No matter how many books we read, what time management systems we try, or how aware we are of the amount of time we are spending away from the things that really matter to us, inevitably we all find ourselves in the time crunch at some time or another.
For me this came this last month, my daughter Finley was born on the 19th of June, I had to be out of my place by the 17th of July while my new place wasn’t ready until August 1st, and it’s the busiest time of year for me at work.
When it gets like this you feel like you are jumping from one little fire to another, nothing very major but it all piles up and combine that with a serious lack of sleep and being disconnected from your partner and you have a serious strain.
There’s lots of people out there with advice, slow down, take it easy, stop and smell the flowers. I’m always suspicious of people with this type of advice, mainly because for the most part they aren’t wearing pants. It’s hard to take someone in a robe seriously, I mean what’s going on under there? What are the rules for wearing robes? Are they wearing robes because they can’t afford pants? Are those actually curtains? This makes it hard to concentrate on the subject on hand. Self help guru’s really don’t seem to be on the same level as the rest of us, they are either some hard core business fanatic who sleeps in an oxygen chamber for three hours a night with five assistants and a smile like a shark, or a washed out hippy amiably chasing his eighteen year old interns around his hookah. They don’t connect with real people and they don’t have real world problems.
So my advice is going to be simple. I try to stick to these two rules and forget everything else.
First on my mind
- Whatever it is you are doing, make sure it is in the best interests of your family, I think of the two girls above first then I think about my partner.
- Don’t feel guilty.
There are going to be times in life when you have to spend time away from your family or pick and choose what you are going to do. Be fair but be firm, you’re going to catch a lot of flak when you are away. Just make sure what you are doing is in the best interests of your family. Drinking beer at the local watering hole until 3am is great to blow off some steam and reset yourself but if it’s taking away time from your family, causing strife, and not adding to the overall wellbeing of your family, then it has to wait.
I frankly am not stopping to smell the flowers and I refuse to “take it easy”. That’s not who I am. I can’t rest easy until the things that need to be done for my family are done and that’s okay. I have balance in my life but when the chips are down and there’s a deadline, you can’t slack off.
My final bit of advice is this. Be prepared for the guilt trip. Don’t get mad or angry at your spouse, it’s part of the deal. They aren’t going to like it, don’t argue with them, don’t remind them of the losers that they could be with. Just do what you have to do and let the actions speak for you. As long as you are following rule one you have nothing to feel guilty about.
Be who you are and make it count.
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