Work

This has been a tough week. My grandfather is actively dying, work has been work and the boys have been ok. But it has been a tough week.

The boys have had a better week at both school and at home. They have done well with their nightly reading and math homework. But Boy B’s teacher has been out on medical leave and so his schedule has been a little off. I will say though that his medication has really helped with the last two weeks transitions with a substitute teacher.

As for my grandfather. The family has called in hospice to help provide comfort for him in his final days. And even though I have not been able to make the 7 hour drive south to say goodbye, I have been able to talk with him several times and we laugh, we cry and we say goodbye again. The call this past weekend was tough, because he was barely able to say “I love you”, but he did and I cried.

The older that I get, the more I realize what is really important. Work has been tough this week, for a lot of reasons. And maybe the things from my life have taken priority and/or overshadowed everything else, I have tried to keep composure. But life, is sometimes hard to control all aspects without a little struggle.

As I type this, one of the boys is watching the Houston Astros playoff baseball game (Go STROS!) and the other is in the bath. I just chilled a bottle of wine, because sometimes a good glass of wine is all that you need to help today be a little better. And as I get the boys ready for bed, I am quietly reflecting on the day and week.

This has been a tough week! But life can be that way more times than not. Sometimes, it is hard to step back and think about what is important because of life. And then there are days like today, that make me really realize what is truly important. So, with that, Go Stros! And I’ll put the boys to bed tonight, enjoy a good glass of wine and I’ll celebrate the final days of my grandfathers life.

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Relaxation is a very important thing, but it is something that I really struggle with. And by struggle, I mean I am awful at it.

Sitting on the boat this week while I am on vacation, it hit me like a ton of bricks, I don’t know how to relax. The entire time, I kept thinking about work, what my week was going to look like, what the bills were going to look like for the week, etc. BUT, there is a great thing about this, I realized what I was doing and I figured out who I could talk with to help me.

I also know that it is going to take me time to figure out a long term solution/strategy to overcome this struggle in my life or as I more frequently refer to it as a challenge. For me, I can usually go and cook and that will help clear my mind, but when I am out of the office, the texts and emails come in just the same as if I were in the office and due to the nature of my job, it is hard to really disengage from work.

So, as I type this at the kitchen table, the day before we leave to head back home, I have already cringed at looking at my schedule for next week and I have about 30 minutes free each day. Only 30 minutes. My friend that is a psychologist asked the question if it was even sometimes worth me going away and I laughed and didn’t respond. See, that is how hard it is for me to relax because I know that when I am out of the office, I am mentally still in the office.

Going forward, I think that I’m going to try something new to help me learn some new relaxation techniques. For starters, I am going to start taking a week and a half to two weeks off and I’m going to block the first week back from any meetings that are not priorities. I have already delegated a lot of my work to my team, so that they can handle a lot of it. Are these things going to help, I don’t know but I certainly hope so and I think that it is at least a good first step.

I have also talked with my friend that is a psychologist and we are going to setup regular calls so that we can discuss more techniques to help me relax even more. Because the more that I can do now to relax, the better of a father that I will be. Instead of giving my sons my 100% undivided attention this week, I thought about work way too much. And shame on me, because my sons and my wife deserve that from me. So, life lesson here kids, learn these things at an early age. Learn how to relax and prioritize and learn that it is your responsibility to be the best father that you can to your kids, because they will not be little kids very long.

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With us moving, my morning commute has taken a dramatic increase in time on the road. From a mileage stand point, it is only about 15 miles more one way, but from a time stand point, it is adding about 20 – 40 minutes longer.

But, as I was driving this morning and was on the phone with my mom, I was explaining the length of my commute and the added stress, but then stopped and begin talking about the benefits of the move.  This move has already within just a few days, proven to be beneficial. The boys and I have eaten dinner out every night this week thus far on the deck. We have played tagged after dinner and then had plenty of time to rest up before bath and bed.

Life has been a lot better over the course of the last few days. I’ve slept better not having to worry or deal with some of the things that were going on at our, now old house. My sons seem to be a lot happier. They are able to run and play. They have already made a new friend next door. So yeah, the commute really sucks. But, the trade off is so much better.

And really, at the end of the day, all that matters is my family’s safety. And maybe, when they are older and if they remember the old house, I’ll share with them why we really moved. But then again, maybe I want? Because would it really matter?

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Where do my kids come up with these crazy sayings, like “Bad idea”? Where would a 4 year old pick that phrase up? And not only pick it up, but more importantly, using it correctly.

This morning as I was getting ready and trying to get the boys ready, Baby B, (I guess I should start referring to them as Son A or B, as they are no longer babies) said to me “Daddy, going to work is a bad idea, a really bad idea!” Understand, this is the one that was delayed in speech for 2 1/2 years and I really think that he was on to something. Lately, work has really been just that work. As I have grown in my career, my focus has changed, my time has been pulled into multiple directions and my passion has changed.

As I mentioned in a previous post on Regrets, this has been something that I’ve been really focused on other things. Maybe I need to take some of my own advice? Fortunately, I have a quick weekend trip to farm scheduled this weekend, which will give me time to think and process life. But, as I sit in my office, phone calls are coming in, emails about 1 a minute and people are stopping by and asking questions, I think that my son was right, coming into the office today was a bad idea, a really bad idea. Smart kid.

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I knew that it would eventually happen, I had been able to put off a business trip with work for almost a year, because I didn’t want to be away from the boys. But, it was time. So, this past Sunday night, I kissed the boys, I kissed my wife and I was on my way. It was my first business trip since the boys were born and my first time away from the boys, alone.

I was going to only be gone for 2 days, but those seemed like a long two days. While I was gone, I was able to FaceTime with the boys and see them laugh and run around the living room. I was able to hear their voices, see their faces and interact with them. Being away made me appreciate how much I love being around the boys and how much I hate not being there. But at the same time, it made me realize how I need the downtime too.

So, I returned yesterday from my business trip, to be greeted at the door by both the boys. As soon as they saw me, they both started screaming “Daddy”, nothing better in this world than hearing that word.

Being away is hard, and I am really lucky that I don’t have to travel that much, but coming home to two little boys, smiling and ready to jump all over me, is even better.

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