Elvis Has Left the Building

Today, I surrendered my key to my massage room and said good-bye to a career that has spanned a total of 23 years. Located in a major thoroughfare in Manhattan Beach, it’s one of the best locations I’ve ever set up a practice and it was sad to let it go. There was nothing to take pictures of this time for the couch was gone and so were the armchairs and the side tables. Even the foyer table where we had a bowl of candy mints and flowers was gone. The Keurig machine and water dispenser would have to go, too, because there can no longer be common-use equipment on site.

It was bittersweet knowing that my roommate/landlady had just renewed the three-year lease a few months ago and even re-tiled the countertops of the bathrooms at the beginning of the lockdown when it looked like we’d be back open in no time. Of course, that’s not what happened. Instead, with California opening up in phases, massage therapy services are included in Phase 3 which may be around mid June or July. But with the new protocols for practice that will include having the therapist change clothes after every client besides wiping everything down including the chairs and tables in the waiting area, it no longer looks feasible to continue. And since I normally take the summer off to be with my son, there was no point for me to keep my room.

So I surrendered my key and picked up whatever I had left in the office. In this case, a set of sheets, an herbal eye pillow, and a statue of Kuan Yin that two clients (a married couple) gave me as their parting present when they retired out of state about three to four years ago. As I looked at the bag, it hit me that it pretty much represented the end of 23 years of massage therapy.

And while I felt a sense of loss, I also felt a sense of relief. It was my official retirement party sans the balloons and cake. But it’s okay. I had a good run and in life, we have to keep moving. I’ll have cake and balloons tomorrow for my birthday.

I also have books to write!

16 Comments on “Elvis Has Left the Building

    • Thank you, Sue! I had a good birthday – stressful with the kid’s online schooling stuff and other new things we have to add to the schedule for him until end of school but all in all, it was good 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad your birthday was good overall! My son is finding online super tough. I doesn’t really hold his attention.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My son loves the online learning but only because he gets to fidget as much as he wants, get up in the middle of the discussion to do something else (unless I catch him and tell him to return to his seat or pay attention), and have no behavioral therapist remind him to refocus. So while he loves it, it’s not helping him with his existing problems since he is on the autism spectrum (high functioning). And since he doesn’t really like socializing so much and isn’t adept socially beyond the initial hi’s and hello’s, will you play with me? (he then does what he wants to do with or without the friend), this lockdown isn’t helping him develop his social skills further. And I can only do so much being his mom and in the same space 24/7.

        Now that it’s been 11 weeks since he stopped going to school and we’ve been home for most of it (he went out for the first time yesterday to pick up the free lunch from school and he now wants to do it every weekday), I definitely feel it. Yesterday, before-lockdown, I probably would have gone to the nature center and enjoyed a nice hike by myself and write a bit in the outdoors. Instead, I stayed indoors like the last 11 weeks and made the best of the situation. I did get myself a new hard floor vacuum so there’s that LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes my son is on the spectrum as well, and he also has other issues including ADHD. So he probably likes not having to talk to people, but he’s also playing Minecraft in the background because it seems to help him focus on what’s being said. The course he’s taking (music production and sound engineering) is supposed to be very hands-on, which doesn’t quite translate to on-line. He was only diagnosed when he was 14, which was a relief for him. He’s 18 now.

        Basically, my big stress that I wrote about was that they dismissed him from the college because there were a bunch of assignments he hadn’t done. They were supposed to be keeping us informed because he’s under the legal age of 19, but they didn’t. So I spent a day negotiating for a week to complete that course. And finally providing them with a detailed request for accommodation. We had not disclosed before because my son wanted to try to manage it himself. Which he did, up until the course went on-line. In the end, disaster averted, but it was stressful.

