I cried today

I cried today. That's kinda sorta news. Not life changing, earth shattering news. I have never been the macho, I can never shed a tear kind of man. But in order for me to cry, I believe that the power of whatever I am holding inside has to overwhelm me. And I gotta leak a little out. So, I cried today.

If you read this blog a lot, you know it took me 37 years to find my Little Red. 37 years of living that could have been so much better had she been by my side. Not saying I wish I could have changed it. Because I never would have recognized her had I not gone through all of that first. And those 37 years were filled not just with bad decisions and forgettable moments, but also with wonderful memories of 3 awesome sons and several life changing people along the path. But it never became complete, I never became complete, until the night I met her. And its hard for me to remember what it was like before.

I went into this life with her with my eyes wide open. I knew that she came with a set of issues I could not change, but I knew I had to overlook. And for almost 5 years I have enjoyed this life that we have built together. With her help, I have watched my sons evolve into respectable young men. I have watch our house transform into a home. I have felt myself grow more confident and become a better man. None of it possible without her. Not one little bit.

Now we confront the challenges that were inherent. A heart that only functions at 20%, and only puts out 17% of the oxygen through the blood that a regular heart would. Its scary. I am terrified that I will wake up tomorrow and she will not. My own heart drops when she loses her breath or grabs her chest. And it scares me when we begin to talk about transplants or mortality rates or final arrangements. I hate it. I run from it. Because I am so afraid I don't know how to be me without her. And I am sure I don't want to find out.

I like to think I do a pretty good job of hiding the fears I have from her. I need to be her rock. When she tells me its going to be ok and that she is not going out like that, I smile at my tough girl because I know she means what she is saying. And she re-assures me that we will grow old together and that I am stuck with her. I love that rebel at all cost attitude she brings. It's one of my favorite parts of Little Red. Well, one of a million. But then she does things like repaint the whole house in a week or cook dinner for 15 all by herself  and my cycle of worry and fear starts all over again.

Usually that just means trying not to think about it. Focusing on work and life. But add another stressor, as I had today, and Niagara Falls is open for business.

I believe that in my role at the Mammoth, one of my most important responsibilities is developing people. Always training someone to be my replacement, I try to get people to look at things differently and not get so overwhelmed by the moments we deal with day to day. Because any moment we ever find ourselves in is temporary. And today's minute, whether one of joy or dread, turns into tomorrow's memory. So we must not carry them with us.

A few months ago, one of my team members walked away from the job and left us in a bad place. It was a forgettable moment if there ever was one. When he decided to leave, he pointed the finger at me, running my name through the mud to anyone who would listen. I realized after a few days that he was just making excuses for his weaknesses and that this is just who he was as a person. No amount of coaching would fix hypocrisy or give someone the character they claim to have. But I felt so disappointed because this person was a guy who I had really gone out of my way to coach and mentor. And when I found that he was not the person I thought he was it stung, as I completely misjudged him. But I moved on from that moment and, as a company, we are better off.

About the time he left we added another person to the mix. A seasoned veteran of the industry and personal friend of mine, both my boss and I felt he would be a tremndous asset to pur team. And he was at first. Helping to navigate one of the busiest times of the year and ready to go tackle any project, this guy was budding into the superstar we knew he could be. But there always seemed to be something just a little tenuous, While I couldn't put my finger on it, I was sure it was nothing we couldn't overcome. Afterall, I am a people developer right?

Except, maybe people do not want to be developed sometimes? And maybe my judgement lapsed again.

This morning, before most of my team showed up for work, this budding superstar resigned his position. It wasn't that he moved onto to something else. It was that this isn't right for him. He never felt at ease. He never felt like he grasped the concept of what we do. A hundred reasons he gave me for leaving. All pointing back to one thing.

I failed.

As a manager, as a trainer, as a friend, I failed this guy. I failed the Mammoth. And I failed myself.

Now, I am not a pity party kind of guy. I never say oh whoa is me. I do not need that kind of attention or validation from anyone. I am the glass half full, good morning sunshine, Awesome McAwesomesauce kind of guy. But today, in the office, reflecting with another project manager, it hurt. And I had a little pity party.

Take that whoa is me attitude, mix in a my standard worry about Little Red, and then throw Mandisa's stronger playing on my sound bar in my office, and it was too much.

I cried.

After a moment or two, my phone rang. A client. I answered. I went about my day. I realized there are lessons to be learned in every moment. I realized no one knows what is going to happen tomorrow. I realized that someone else's deficiencies do not make me bad at my job. And I realized that no matter if its 2 days or two hundred years, everyday I get with Tiffany is a gift. And I will treasure each one.

See swallowed the worry again!

Monday morning I will meet with my team. I will post the newly vacated position in house and online. I will find the right person for that seat on the bus. And I will apply newly learned lessons into developing that person as I have done with others before. But first.....

Day # 935.Tomorrow is Little Red's birthday. Hometown Hotdogs, a couple thrift stores, and the Buckeye game are amongst her requested activities for the day. Funny thing is, that is just the kind of day I need.

Say a little prayer for my girl will you?

Pity Party over.


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