My smoke for that evening was the Micallef Mata Fina.  I love the flavor of that Brazilian wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler.  This is a cigar that I enjoy at home and when I’m out. The Mata Fina is also a more budget-friendly smoke compared to some of the other sticks in my humidor. 
The picture was taken at my favorite cigar bar. They make a great old fashioned, which pairs nicely with a good smoke.  I’ve smoked a lot of these cigars, okay, and I’ve also drunk a lot of old fashioneds.

At some point, I realized that my view of the world had changed.
Things that used to make me upset, or situations at work where I’d historically get upset about something, I just couldn’t do it anymore.   While I realized that I had to be intentional about how I invested my limited emotional energy, the truth is, a lot of things that used to piss me off, just didn’t matter to me at the same level anymore. 

It was as if my meter had been recalibrated, and things that used to be a 7 or 8 or 9 on the piss-me-off-o-meter, now were more like a solid 4.  And there isn’t much reason to get upset about a 4.   It wasn’t that I stopped caring, and I want to be clear about that point.  

I love the work that I do, my living son, my wife and marriage, the life that I have, and the people that I know.  I feel fortunate to call some amazing people by the title of “friend.” And when they hurt, it touches me deeply.  

But my emotional response to day-to-day issues has changed.  It diminished, and in some cases, ceases to exist.  Moreover, I just don’t view most problems as being big enough to justify my getting upset.

And at some level, about some issues, it is a case of “fuck it, I don’t care.”  In those cases, I wonder why I ever got upset about those things in the first place. 

I remember the first time this happened was at work; it was maybe a year after my son passed away. A vendor had messed something up.  One of my employees was standing in the doorway of my office, arms flapping, voice yelling, telling me how everything was screwed up, and they were going to get to the bottom of it.  

I wish I could paint a better picture for you, but my words are failing me.  Trust me when I say that the moment was surreal.  Yelling, anger, and this profound commitment to rip this vendor a new fecal orifice.  And all I could think was, “Fuck you, my kid’s dead.  I don’t have it in me to get upset about this.  Fix it and let me know when it’s done.”

Now to be fair, the vendor made a dumb mistake; they were wrong, and it was this person’s job to fix that issue.  I don’t remember how I responded to the employee, but I remember saying something like, “Sounds like you are on top of it.  Let me know if you need my help with anything,” which is a lot more professional than what I was actually thinking.
But, at that moment, I realized how much my world had changed, because in the months before I would have been upset too.  I would have jumped into the fray, ready to go. 

But, that day, that same problem seemed so small, so easily resolved, so meager.  Also, on that day, when no amount of yelling, arms flapping, or bitching would bring back my dead son, the futility and arrogance of those same actions were almost comical to witness.

I think when you lose a child, you gain a perspective into how small most of the problems that we deal with really are.  It isn’t that you stop caring, but you recognize that some things just aren’t as important as you thought they were.  Solve it, fix it, get the job done, let me know if you need my help, but I’m not willing to invest that type of energy into getting upset anymore.
Now, let me be clear.  There are still plenty of things that piss me off, just not nearly as many as there were before. And most now feel like temporary annoyances as opposed to actual issues.  

And, because I’m investing less of my energy on stuff that doesn’t matter, I’m in a better place to enjoy the things that do.