Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday monday

So, this is the start of the first week of the rest of my life.
So far, I've had a shower, some coffee, and spent the entire morning online.

Yesterday, I held a silent auction/ living-room sale/ house-cooling party at my house. It did very well - netted a lot more dough than an ordinary street sale would have. Wine was involved, and snacks, so that probably helped.

I managed to sell a few large pieces of furniture. Bidding wars did not take off like wild-fire, but I got reasonable bids/amounts of money for the couch, TV, table and chairs, bookcases.. no bites for the hutch or buffet. Oh well. The amount of money that did come in will pay for the removal of stuff that did not sell. Break even for sure and then some.

I am doing very well in the patience/detaching process, feel very even keel about it all. Am organized enough to feel that even as my material possession volume shrinks, it shrinks in a planned enough way that I will not be having to do without anything important.

On another front, that of hiring a vehicle to move me and my remaining bits of stuff, mostly heavy books, I learned that having a continuously paid-off credit card facilitates renting a car. I tried renting one on my own, but found that most rental companies do not rent outside the provincial border or beyond two. It's as though the world ends at the Alberta border. And these are supposedly national companies. I found myself talking to agents situated in the U.S. somewhere, even if the company I was calling was a .ca company. I found this amusing mixed with slightly shocking mixed with discombobulating.

Anyway - long story shorter - I finally called my credit card company to register change of address and learned that they would not only handle the car rental process, but that I had a bunch of points saved up that I had never even known about or used. OK. So, the credit card company (VanCity Visa) rented me a minivan, and applied the points. It took them no time at all. I think the takeaway point from this is that car rental agencies and credit card companies likely know and trust each other extremely well, and that if the credit card company says I'm a good risk, then the car rental company provides steep discounts. The vehicle rental cost, points aside, will be about half what I'd have had to have paid if I rented under my own recognizance. Live and learn.

Another tip for people transporting books, especially middleaged women who do not want to break their backs or gouge their arms: don't bother with cardboard boxes. Splurge and buy a bunch of those really cheap plaid plastic bags made in China. The zippers are crap and will break immediately, but the bags are completely weightless and incredibly strong. It's a lot easier to carry heavy loads in sturdy flexible containers with handles, and the arms down by the sides. Besides they are reuseable forever and fold to practically nothing for storing.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Final day at work

Final day of treating people, anyway.
It's not going to be my final day at work, however.. The workplace still has hooks in me - I still have ownership and therefore responsibility for the business itself. It's ironic that the part of the work I enjoy most is going to be the part I have to let go of first. Oh well. Such is life.

Tomorrow will be the first day of my new life.

I am wondering how that will feel.

My new life is going to cohere around deconstructing "precept"-ual fantasy wherever I find it. When I look back, I can see I've been headed in this direction for a very very long time already. One day, tomorrow perhaps, I'll wake up and see that it has become so.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Selling the practice

This is a very complex bunch of business, this whole 'selling a practice' thing. First of all, it isn't cut and dried like real estate. It's a lot more conceptual. It's also a lot more creative. One has to weigh and assign value to intangibles. As a result, there are no "agents" one can hire to shepherd the process. I'm nearly on my own. So, there are categories to consider.

"Hard assets" are the easiest category to deal with. I already have a list from last year when I divided myself from my practice, turned the "practice" into a "business" then sold the "business" the assets of the former "practice."

There is the little matter of 'location and venue'. I really have got myself into a peachy situation, in that there is no serious PT competition for miles, and in that I am ensconced in the only medically zoned building in the neighbourhood, with a handy sink, an elevator, wheelchair accessible office/bathroom, some free parking, climate control, nice blackout blinds that can open at the top or bottom. I have outlasted all competition that dared to set up. This has to be worth a few shekels to somebody.

There is the little matter of having found 'fabulous people' to work alongside of. These people come with the practice, namely a good well-trained PT who can't afford to buy the practice but who will gladly work there, a great receptionist/office-organizer person, a gracious and quiet roommate (half the rent) with her own practice which consists mostly of listening to people as they self-regulate in a sound-proof room. The landlord is in the office right beside ours. He is entirely accessible and unhesitatingly deals with any issue to do with the building, as he is also an occupant.

There is the not so small issue of a 'wide client base' gathered up over 15 years, about 20% of which is brand new every month, self-referred or referred by each other. These are people who expect to and are willing to pay cash. Cash! A fair bit of cash, too, in exchange for 3 or 4 visits to a person who will provide them with a reasonable, plausible, science-based construct to explain their pain to them, who will provide their brains with novel sensory-discriminative input in the form of manual therapy, seasoned with exquisite regard for their sensibilities and delivered in a carefully boundaried manner, and who will support their efforts to learn how to downregulate pain in all manners non-pharmacological. This is a well-trained client base. It comes with the practice. How does one put a price tag on something like this? I'm given to understand that some would pay mega to get their hands on a client list like this. I just hope I can "sell" this base to a person who will look after these people as carefully as I have attempted to.

