Life, the Universe, and Everything

There’s been a trend the last several months of me apologizing for any number of things in my blog posts, along with expressions of hope and best intentions to get back on the ball. Blog after blog, I kept repeating myself. And then the blogs stopped.

People keep telling me how great I'm doing, how I've done these amazing, special things. The wonderful messages were my motivation to continue with my nose to the grindstone to build Redpants into a viable business. The first two years were, in hindsight, very smooth and easy.

But this year has been absolutely awful. It started off with our disastrous relocation from Virginia to Florida. Then came my dad's cancer diagnosis. Next was a series of unsuccessful, expensive, and fruitless product launches. The nonstop onslaught of bad news gave me so much anxiety and depression that I could barely function. At the same time, the job I moved to Florida for ended up being much less fulfilling than I had expected. I've been frustrated with it on a nearly-daily basis. Between my struggles with Redpants and my inability to enjoy my day job, I completely lost my motivation for pretty much everything.

Regardless of the encouragement from people telling me how great Redpants is, and how much they appreciate what I’m doing, and that I’m doing this wonderful thing, my depression gets worse and worse. Every time I talk to someone, I can't help but think...

"This isn't what success is supposed to feel like."

I've still been taking notes, writing, and filming to build content. Some of it I've quietly uploaded. Much of it, especially video, I haven't finished. Filming has been the hardest. I'll shoot a video and then sit there thinking, "That smile is a lie." Sometimes I'll film and look at the video, thinking that my eyes are dead, or seeing my own sadness plastered across my face. I couldn't get myself to upload any of the videos I've shot for one reason or another - usually to hide the fact that I've been struggling so much.

Clare was there to pick up the pieces and she kept me going. Not only did she support me, she also took care of our family, our household, and Redpants. As my depression continued, I grew complacent and I took Clare for granted. No matter what she did to try to help me get my head straight (and trust me, she did more than anyone could ever be expected to do), I didn't get any better. It wasn't fair to her and, eventually, it was too much.

We broke up a couple weeks ago, and I haven't been handling it well. I can't fault her for wanting to go her own way. She's been taking care of our dogs, her horse, our house, my company, and my pathetic ass all on her own for months.

The next month or so is going to be a difficult transition. She's looking for a new job and a new place to live. She'll be continuing to help with Redpants until she gets her new life sorted. Then, Redpants will go back to being a one-man operation. I'll try to keep the online store and orders moving as seamlessly as they have been. Please be patient with me as picking up where Clare leaves off is going to be tough - she does a massive amount of work for Redpants, and it won't be easy to take over.

Sometimes it takes utter failure to learn from our mistakes. I've done just that... I hope. Losing Clare has made it clear just how far I've fallen. It's shown me how lazy I've become, and how I've made excuses for so many of my bad behaviors. It's shown me that I've taken for granted so many of the best things in my life and that nothing is guaranteed - it can all be lost. And it will be if I don't pull my head out of my ass.

It’s time for me to rediscover the person I used to be. I need to find the passion I once had - not just for cars and Redpants, but for life, the universe, and everything. I need to overcome the cycles of listlessness and anxiety that have defined me for far too long.

I love Clare with all my heart, and I want the best for her. I hope she finds what she’s looking for and I’m sorry that I wasn’t it.

Redpants Updates

The BC Racing coilovers we helped them develop are made to order. These were originally slated for a 2-3 week delivery time, but that has been changed to 4-6 weeks.

I’d removed the “Local pickup” option from the checkout process. There were too many incidents of people choosing it with no intention of actually picking up the order in person. Not sure if it was accidental or an attempt to sneak through free shipping, but it was way more trouble than it was worth. Our costs are too high compared to our prices to be able to offer free shipping. A couple “local pickup” orders did get past us, and we actually lost money on those orders.

Speaking of losing money on orders - it turned out we were listing Hawk HPS 5.0 brake pads at below cost. We were losing money on every order of those. So, obviously, we had to raise the pricing on them.

Please keep our friend Duke in your thoughts and prayers. He was recently in a serious accident and has a long road to recovery.

I’ve added more DIYs to the website, so it might be worth a scan through the DIY lists to see what has changed. Navigation is starting to get a bit clunky due to the growing content and I’m thinking about restructuring the whole thing.