I checked in to my hotel yesterday and, unusually, I sat down for a couple of minutes. My usual routine is to strip my work gear off and unpack as soon as I enter the room. I must have still been on weekend time because I also didn’t flick the lock over, another force of habit action. A few minutes later I thought I heard a tap but didn’t pay too much attention. You guessed it, next thing I hear is a card in the door and it opening. My unexpected ‘visitor’ was a supervisor checking on the room, all very apologetic.
You see that’s the thing, after a certain point in life it’s just not rock and roll. I don’t know when it changes, certainly there is no alarm or obvious indication. You don’t receive a card saying “please be aware you are now old” it just sneaks off and before you know it you’re skirting the bar and dreaming of Tea. Oh you can still be young, still act up and be immature but you have to plan and organise it, it’s no longer the default status and recovery is no longer instant. My love of the licensed trade is well recorded, but a conversation with Dave over the weekend reminded me that my reasons are not what they once would have been. As a young man pubs looked like wonderful places full of potential conquests and parties, those days are gone though. The two old men that sat in the pub on Friday night quickly concluded that it’s about belonging and an attempt not to repeat the past. You really wouldn’t think that guys in pubs have these conversations, perhaps they come with age. The pub, if successful, meets two key objectives of my life that have only ever been served by work. The pub provides me with a link to a community and a purpose. Running a business as a single man is ridiculously difficult and fills your every hour, tiredness trumps loneliness every time don’t you know. Interestingly the later observation was shared by a younger friend as well as Dave so maybe it’s not all about age, perhaps in part it is experience.
The great thing about your own business is that you chose your path, there is no enforced retirement or abandonment. Yes, I really think like that, told you I was old!