But over the course of this last year, his last year, that sparking hope had faded. Too many expectations coming from too many directions. And unlike times past, these requirements came with no tolerance. Not a smidgen of room for compromise. Making matters worse, they came with the demands of immediacy. Not next month, not next week, today. Now.
The stress, the strain, the intolerance left everyone divided and bickering. Barbs were tossed around rather than answers. Fingers pointed at who might be to blame rather than working together for a solution. These days no one – except the new guy – came with a spring in their step, good will in their pocket. Somewhere, somehow, it had all fallen to the wayside.
He takes in a deep sigh, and moves to the line to shake the new guy’s hand. Maybe this is all his fault. He just took the wrong tack. Expected the better of his contemporaries. This young kid will pick up the pieces and make things right. Make it so folks have something to look forward to again.
The person in front of him moves away and now it’s his turn. He reaches out, but the youngster is awestruck at his presence, taking a moment to meet his hand. When he finally speaks, it’s with a sincerity that takes him completely off guard.
“2018, I’m so impressed to finally meet you. I have some pretty big shoes to fill.”
He feels a warmth rise, his face flush. “You’ll do fine, 2019. You’ll do fine.”