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Entrepreneurial Thoughts on a Blue Monday

December 6, 2021
Photo by Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham

Over the right side of my desk sits a calming aquarium with gurgling sounds, soft floating bubbles from the aerator, and green seaweed. The feng shui experts would applaud my choice in setting a quaint, peaceful setting in the midst of my busy 26-year entrepreneurial home office. The aquatic symbol reminds me of my love for swimming, snorkeling, and all things water.

My “partner-in-crime” in business, the past five years has been a brilliant blue cichlid named……wait for it….”Blue,” my youngest son’s first pet that accompanied him his last year at Syracuse University. At times, Blue’s tank had accidental vodka and beer poured into it by drunken fraternity brothers of my son, but he survived in the college atmosphere. Maybe he thrived on my son’s love for him.

Blue Higginbotham

When our son graduated and moved to New York City, he asked us to take Blue in as our pet. Knowing I wasn’t allergic to him, like I am to cats and dogs, we agreed.  As empty nesters, the song, “Me and You, and our Fish Named Blue” became mine and my husband’s favorite little tune. What else are you supposed to do when faced with an empty house after twenty-two years of loving to parent two boys? Eventually we bought Blue a larger tank as he grew bigger (most likely due to his water being cleaner) and he became a large part of my work environment.

“You are feeding him too much, Mom,” my son would say returning home to check in on his fish. “Well, I’m Italian, what do you expect? He looks hungry all the time,” I retorted. After Adam would leave to go back to the Big Apple, Blue and I would settle back into our business life working and swimming in the Women TIES Office. When I’d leave for appointments, I’d tell him I’d return soon and when I did he would come to the edge looking for food and a greeting.

I know, I know…..fish don’t have large brains but when you hang out with another living entity for five years, you get them, you know? When I’d be on the phone or playing music while I worked, Blue was more alive dipping and diving in his serene space. Glancing at him once in a while made me happy. Is that crazy to admit?

So when I entered my office at 7 a.m. on this December Monday morning before turning on his light, I could see he wasn’t in his familiar greeting place. Sure enough, Blue had gone to the big fishing pond in the sky during the night leaving me to have a “Blue Monday” and singing a new tune, “Blue Christmas.” I know, I know….it is silly to be used to having a fish as a companion but all you animal and fish lovers out there understand the quietness existing in my office today.

Today’s blog post is a cheer to my partner-in-crime Blue and the presence he brought to my sea foam green office. The aquarium still gurgles but it is missing its pride and joy, and my entrepreneurial sidekick. Remember to appreciate your staff, partners, sidekicks, and even animals that make your work space a joyful place. Swim freely in peace today Blue! You’ll be missed.  

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