Wish me luck.

I really hope I can sell it and disconnect completely from Vancouver. However, if I can't sell it in time to the right person at the right price, I may just hang onto it myself, try to run Sherwood PT from afar by granting somebody here in town power of attorney, learn how to run the bank account from Sask., let it continue to generate profit for me at a distance. I mean, if it is as good as I say it is, why would I even want to sell it? I could let it continue support me, and I don't have to be around much. As long as the headache factor is less than the profit factor, I would be fine, I think. As long as the tie doesn't bind too uncomfortably, I'm sort of OK with the idea of retaining a connection of 'owner' of a physiotherapy 'business'.

If I were a real entrepreneur, which I am not and do not have the energy to be at this stage of life, I could set up a string of clinics across Canada, all boutique-like in their service, but strategically innovative, in that each would take on a section of demographic in every city where the rent is reasonable, location is central, cash payment is expected, the client base grows itself through word-of-mouth only, and profitability comes from well-delivered hands-on service minus any hype or pseudoscience, and from keeping overhead down, way down. Bare bones delivery of science-based care for lasting relief of persisting pain, aimed at reducing overall pain suffering, one person at a time. No electrodes and no gym equipment. A clean space, fresh laundry in plain sight, nice freshly showered person with clean warm hands who knows how to use them and has a stripped down idea of why manual treatment is helpful to living human anti-gravity suit nervous systems and their embedded "I"-illusions, willing to answer each question fully from a pain perspective.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Letting go

I have been stressed out all week, fighting a bug which put me in bed all day Monday, made me cough (and have to wear a face mask) Tuesday, went into a lull Wed and Thur and came back with a vengeance Friday, putting me into bed directly after another face mask wearing day at work.

Adding to the stress of meeting immediate obligations while feeling sick has been the stress of trying to hold together a condo deal at the Weyburn end of this time of transition. It all climaxed in this same week, in the form of a time-sensitive binder full of complex legal documentation that I was required to read through, then initial off as having read and understood, and return.

I hit my own wall. I looked at page one, and realized that I was too stressed (too sick maybe) to be able to make any sense out of the written material. Which of course means that I'm too stressed to actually know if I do, truly, understand it, agree to it, and can sign off that I do.

When I get stressed, I get mad. How dare that real estate agent load me down with such a herculean task the very week I'm sick and have enough to do, trying to keep mere ordinary life on the rails? How dare she not be there to reply to my email or pick up the phone? (Seriously, someone who ignores one of each from me, AND a phone call from my notary... , well... , just what should one think? Just where should one place her on the sliding scale of slackdom?)

When I get mad, I get decisive. So I phoned my mother this morning, whose money represents the deposit on this condo in Weyburn, and is refundable up to the end of June. I told her my misgivings, told her how stressed I was getting about it, and that I wanted her to go get her cheque back and let the deal fall apart.

As I spoke, I could feel clarity reemerge into the dim dark recesses. I could feel certainty return. It's all relative of course; it might seem odd that letting go of something that's nearly in the bag would be less stressful than seeing it through, yet, that's how it is. I feel way more relaxed with the zen of Not Knowing, than I am with the stress of trying to pull something together that seems difficult and for which I find vanishingly small support to accomplish, but would result in a sure address to forward my mail to.

Instead, I'll just get my mail forwarded to my mother's address, until I have one of my own.

The stress level is down palpably. I'm breathing easier and I can focus on what's in front of me instead of feeling obliged to try to advance stick-handle what lies ahead.

When I leave Vancouver it will be like driving into the void. I won't have any preconceptions of where I'll be living, because I'll have no idea where it will be, for sure. I'll be more relaxed, with no time pressure on me about getting money transferred by a certain date. I'll be able to just leisurely open a new account, and have money sent from the old to the new, the old ones closed. So much easier.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Huge blue

I spent the entire past weekend in Calgary, at our national physiotherapy congress, some of which was keenly interesting to me, most of which wasn't, but it's all OK, because while I was there I got an email from my real estate agent saying that the subjects had been removed. Firm sale. I'm nearly outta here.

Meanwhile, I had this lovely view from my Calgary hotel room. What a sky. What a sky. My little digital camera could only capture a fraction of the expanse that was available.

When I returned to Vancouver, I again was reminded about why I am leaving it behind. Even though the weather is lovely right now, the summer and high temperatures merely bring another sort of "lid" to live under - the lid of haze and smog. Again, not enough clear blue light can get through to satisfy my requirements. Too hibernate-y feeling, even in late spring with high temperatures and long long days. I get it now. I really get it. I'm so glad I decided to bolt while I still have a chance, and before becoming too mired in by life and in no position to be able to bolt.

I have more details to deal with, like selling my practice and getting rid of the remainder of my stuff, renting a mini-van and loading my chosen books, computer gear, and a red rug I've decided to keep into it, but these are just details and lucky for me, my landlord is also a notary. He has agreed to help me out. Lucky lucky me.