        I remember never having a moment to myself when the kids were smaller. Lockdown would definitely complicate matters.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh Sue! I’m so glad you were granted accommodation for him! I was lucky in the beginning with my son because I was in such deep denial for years, writing all my books during that time, while he had truly caring people at school who made sure his individualized education plan was set up to accommodate all his needs then. Now that he’s older and I’ve finally snapped out of my denial, I’m more hands on to the detriment of my books but I’ll have to adjust. I’ve learned a lot through the years and one of them is that I’m going to be my son’s biggest advocate just as you are for your son. Sending you hugs!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think it’s very easy to be in denial, especially with kids on the higher end of the spectrum. We finally went and paid for an assessment because we couldn’t get an IEP and the psychologist was perceptive enough to recognize the autism and send him for further testing. The accommodations were essential in high school. But even so, and even with him being 18, I still need to be hands on, although certainly less so. Hugs back at you!


    • Thank you! I was always basically full time but having that 1 day a week thing made it not exactly full time (but close) lol

      Liked by 1 person

  1. OMG! I’m gone for a few….months and everything is topsy turvy! I can’t believe you retired. I know stuff is weird in CA but that is terrible. I finally got back to my massage therapist on May 4th. It was such a great relief after more than 8 weeks.
    But WAIT, did Michael say you are now writing full time?!? That is fantastic. Good work! (I’m still sad for your clients though…it’s hard to replace a wonderful massage therapist)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was semi-retired already or close-to-retired considering I was only seeing clients 1 day a week. I was simply finishing up the accounts of clients who prepaid. But I had hoped it would end around June just in time for summer vacation which I take off anyway and return in September. After 20 years, I thought it woudl be cool to kinda do something special with the long-time clients, give them a gift or something like that but the lockdown took care of that.

      How was your massage? Did the therapist have to wear a mask the entire time? Here, both the therapist and the client are supposed to wear one. And we’re supposed to change clothing after every session (which I doubt would happen anyway). The therapists who are working with doctors and chiropractors have gone back to work but for therapists like me in private practice, we have to wait until Phase 3 here in California which may be around mid-June. But it was just sad to see the couches and fluffy armchairs taken away – basically we have to limit the items and furniture in the common use areas and that just about killed the ambiance of our office. So I said screw it and retired. Four other people in the office did the same thing, 2 aestheticians and 2 massage therapists. And my roommate is now stuck with a 3-year commercial lease on her own because I didn’t renew.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My massage therapist moved into new digs on March 1st. I was fighting an infection and didn’t go in so May 4 was a long stretch for me. She did wear a mask and is required to change sheets between clients (which she did before anyway). She has CF and is high risk so I want her to be careful. They aren’t required to change clothes but there is no waiting in the waiting room and she takes the temps of her clients as they walk in. We just wait in our cars until she steps to the door and waves us in.
        I worry about my family in CA and I’ve already sent them a care package with hand sanitizer in it. Because of our small population and seclusion, we’ve done well up here. We are still sheltering in place for the most part. My kids can’t decide if it’s because we should or it’s just the way we are. haha

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think here in CA it will be the same as far as no waiting area and wearing masks throughout the session. I was just done with it. With my kid’s many sessions that I now need to oversee that we’re doing hte home learning, it’s taken over everything else and I just didn’t want to have to worry about paying rent for a room I wasn’t going to use in the summer.

        We seem to be doing okay here. We just started picking up free lunch at the school after my mother asked my we never availed of that and so here we are. It was the first time my kid was actually in a car for a drive since school was dismissed on March 13 and so now he wants to pick up his lunch every day. It made me realize that all the masks we have are for adults and so I need to adjust the one he wears so it won’t fall off his nose. Us Filipinos with our flat noses lol

        Glad you guys are doing well there! Missed you and glad to hear from you again. I actually did find a cover model for you and then got so busy doing something else. Will show you in the email since I had to put a shirt on him first lol

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Carly! Good to see you ! I’ve missed reading your blog and getting the updates on your adventures in new-found family! Hope you are doing well.

      Liked by 1 person

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