Strange times. Is there a better way to sum up the last month?

At this point, there’s nothing I can write about here that many of you aren’t already thinking. Still, there’s so much to think about. To keep it simple, one of the more pause-worthy quotes I’ve read in recent days looms especially large: In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.

But I can’t get into all that here; instead, I have to write about something else.

Curious thing: how life stacks up over time. You take a bug or a pebble to the eye in your youth and think nothing of it. A few years later, it’s a soccer ball to the face (again and again). Then you’re a boxer for a while, and you take thumbs, ears, noses, and full-on fists to the eye more than you’d like to admit. One day, you’re walking from work to your car and a tiny sliver of metal from a large cloud of lawnmower dust lodges itself in your right eye. It just feels like dirt, until it doesn’t—until, a few hours later, it’s all you can do to get yourself to an emergency eye specialist and have it bored out with a modified dentist drill.

A racquetball flush to the left eye a few years later, and life moves on. You eventually go to get your glasses renewed, and inquire about laser-eye surgery. That’s when you find out you have glaucoma. Fairly serious glaucoma. To an extent that you’re immediately referred to another specialist—who lets you know that your intraocular pressure is at a point where it shouldn’t be, at least not for another 30 years.

You get more opinions. The answer is the same. And the causes, while most concur point to the various traumas through the years, could vary—with all agreeing that, for whatever reason, your optic nerves are dangerously swollen for a man your age.

That was almost two years ago. Obviously, many appointments and discussions about what I do for a living since (stare at screens and pretty much beat my eyes up for 10 hours a day) brought me to a point early this January where I was given a firm directive from my doctors: change your lifestyle and your mode of work, or you’ll be visually impaired within five years, quite possibly blind before sixty.

As It Stands

Again, that was now three months ago. As I’ve explained, I’ve been dealing with it for a couple of years—eye exercises, eye drops, evolving eyewear prescriptions, work- and lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments, sleep adjustments, tech changes. And for a while, things seemed stable—which was positive—but they still had to change.

So, for the last year or more, I’ve been trying to sell The Observer. Admittedly, I’ve had a certain buyer in mind—someone who will understand and appreciate what we’ve accomplished here for more than four years, and run with it accordingly.

My insistence on finding such a person has certainly influenced some otherwise interesting offers, but I really have put my heart into this thing, and I wanted to make sure that I was handing it off to someone who would not only understand it, but care about it.

As it stands, all of this has been happening within an ever-tightening circle the last few months, and then, wham … coronavirus. Nonetheless, we had new leadership positioned to take over with the May issue. But as times have become exponentially more uncertain at an ever-increasing pace, we were ultimately unable to complete the agreement.

Life and timing being what it is, The Observer is going to hit the pause button for a moment—in order to see what path lies ahead, and perhaps locate who might be able to commandeer the ship if/when the time is right for a return.

While I’m not sure what exactly the future holds for the paper, I will say that it is still very much for sale, and we may explore some online content moving forward.

That said, I want to stress that, strange times notwithstanding, I would have had to make a change at this point, regardless, for my health. Obviously, corona has complicated the final turn, but what can you do. When has life ever been perfect?

In parting, I want to emphasize that it has been an absolute honor to put this paper out to you, our readers. And a pleasure working with all of our wonderful advertising partners. I truly thank all of you for the endless support. Without you, it’s simple: The Observer wouldn’t have happened. Hopefully in time, it will continue on—ever better.

And that works for me.


All the best to you and yours,
Mike Chalmers
Owner, Editor in Chief

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One Response

  1. Doug Pifer

    Mike thanks for all you have done fo this community this is a great paper and Ive been honored and proud to be one of the contributors. Keep up the passion you have for helping the addicts and alcoholics , The world will always find a place for you!


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