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Ladies & Gentlemen....THE Bifana!

The more I think about it, the more strongly I feel that my life would be much better if I had been born with a trust fund!


So, because of my father’s failure to get good and rich, I have go back to work this week!


Going back to work after vacation hard enough! Having to start a new career after vacation is a whole new level of unnerving.


THANKS DAD!


Lisbon was transcendent: “ beyond the normal physical level.” (Dictionary.com with the assist). I have been really fortunate in the number of great cities I have experienced. Lisbon makes them all jealous! Every corner a visual gift. Every road and sidewalk is made from hand-laid limestone tiles no more than a few inches in size. The entire city is a mosaic.

The moment I saw it, I felt like I wanted to write.


But I was on vacation, from writing too and so I didn’t. Besides, who had time for that? We were there to give our heads a rest and to let our hearts take over for a few days.


And Lisbon is all heart.


After four days in London we spent much of the next four days eating, drinking walking and riding the tram around this jewel. We took countless pictures, though I doubt we’ll need them. The city displays an imagery that commits itself to your memory: as clearly as a picture can. The tastes of the “pastels de nata” and the “bifana” are forever on our tongues wish-list!


In an awkward irony, I ended up sending my daughter pictures of everything we ate!


We have already started thinking and talking about getting back to Lisbon, next time for much longer so I can find time to write! I could burn out the keyboard on a Macbook in a city like Lisbon; there was inspiration everywhere.


All that typing would be done while Guy was out reconnecting with her European genetics. Born in Italy, she felt an immediate connection to the near-ancient Lisbon.


And the people!


We got back late Friday and I spent the weekend calling family, doing laundry, checking in on a few straggling work items and mostly, just wondering.


But the wondering stops Tuesday morning. By the time you read this on Wednesday morning I will be on day-two of my new career path. The winding road that was my life as I sold my family’s 112-year-old paint business, has finally made it around the last corner. I will spend the rest of my career WITH dealers, but I will no longer be one. Now, I’m just a blogger, consultant, writer, the Strategic Counselor at Benjamin Moore or who knows what else my life has in store?


I still plan on going back in time and telling a more detailed story of the sale of my stores. But for now, I want to look forward.


I had started a few small projects in the Montvale headquarters before I was assaulted by the longest month of my career. I’ll pick them up again, but mostly this will be new ground for me. Every day, a new adventure.


With luck, the podcast equipment I ordered a month ago has come in and gotten set up. That’s priority number one for me. I’ve got a bunch of topics ready to go and after some time to learn how to use the equipment, I can start taping. I’m looking forward to making a number of episodes, a full season in fact, over the course of the next few months. (By the way, if anyone wants to email or text me an episode idea that they think would be interesting that would be cool.)


Of course in addition to the podcasting, I’ll be writing. At the moment though, we don’t know where we are going to be posting that work so stay tuned.


I’m still dealing with some strange feelings and experiences relating to my transition from being a paint dealer to being whateverthehell I am now.


For example, while we were in London we went to a party for a friend’s birthday. Of the 40 or so people at the party, I only knew a few so we spent much of the night making conversation with strangers. “What do you do for work?” is something you hear often in a setting like that; its easy conversation to make with strangers. This night was no exception.


The problem was, I was unprepared!


No one had yet to ask me that since I sold my stores and now it was the topic of the night!


I’m still not sure myself what I do for work and so that makes telling others what I do very difficult. Over the course of the night I tried a few things on: “I’m a blogger,” “I’m a writer,” “I’m a consultant,” “I’m retired” each got used a time or two. “I’m a strategic counselor for a paint company” got used once too! I dropped that one after the first use: It was far too wordy and difficult to understand.


But they ALL sounded strange to me.


When was the last time someone ask you such a simple question about your life, and you had to think about it before you could respond?

What we do for a living is one of the hardwired facts we have on our motherboards: Where do you live? What do you do? How many kids do you have? And others like that. You don’t need to think about your answers to those questions, they’re instinctual for us; the answers are familiar. That familiarity brings comfort that at the moment, my life lacks (ALSO dad’s fault in my view).


I know where I live (I drive home every night)! I know I only have one daughter (thank God because I could not afford two)!


Now though, answering the simple question “What do you do for work?” leaves me stressed.

I think it will get easier once I figure out what I’m actually doing!


As soon as I do, you all will be the first to know!




©2019 by Mark Lipton

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