I went into this school year last September 2014 with my mind open to the idea of taking an early retirement. The decision was finally made in October to "make it stop" and my last day of teaching was November 30, 2014. I'm now three pension cheques in, and still getting used to the joyous sensation of not having to do anything, literally.
In December I decided to hold the publication of the third issue of Greater Hamilton Musician until the JUNO Awards came to Hamilton in March. Somewhere in December I determined to include a directory and to hold a crowd-funding campaign to solicit listings.
Along the way, my video guy Christoph introduced me to Jeff Boulton, who eventually became my campaign consultant and had a large part to do with the success of the campaign which raised $6025. The month of December was a blur of activity related to re-branding my internet presence, especially getting social media accounts sorted out and connected. We were running around trying to promote the campaign, set up video clips of local musicians, get media coverage. Crazy. Then Christmas vacation hit and everything stopped. Nothing kicked back in until about the third week of January, and then we extended the campaign another week.
When the crowd-fund ended I was thick in the middle of chasing down ad sales, distribution agreements, etc. Then the last week of February was nuts as we finalized all the contents and did our proof-reading, sent off to printer, etc.
4000 magazines in 50 cartons were delivered on the morning of Tuesday March 10.
Two weeks later most of the dust has settled. The JUNOs is over. A few errors in the print version have come to light:
- A missed photo credit for Ross Taylor
- An extra photo credit for Suzanne Steenkist
- An incorrectly categorized text listing
- A wrong ad (last year's version) listed for Cat'N'Fiddle. This was embarrassing for them because it included the name of one of their longstanding musical performers Brian Griffith as appearing every Thursday night. That mistake really sucked.
- And one final doozy: an entirely missed ad placement from one of my first customers. He phoned and was angry, "I'm so angry," he said. This incident left me reeling with feelings of failure and insecurity. Plain and simple, this was my human error, despite all of my checking and double-checking! When the call came, I was convinced that I will stop all this nonsense and never pretend to be a magazine publisher again.
With Monday tomorrow, it will be a new time period. With March Break done, JUNOs done, magazine printed and distributed, crowd-fund done, most of the bills paid, there is a new-found sense of freedom. "This is the real retirement commencement" I'm thinking. Where I can get up in the morning and make plans to, say, work in the garden for example.
A couple of observations.
In the weeks before retirement date I was busy trying to capture all my thoughts and feelings about my future. Suddenly it all seems less important. It's like I was crossing a great divide in my life and I didn't want to miss out on my state of mind in the middle of it. Most of those thoughts are in my other blog glenswordsfor.us.
Today things are different. As Brenda and I debriefed over my feelings of wanting to quit and my imperfections with the magazine mistakes, she said, "Take a couple of days and get your head together. Decide what you want to happen next."