I Am The Great Recycler

Over the years, my husband, Martin, has turned me into a dumpster diver, a yard saler/rummage saler and an estate saler, most recently.  These days, the only items that I buy new are my underwear, socks and shoes.  Everything else I find on top of dumpsters or acquire at yard/rummage sales.   My mother would be appalled if she knew I was wearing someone's else clothing.  My mother was a real "clothes horse" and she spent a lot of time and money on shopping for the latest fashions.  This seems so unnecessary, considering that I have a child who somehow manages to smear yogurt or ketchup on my clothes.  I would describe myself as the "anti-shopper".  The last time I really got into shopping was when I was 16 and wore a size 2.  That was long ago and far away.

Martin and I have been recycling for over 3 decades;  long before it became fashionable to do so.  We try and leave as small a carbon footprint as is possible living in a big city such as Chicago.   Martin doesn't drive;  he either walks or takes public transportation.  I drive because I am schlepping my massage equipment around the city, but I walk whenever I can.

So, after 16 years of schlepping around with my massage table, I have decided it is time to do something else.  The question is:  what is the next career move for a 58 year old woman who has been a massage therapist for the past 16 years?  I can't see myself going to work for someone else where there is a good likelihood that my boss will be 20 years younger than I am.   That's definitely not going to be a good fit.

I have been looking for a different line of work for the past couple of years.  I almost invested in vending machines with the intention of selling healthy products;  gluten-free, no preservatives or food coloring, low sugar.  Then I discovered that the liability insurance alone would be $2,000/year.  So, someone tries to vandalize my machine, gets his hand stuck in the machine, pulls it over on himself, then sues me.  Such is the crazy, litigious world in which we live.  So, I abandoned that idea.

Then I was looking at "green consulting" businesses, but talked to a woman who was involved in such a business and she warned me against it, so I moved on from that idea.  The next idea was opening a second hand record shop, but that would have been difficult since we have a young child.  You need to stay open late at night for the 20 something record buying traffic, so that idea was nixed.

That brought me back to my recycling passion.  I would turn recycling into a business;  I would buy unusual items at yard/rummage/estate sales and sell them on Ebay.  I have seen enough episodes of Antiques Roadshow to know that something with a mark on the bottom is probably worth more than a dollar or 2.  My dream is to find a painting for  $3 and discover that it is worth $100,000.   It happens.  It happened last week.  The man was a farmer and he bought a painting in a farm sale.  He thought it was ugly;  that was until he found out it was worth $100,000!  I'll let you know how my new business venture works out.  But first, I have to figure out how to take pictures with my new  Smartphone!


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