By now, it’s public knowledge that the time period from 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2, through 4:05 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27, was the worst emotionally I’ve experienced in a while.
So how did I make it? How did I not just give up — which I seriously pondered for much of that time period.
There were many, many sleepless nights and many, many tears. And much reaching out to people who loved or admired me and still didn’t really understand.
That’s OK. I didn’t understand much of what I felt either.
And then I found what I didn’t know I had been seeking. And what I didn’t know would make the difference.
My typing stand in my far from paperless zone is as deep as the guide bar on the bottom will allow.
There is stuff on there containing dates as old as 2005. So when I was replacing some old papers with the newest version of an internal office thing, I found this photo, much older than 2005. It’s low resolution and printed on color HP photo stock.
Honestly, I don’t know from whom I received it. And if it was you, and I have forgotten, I apologize.
For a lot of seasons, I was honored to be the kind of de facto Casper representative of the worldwide Go Pack Go fanatics. People from here would make a pilgrimage to cheese land and bring me back all sorts of stuff.
I have a stoneware water jug on my desk, along with a collectible helmet. I have a stress reliever green and gold squeezable football that doesn’t do its job and has been squeezed almost to death.
And then there is this photo. It’s not the framed one that is propped against my low divider wall — that’s the one from the floor of the Super Dome in New Orleans before the start of Super Bowl XXXI.
This one I think is at a home game, in good weather. The ball cap is white with a green bill; the polo shirt is green with a white G. His Sprint headphones are on, as are his transitional lens sunglasses.
He’s yelling — of course — but the vein in his neck isn’t sticking out, so it’s either early in the game, the Packers were way ahead, or an absurd PI had not just been called.
So I grabbed that photo, and moved it from the depths of the typing stand to the front.
It’s my grounding.
Every hard problem that I have to deal with is resolved not because I have found my way alone in 61-1/2 years. Even though she never, ever worked in an office or for a corporation, and even though he made more money in a year than I make in many years, my parents are my grounding — for everything.
I wish everyone could find their version of this old, blurry photo. It makes a world of difference.
I looked at that picture, and I was no longer lost. Desperation was replaced by resolve, one of his strongest personality traits. I was not gutted.
That’s for the fish he loved to catch. As for me, I will be fine.