Today was my first day back to work after a much-needed vacation to the beach with my family. As it always does, our vacation flew by too quickly. I often wonder why it has become the “norm” for us to work so many hours of our lives and have only a few left over for what matters most. Walking through my office door this morning made me realize that I want more. I don’t mean more money or more material things. After 40-some years of working hard to be somebody, to earn diplomas, degrees and accolades to boost my resume’ and, with it, my family’s income, it occurs to me that none of that has brought me happiness. At the end of the day, what makes me smile is spending quality time – not conversations over a hurried dinner about how stressful work was today – with my loved ones.
Our week in the sun and the realization that I have only a few short years to give my now-teenaged son lasting memories of a positive, happy childhood have given me a new perspective. Sometimes it takes distance and time away from something to realize just how much it shapes your life, for better or, perhaps, for worse. Taking a step back from the “everyday grind” can be the catalyst for change that is essential to your health, your happiness and your spiritual well-being. When your career becomes a job, it’s time to re-center and focus on what’s important.
Someone I admire and greatly respect told me, just this evening, “You have to love what you do, because you give up time with your family to do it.” I couldn’t be more grateful for this timely advice. The people and things that make my life stressful have been given too much importance in my life, for too long. I owe it to my family, and to myself, to place these pressures on the back burner and live in the moment. So, today I vow to worry less and do more of the things I enjoy. I promise to give my best to those who matter most to me. It’s said that life is what we make it. What will you make of yours?