Good morning! My last post started to describe the home life that was happening while I was launching into starting my business. It wasn’t good. My enthusiasm for work and motorcycles were not matched with enthusiasm for my family or home life. I honestly didn’t consider anything but my own desires for the shop. I just figured my wife would be strong and take care of our boy and hold down the fort. And she did. That was the beginning of her mistake. She let me run roughshod all over our marriage without protest. The combination of my selfishness and her depression was beginning to create a situation that would only get worse and lead to some things that can’t be undone.
As the first summer of Highland Cycles began, it was exciting. I was getting new customers every week and people were happy with what we were doing. I was loving the work and loving the thrill of being my own boss. I really didn’t have a focus or a WHY at this point in the game. Now I know how important it is to have a reason WHY behind all of WHAT you do but in the summer of 2007 I was on another adventure and that was good enough. I had never run anything like this and I was making mistakes faster than I knew. Not so much with mechanic work (although there were plenty of those too) but with money mainly. I didn’t keep track of anything. I was so dumb that when I had a few hundred dollars in cash I felt like I was king of the world. I still had a big line of credit and so I was invincible. As far as I could tell, I was on the path to wealth and comfort!
I was also meeting lots of new people who wanted to hang out and go out at night. I began going out every night I stayed in Montrose and acting like a complete moron. I would drink and party like I was a college kid. I was buying drinks for everyone and drinking way more than I should. I would then get in my car and drive. Yep, break the law! I was a fool. I took that chance so many times and only by God’s grace did I not get caught. I would drive from bar to bar and then back to my in-law's house or to my shop to sleep. Drinking had never been a “problem” for me but I was doing my best to create one. When I would drink I would lose the ability to make good decisions and I also started to flirt with women while I was out. I knew that I would never do anything stupid, I was just having fun, blowing off some steam and my family was so far away. I continued this behavior week after week, month after month.
When I was away, it was as if I had no responsibilities. The distance between Ruth was physical and emotional and the emotional gap was widening. I continued to act like a wild man both on the bike and off and she continued to shut down and curl up in her emotional ball of safety. Like most insidious things, this gap grew so slowly and quietly that neither of us really noticed it. It was life as usual for us. I was home on the weekends and out riding as much as I could and she was taking care of our sweet baby boy and working like a rockstar at the Forest Service. I can’t believe I didn’t see what was happening or worry at all about how I was making Ruth feel. Selfishness really doesn’t even describe my actions. I was completely out of control and it was only getting worse.
Whew! This is getting hard to write for me. I am touching on some really sensitive things now and it's going to get worse but I am going to forge on because I think people need to hear this story. Because this is a story of hope and grace and mercy. Right now it doesn’t seem like that but I promise you it is. The darkest hour is right before dawn they say and it hasn’t even gotten all the way dark yet.
Thanks again for joining me. I know these are tough subjects and I’m not talking too much about entrepreneurship right now but we will get back to that. Have a great day and remember to be thankful!
I am thankful for longer days, some snow finally and lots of work at the shop!