Friday, July 31, 2009

Time to renew

I recently had the wonderful opportunity for a full week of vacation with the family. I am a bit of an obsessive time off kind of guy and work to plan as much as a year in advance. We keep our away time simple and relatively cheap. Also, as a lover of the outdoors and adventure, the wife and son can pretty much count on some hiking or other activity that gets us out alone with nature. No TV, no phone, and no contact with the outside world.
Taking this time off is not easy. My job has a lot of responsibility. Since I manage people in multiple locations, there is an element of complexity that needs close attention daily. However important my position might be my team is not curing cancer and no one is going to die if an e-mail goes unread or a question does not get answered for a few days.
I also try hard to empower fully whoever may be my point of contact while I am away to make decisions on my behalf. I tell these folks that I trust their ability and will support any action that may need to be taken in my absence.
I understand fully that this time with Conner and Michelle is an invaluable investment in us as a family. I do not want my son’s childhood memories of dad to be the guy who was always on conference calls or constantly checking e-mail even when supposedly enjoying time off. I see many people doing this and it always breaks my heart.
What about you? When was the last time you stepped away to recharge, renew, and refocus your life? When you are with your family, do you strive to be fully present and shove aside whatever may be going on back at work? I can guarantee you that doing so will indeed improve your life as a spouse, parent and employee. Take some time this week to plan out a way to disconnect so you may in turn reconnect. You will be happy that you did.
Leave a comment and let other’s know what action you take to truly relax with the family.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The first and the last

July 4th was the first time my son has ever really had the opportunity to shoot off fireworks. In his own words it was “freakin’ awesome”.

I personally relish in the firsts and wish there were more. I remember fondly my first car(see picture), first date with Michelle, first day in our house, first day of Conner’s life, first day of school for Conner, and on and on.

This is in contrast to the lasts. We have many of those in life as well. There was the last time I saw my mother before she died of cancer, the last day of high school, the last day of college, the last day I would see a good friend, the last time Conner would play in a park, the last time he would hold my hand in public, and heck the last time I would not have any gray hair and on and on.

The lesson to me is that we must relish the firsts, the lasts, and every moment in between.

I hope you take some time in the next few days just to stop and enjoy the moment. No matter what you may be doing--that moment will never happen again. It is a first and a last indeed.