is indeed about the journey, not the destination. And that is a good thing. A destination is -? A journey is daily, hourly.
If we wait decades just hoping to win the lottery, disappointed week after week, year after year, would we consider a life well lived if we finally win? Only if we finally win? Without dismissing the joy of winning a pot of money, I would not consider that one event to have made my life worthwhile. Would you?
Over these 33 years, I have worked long hours and struggled through the vagaries of changing times and economies, all coinciding with personal life changes. What has made the business journey into one I would choose again is the company of loyal teammates and the developing of so many clients into friends as we learned their stories and struggles and they learned ours.
Just like the premise of our publications - neighbors want to do business with neighbors - our lives are all about relationships. Those of us in small businesses always talk about our business families, and we mean it literally. We spend more awake time with our co-workers than we do with our natural families, and we experience life events in both.
Our Shopper family has half of us being together for more than a decade, some several decades! We have had marriages and divorces, births and deaths. Kids have grown up and gone off to college. All the events actual families experience, we experience in our business families, both joyful and sad, life changing and mundane.
In our business, we get to finish something - a dozen somethings (Shoppers) each month - and start all over again. It is satisfying. We are a well-oiled machine and respect one another. Life is good. It is a journey worth taking.
For those of you who are reading this today, and perhaps have for many years, I want you to know how important you have been in this journey. You know, and we know, we would not be on this journey without you.
Thank you for allowing us into your homes these last 33 years. Our destination? To continue the journey.
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 38 years.
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