posted by Lorraine (L.L.) Bartlett

Willsonny Movin' On was the name of a TV show (1974-1976) about a couple of long-distance truckers (Will Chandler & Sonny Pruitt, played by Frank Converse and Claude Akins). I loved it. At one time, my ambition was to BE a long-distance trucker. (I was very young.) I used to love to drive, and the idea of driving a big rig seemed tres kewl. (BTW, I no longer love to drive. Driving any distance longer than an hour can bring me to tears. Even sharing the road with big rigs terrifies me.)

I've always been reluctant to move on, to leave my "comfort zone." With critique groups that weren't working, jobs I despised, hanging onto so-called friends who, quite honestly, screwed me. Etc., etc., etc.

I've had a booth at a local antiques arcade for almost twelve years. I used to love it. I lived for it. But in the last eighteen months or so (thanks to our foundering economy and my inability to find the kind of merchandise I like to offer), it's become clear to me that I've overstayed my welcome. And worst of all, it's no longer fun.

Although I have great affection for the people I work with on Thursday evenings (Gail, Brenda, Cathy and Nancy, plus Arlene and Mr. Bill), I no longer enjoy the three-hours a week I'm sentenced to work. My profit-loss spreadsheet for 2007 has more red entries than black. Things/situations in my personal life have conspired against me.

It's difficult to shut off the safe and familiar, and because the co-op is my only social outlet these days, I worry that I may be further isolating myself. I no longer have any close friends who live nearby. Most of my social life revolves around pals from the Internet. (Like my Writers Plot buddies.) Still, it's not the "real" world.

So I think I'll just take a sabbatical. I'm giving myself a six-twelve month reprieve. If I miss it terribly, I can always go back. Of course, I wouldn't have as good a location within the building, and most likely I wouldn't work with the same people (some of whom are feeling as burned out as me).

I need to deplete my inventory. That means selling it at a discount (and sometimes a loss) just to get rid of it. (And wouldn't you know, I'm really bogged down with used books.)

Circumstances change, as do people, and I'm reminded of a line from a sung by Melanie ("Running After Love"): "Giving life to love I know will end." That's what I've been doing for the past year. Or how about that old Air Supply song, "I'm all out of love"?

It's time to move on.

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