Well, there has been a lot going on at The Havens this week, which accounts for my lack of presence in the blogosphere. Instead of doing chores that desperately need doing (like laundry, vacuuming, weeding, etc.) I thought I’d work up a quick update.
The big news around here is the robins fledged and left the nest on Sunday morning. I managed to get a quick picture of them right before they acceded to their parents’ demands that they venture out into the big world.
It was quite the three ring circus out there Sunday afternoon as the harried Mama and Papa Robin tried to get their easily distracted, poorly coordinated and extremely naive chicks oriented and organized. Yesterday as I was doing massage, I kept hearing insistent cheeps from the shrub where their nest is. I managed to locate the complainer, and get its portrait as evidence that they have survived the first extremely dangerous days out of the nest. While I was out there, I also saw the parents delivering food to two other places (the maple tree next door and the boxwood shrub by the house), so I am confident in reporting that so far, all three chicks have survived. Here is the one in the juniper that was stridently interrupting my massages all afternoon.
I went out and picked some flowers the other day, right after I did my Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post, and Jim made a comment that I should do a post on bouquets you can’t have unless you have a garden full of flowers. He’s right. When was the last time you saw columbines or bearded iris at your local florist?
The other news around here is that the economy and the recession have finally made their impact felt on me personally. I am trying to stay positive, because fortunately we are in a fairly good financial position. What happened was that a local company which for the last 14 years has been providing their office workers with massage as a taxable fringe benefit decided that they needed to cut costs even more than they already have, and eliminated this very beneficial program, overnight, with no warning, effective immediately. They have already closed one green mill and laid off a few workers. They did not eliminate corporate vehicles for their superfluous engineers, nor their corporate gas cards, but who am I to second guess the 100% male managers who made the decision on which programs and people to eliminate to cut costs? Were any of them getting massage? No. Are any of them doing 8 hours of computer work every day? No. Do they have cars and gas cards? Yes. Do I sound bitter? Probably. But if I sound bitter, you can just imagine what the people whose carpal tunnels I have been keeping in service for the last 14 years despite the lack of ergonomic work stations and adequate rest breaks they get must be saying and feeling.
I am fortunate this decision was not made five years ago, when the people from this company comprised 85% of my client load. Today, they only represent 30%, due to my diversifying my clientele over the years during the slow attrition as people move, retire, or use other massage therapists over the years. A major player in the change towards other therapists was a woman who decided that I must be speaking to demons because I have crystals in my massage room. She stopped coming to me, and while she has never bad-mouthed me (mostly because she knows darn well what reaction the “talking to demons” idea would get), she also makes sure that any new employee who became eligible for massage got told how wonderful HER massage therapist was. So wonderful that she wound up having carpal tunnel surgery and back surgery after she stopped coming to me, but maybe there is no correlation between getting proper therapeutic massage and avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome and back problems. All that research must be wrong.
Oh yes, I am angry and slightly bitter, but my feelings are complicated because I am also extremely grateful for the years that I did serve this company. It makes me sad to see them regressing from a posture that was quite progressive and far-seeing in terms of their employees health, morale and well-being. But I also realize that it is better to pause and regroup rather than lose your business entirely in these times of recession. And, to give the employees of this corporation credit, the increase in my clientele outside of the company is largely due to their selfless promotion of my business during the years previous to this. Because of that, I am in a position to weather this slight downturn. And some of them will be coming to me on their own dime, although probably not every week as they were when the company picked up the tab.
Life goes on. The birds fledge, flowers bloom and fade, clients come and go. The important things: our health, Jim’s love for me, mine for him, Jesse’s love for us both, these things continue on regardless.
I am blessed, and I live fully believing the blessings will continue. As my mother is fond of saying, “This too shall pass.”