Probably the best advice I have received during my current transition is to make time for yourself and your family. Let’s face it, employment these days mean 50 – 60 hour work weeks and travel that unfortunately does not equate to luxury. I really do feel empathy for those with young families because though you certainly want to spend time with your kids during their developmental years, in today’s economy you are now fulfilling two or three job descriptions and not just the one you are being paid for by the company or association that has cut back staffing dramatically so that they can make their bottom-line or provide a dividend for their investors.
I am still at work by 6:00 AM but now it is a short commute upstairs to the best office I have ever had in my 30 years in the association business. I have probably 400 square feet of comfort and an environment that is conducive to achieving much while being able to join my wife for lunch on a daily basis. I guess if I only knew how productive the home office could be during my recent employment I might have spent more time working from there. The only negative factor is that my promise to my wife when I accepted the last association position was that she didn’t need to find employment in our new remote location. The problem is that I have now interrupted her calm domain and what is even worse is that with only one telephone line in the house we now need to take turns with outgoing and incoming conversations. I guess we best consider another telephone line since cellular service is practically nill except if you stand in weird contoured positions on the frigid driveways.
All of us know too many cohorts who worked their tails off for their employers and years later wondered why they hadn’t spent more quantity and quality time with their family after being unceremoniously relieved of their company credit card. Obviously at a funeral the deceased is not going to be remembered for the amount of time he spent at work but will certainly be lamented for the lack of time he spent with his family.
I will continue to spend 9 or 10 hours a day on my transition and on projects that are widening my horizons but I have a new perspective on life and have certainly determined that life is much too short and that we must enjoy what we have, when we have it. The holiday season was remarkable because we were able to spend time with family and friends and enjoy the pitter-patter of little feet in the house for the first time in many years. Our international-traveling son will be with us later this month for the first time in 18 months and though it isn’t exactly Seoul or Tokyo, I trust he will also find the time with us rewarding.
There is certainly some credence to the old saying about working hard and playing hard. Though it is my ultimate goal to find a new stop on my career path it is also important to enjoy the scenery along the way. I do not plan on doing anything this weekend but relaxing and enjoying life. Of course I will have my iPad with me at all times for an immediate response but that is the only sacrifice I will make; after all, the woes of the world will be there on Monday when you return to the office – upstairs.