Horatio and the Art of Letting Go: The Fail Monster Part II

Not to jump on Laurie Ruettimann’s brand…but my cat Ray (short for Horatio) is not doing well.  Many think I named him after Romeo’s pal in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. But since pretension is not by bag, in actuality his real name is Horatio since he was found on Horatio Drive in Chicago, IL.  He is 15 or 16…don’t really know exactly but he is old.  He has been my pal for many years.  However, for the past 10 months we have seen a slow steady decline for no other reason than he is old.  Just when we are about to throw in the towel Ray bounces back.  We never stop trying new treatments: whether a new medicine, saline treatments or a very expensive trip to the vet….for a few days or a few weeks or sometimes a few months he bounces back. 

Unfortunately the bounce backs are becoming shorter and shorter; not surprisingly. Up till now I have been pretty optimistic– however Ray’s quality of life is becoming an increasing thought to me (and no doubt my cat).  So it’s time to start trying something different. Or in the very least, thinking differently.

As I stated in my last post–I am working on a change management course for my company, Daxko.  And I huge chunk of my research is from a fab book called, Survival Is Not Enough by Seth Godin.  For those bloggers and HR thought leaders who have been around a while–this may be considered an oldie-but-goodie.  But for those of you new to the scene it is still a stellar read on change, the new speed of business (the new “norm”) and staying agile.  Staying agile means you have to flex, bend, and sway with the constant change.  And to do that you have to let go of failures quickly and move to other things.  You have to let go.

Human beings are not hard-wired this way.  We have evolved to survive, stay comfy, and defend our status quo.

This strategy is not working for Ray, my cat.  And likely it is not working in your business either.

So I am going to start thinking differently.  I’ll keep doing my treatments (I’m not cruel for God’s sake)…and if there is something new (a new medicine or food) I’ll give it a go.  But my different approach will include keeping my cat comfy, hugging him more, letting him sleep on my head if he wants and loving him more than treating him. Who knows what will happen; maybe something I can’t imagine or foresee now.

Think differently in your work worlds. Let go of that project that just isn’t working. Let go of your preconceived notions of your 3 year plan that will likely change after 2 months. Let go of thinking your team will stay in their roles for good.

Try something new and you may be surprised; maybe something you can’t imagine or foresee now will rock your world.

Published by

Dawn Hrdlica-Burke

VP People & Culture/ Talent Consulting at Kinetix. Advisor. Speaker. Writer.

4 thoughts on “Horatio and the Art of Letting Go: The Fail Monster Part II

  1. Oh no.

    I’ll tell you what my amazing vet at Cozy Cat Hospital told me.

    1. Whatever you do, you will feel guilty.
    2. It always feels too soon.
    3. Many owners let things go too long.

    Here’s what we did for Lucy. We knew things were going downhill. We set a date. We made sure that the last [X] amount of days were fabulous. Treats. Kitty massages. Tuna juice. Warm beds. Snuggles. And then we took her to the vet and said goodbye.

    It wasn’t easy, but it was peaceful. And that last week was pretty special in my mind. And then I cried for about three weeks — but that’s life. Gotta take the grief with the love.

    Thinking of you, sistah.

  2. Dawn, I’m really sorry about Ray. I hope things work out for the best – whatever that entails.

    I have to agree with Laurie – pick a date and then make that last week fabulous. I know many people who have done this with their dogs – spoiled them shamelessly for the last week and let them go. I wish I had done this with my first dog. I let things go far too long, and only had one night with him when the time to put him down was forced on me. Hugs.

  3. I’m looking after a 9 year old cat for a dear friend right now. He needs insulin injections twice a day, and he has cataracts. Quality of life is questionable. It feels like his owner just doesn’t want to go through the pain of letting him go, so is in this delaying pattern… but at some time in the future they are going to have to.

    So I could try and point out some kind of business/HR analogy, but instead I’ll just say: Sorry about Ray, and I’m going to try and peddle Laurie’s advice myself now.

  4. @laurie @joan @mike
    thank you all for the thoughts and advice.

    This is so helpful and appreciated. It is hard for me to “switch my thinking” with Ray. But I am getting better.

    I’m worrying less about what is the perfect thing to do and just letting the little guy do what he wants.

    The advise is so appreciated and helps me keep it all in perspective.

    Much love—

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