Its June 2010, and its the school holiday month. Its the wonderful time that kids get to stay home and do ANYTHING they want. As a busy parent, i really wanted to spend quality time with them and hence took 3 days leave in total and created 2 long weekends for myself. It was a good decision, we had a blast.
During the break, its inevitable for me to still think about things in the office. I’m unable to switch off the work brain i have and especially when there is lots of important stuff to do.
I think this whole work-life balance / time-management thing is not easy at all. You can’t have 2 priorities at the same time. I’m caught too many times while driving my family around thinking about stuff in the office. I’m like there, but not really there. I spend in-between times checking emails and thinking about processes. Its like memory leak in a computer, you have the main activity running in the foreground, but in the background memory resource is still being used and sub-consciously still taxing (not in a big way, but still…).
My parents were hard working business people. I recalled spending alot of time in their office when i was young. Saturdays were mainly spent in the office. I remembered playing with PVC pipes and the many type of white plastic joints my parents sold (they are in the toilet supplies business). I remember sleeping under my mom’s desk when i was tired. I remember my parent’s colleagues being my auntie and uncles when i was growing up (too many of them literally saw me grow up). I remember going to countless restaurants to have nice meals with my parents and their European / Italian / Japanese friends which i later found out were suppliers.
To them work and family blended. It was the same thing. There was no such thing as work life balance. Work was life.
My dad being the boss could make it to my school at anytime. I don’t recall him missing any major event in school. My principle called and he came. Of cause there were the more positive events which he made it too.
But life have changed. We are more connected. Alot more is required out of the working class. There is a high need for productivity, efficiency, thinking out of the box, creative solutioning, leading, mentoring, etc. AND there is still a family that we need to allocate our time for.
Its tough to focus and balance. There must be a way and there will be a way. I just hope that my kids have good memories of their dad when they grow up. Yes, I’m actively creating good memories for all of us.