Kris Kristofferson released the CD entitled “This Old Road“, in 2006. He has written enough songs in his lifetime to be the legend that he remains. Every song on that album is so full of truth that other truths quietly fall away. Especially, “The Last Thing to Go“.
Truth is a funny thing. Truth will make your spirit soar while making your life seem untrue. Add Kristofferson’s three chords, and you may find yourself questioning everything.
If you find yourself falling from the skies of what you once believed, enjoy the ride. If for some reason, others cannot hear what you hear, listen any way.
Prelude to The Last Thing to Go
He begins the starts the recording with a quote from “the great feather weight champion Willie Pep once said, talking of fighter’s lifetime.” The quote goes like this.
“The first thing to go is your legs, then it’s your reflexes, then it’s your friends.“
Then Kristofferson chuckles. He chuckles with a knowing that everything Willie Pep said was true. True, but somehow to be expected.
“Every hard rocking wreck on the highway
Every heartbroken rule of the road
(And) Every true thing we wrote on the wind is still singing
Love is the last thing to go“
“Love is the reason we happened at all
And it paid for the damage we done
And it bought us the freedom to fall into grace
On our way to our place in the sun“
The last nine years of my life have been spent in the express tunnel car wash industry. I did it all. If I did not do it all, I was willing to do it all.
I did it all to the best of my ability and along the way I learned everything I could from every person I met. My library is full of books, my phone is full of programs, and my heart is filled with stories.
Three company’s later (due to acquisitions) I find myself terminated from a position as district manager that I took nearly three years ago.
Once I was introduced to a group of new leaders by our COO. He said, “Kevin may be difficult at times, but when he is on your side, he is with you one hundred percent.”
Pardon the paraphrase.
I helped build a company of 23 car washes into a company of 190 car washes. What nobody knew, is that I was building relationships. In every city, in every local gathering spot, and in every smile.
If you must know, I could of done what I did if I was working for a company selling widgets. What I did was universal, because it was about people.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Robert Kiyosaki wrote in his book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, that when private equity and corporations take over, the only play in their playbook is this. Fire people and raise prices.
When the prices went up in my market, I figured my job was next. It was.
It was so predictable it was funny. When they called and offered for me to resign rather than be terminated, I insisted on being terminated.
My guess is there is an honor to be one of the first to be asked to leave. I was one of the higher paid DMs because I was one of the better DMs. My market was one of the largest and most successful. I wear it with pride.
What Was the Last Thing to Go?
Contrary to Willie Pep and Kris Kristofferson, it was not my friends. Everyone of the people I met over the years, even the ones requesting that I “resign”, remain in my heart. Whatever we built, we did it together.
I have always had people call me to share some good thing that happened. Some joy they wanted to express to an open ear.
They still do.
A lot of them may not even know I am not working at the moment, because my job description never defined our relationship. Nothing about what I has happened sank into regret, and it is all a lesson to be learned.
For over three years, some of you have followed the blog. Some of you follow on the Facebook page. This is an effort of love. All done after hours and under the noses of those who thought they knew me.
This blog will be posted to LinkedIn in the likely event that I will have to give up my daily coffee and birdwatching, in exchange for another position somewhere.
I left that job with love and well wishes, and I will accept another with the same. Possibility is exciting.
So, thank you for the good vibes and the kind comments. Thank you for the moments you take to read and to consider these thoughts.
What I know is this.
There is never anyone to blame, there is always an excuse to smile quietly and share peace and love. If it was kindness that got me to the dance, why would I forsake her just when the music is getting good?
Love may be the last thing to go, but it is not gone yet.
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