Timing is everything…

I have done many things in my near 60 years on this planet. I have had many different jobs, been involved in many different organizations and owned several different businesses. One of the keys to this for me has always been timing.

What I mean is that for me, the easier something came together, the more I was sure I was walking on the correct path and that it was something that was meant to be at the time. The other idea that I have always been open to is that everything we do has a season and that sometimes things have to come to a close so you can move on.

A perfect example of this is Five Katz Antiques. I found a retail space, sort of by accident. After a casual conversation with my wife, we found we were looking at the space and within a very short time we were signing a lease and filling the space. We were in business.

I really enjoyed owning the store. I had some great items pass though my hands and some I even managed to keep. I sold items to television production companies for props in shows, to theme parks for display and inclusion in their traveling exhibits and also to some wonderful people for their personal collections.

I have met some great clients who have become friends, which is one of the most rewarding benefits of having the store. But as I mentioned before, everything has a season in our lives. I got a text message and found out the building had been sold.

After the building sale, and the new landlord announcing a 42% rent increase, I decided it was time to close this chapter. Sure, I could have stayed. I could have absorbed the rent increase and even signed for the three year lease, but after much thought and discussion we decided it was time to let it go.

I had negotiated several months in which to close down the store and the agreed upon date to vacate the building was July 30th. I decided I was going to be out by June 30th so I would not have to pay rent for July just to move out. I knew it would be a challenge for sure.

I decided what Items I wanted to keep, what items were donated, and what I was going to discount and I announced the closing. I was able to sell off a great deal of inventory, but I still had much that I just couldn’t justify selling at a reduced price. I sold display cases to other dealers and many fixtures went to a friend’s store to help his business.

After much effort, I was out by my deadline. Unfortunately I paid a heavy price.

I thought I had simply strained my back. This was mid-June. I still had much to do, so I did what every guy who doesn’t realize he is almost 60 years old does. I powered though it.

After a week or so, my back really began to hurt. I was having trouble even walking so I finally acquiesced and went to the doctor. After a cat scan they ordered a stat MRI. I was told I needed emergency back surgery or risk losing the use of my legs, as I had nearly blown out my entire L2-L3 disc. The next day I was admitted to Halifax hospital in Daytona.

After a four day stay and beginning the recovery process after having the herniated portion of my disc removed, I went home. I thought, what a great thing that I was out of the store and could take all the time needed to recover from my surgery.

Boy was I wrong. My body had other plans…

The very next day, after waking up, it hit the fan. I folded. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see and I passed out for several minutes. The next thing I knew when I woke up, my wife was on the phone to the medics.

After their arrival it was a whirlwind and I was no longer in control. The heart monitor showed me in A-Fib (During atrial fibrillation, the heart’s upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly — out of sync with the lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart.) at 149 beats per minute. A pretty dangerous condition for sure.

After arriving at the hospital, they started working on me; pumping medications into me to try to stabilize my heart rhythm, and then the ER doc made the decision to CAT scan my chest which proved a lifesaving decision. The scan showed multiple pulmonary embolisms!

Pulmonary Embolisms (PE) are blood clots in the lungs that originate in the legs. If they are not removed they can cause death. Two hours later I found myself in the radiology lab with a suction catheter in my femoral vein, going through my heart and into my lungs, having a procedure called a peripheral thrombectomy to remove the clots.

After awakening and talking with everyone, I was told they removed more blood clots from my lungs than they had ever seen before. Even the representative from the company who sold the hospital the machine had never seen such a case. All told they removed nearly 50 blood clots from my lungs, any one of which could have caused me a heart attack, stroke or worse, death.

So now instead of recovering from one surgery, I am coming back from two, with a near death experience tossed in for good measure.

Here is where the concept of timing comes back to us. If I hadn’t insisted on being out the building by the end of June, there is a chance I would still be paying rent on a store that I couldn’t run. I would still have all the inventory to dispose of and fixtures to move.

I was lucky in the timing and blessed with the outcome. By all standard thought, I should have died that day. I came close with my cancer years ago, but this was so immediate and so possibly deadly that I am still processing it. Many of the healthcare professionals who worked on my case are not sure why or how I survived.

So, the chapter that was Five Katz Antiques brick and mortar store has closed, and I am looking to possibly use our website to sell items that are left. The next chapter of my life begins as I recover my health. Timing is everything and everything has a season.