I read a lot of British and French literature when I was a teenager.

Rudyard Kipling’s poem If has stayed with me all these years, and even if I can’t remember it verse for verse, the point is there:

Life is going to knock you down. The men keep going.

I got knocked down hard today. Unfortunately, by a good friend who had no idea that they were kicking my feet out from under me. Unfortunately, by colleagues I respect and like very much.

Sometimes you have to really dig deep to be happy for someone when their win is your loss. I had to dig deep, then I had to dig really, really deep. It hurt.

But Kipling’s words were there, as they have been for me for 20 some-odd years:

… If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ …

And never breathe a word about your loss…

After you lose.

After you lose hard.

After you take a risk, put yourself out there and watch it all come crashing down around you.

I congratulated, smiled and cheered. I joined the enthusiasm. And somewhere behind the tears I was genuinely glad. I’m staying in that place, that place that is genuinely glad, that place that acknowledges my loss and sets it aside quietly, that will brave being reminded of my loss for what could be a long time, that will brush myself off and move on.

That place hurts.

But mine is the Earth, and I manned up.