The half-time whistle blew.
I jolted from my mobile induced hypnosis as I toggle between screens – from emails, to phone calls, to text messages and back to email, all while still keeping a “close” eye on my daughter’s school netball game.
“Did you see that goal I scored Dad?”
“Errr yes darling. It was great!”
I used to pride myself on being an expert multi tasker. Jumping from networking, to resolving a HR issue, then to a project issue and even retrieving that jammed report from the scanner.
I was on a roll and always getting stuff done.
Always trying to walk the tightrope between a great husband, a great father and great team manager.
Jumping from one fry pan to the next to the next and often stepping into the fire as well
My every move was timed from minute to minute.
But at the same time I was always running late for school pick-up, late for that all important client meeting, late for dinner and even my daughter’s birthday
My lights were on, but I certainly wasn’t at home.
Everyday was a challenge and now that I look back, one that I never really did well.
And as the data now shows, I may have had this all wrong and it may have actually taken me longer to get anything done. But that’s a story for another day.
Now when I think about it, yes the business is important, making submissions for new work, managing consultants, keeping the work rolling in and the work rolling out, keeping your team engaged and motivated, keeping old clients happy and paying all the bills to keep afloat. All super important.
Ok yes and there’s your ego that you’re constantly trying to feed and satisfy.
Feeding on every challenge and turning yourself inside out, like a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos when you are frantically trying to grab those little white balls.
But in your case these balls run out, but the challenges never end.
What’s more important than all of that?
Well maybe the whole damn reason you’re doing it all for. Your family.
At the end of the day isn’t it all about them?
Giving them all the things that you missed out on when your were growing up and proving you are the best husband and father you can be.
There’s things like –
A Playstation for your kids. But not just the standard version, but the Playstation VR Mega Pack, because you would have loved a Commodore 64 or
A family holiday. But not just any trip to the city, but a full sherbang resort holiday with gourmet food and unlimited multi day theme park passes.
And all the little luxuries that you throw in along the way to tick all the good parent boxes.
But is that what they really really want?
Ok yes the latest Kardashian box set will always be a big hit with your daughter for a short while.
But isn’t it all about time and your time with them?
Doesn’t time then become more valuable than material things and money?
And how do you want your kids to remember you….
Dad was a hard worker and built a great business and was a great leader and achieved so much, but I never really knew him because he was never really at home
Dad was a great parent, role model, someone I really looked up to and when I got older we became great friends.
So what does all this mean?
Well right now as we’re all starting to come out of Covid-19 lockdown and I imagine you are trying to rebuild your business, with a new way of life and get back to where you are at the start of the year.
But remember it’s only a short while ago during lockdown with forced shutdowns you had a time at home with your family and you did things with kids that you hadn’t done for a long long while.
Maybe since that family holiday up the coast, when you ran around on the beach
kicking a ball and looking for magical shells on the water’s edge with your kids, playing and having fun and laughing together.
And holding hands with your wife.
All things we tend to forget, lose sight of and not have time for because we are too busy living.
According to Washingtonpost.com play helps to reduce and deal will stress better and can improve general well being in adults
“At work, play has been found to speed up learning, enhance productivity and increase job satisfaction; and at home, playing together, like going to a movie or a concert, can enhance bonding and communication.”
And without it we can feel depressed or stuck in a rut.
So this time I suggest you get a new plan for yourself.
A plan to rebuild your family and rebuild your business around this at the same time.
I see now as like your second chance to make a few changes that will certainly be more than worthwhile down the line.
And turn the lights back on and show them that you are now there for them.