Submitted by: Juan P Rodriguez
Management of our most important asset, time.
As I´m getting back to the office from a week long holiday, the importance of correctly balancing work and personal life is fresh in my mind. You see, I just spent a week worth of quality time with both of my sons for Easter holiday. We went by ourselves to the beach and left both my wife and newborn baby girl at home. The new born baby girl is not quite ready to travel yet so my wife and I decided this would be a great opportunity for the boys of the house to bond.
As I prepared to take my 3 and 6 year old boys to the beach by myself, I started to realize a couple of things.
The first thing I realized was that I had never taken them on a trip this long by myself before. It all sounded very simple as an idea but when I started to look into the details, it got quite complicated. I don´t know if I over packed for the what- ifs scenarios. If I did in fact over packed, this just gave both my wife and my self some peace of mind so that was fine. From clothes to toys, food, drinks, and all the first aid and medicines, the trunk in my 4Runner got filled up pretty quickly.
The second realization I came too as I prepared for the trip was that I would probably end up spending a great deal of my time looking out for them, cooking, cleaning, washing dishes and putting them to sleep. For this reason, I did not take anything but my Kindle to have some distraction for myself. I certainly did not take any work with me as I knew I would not have any time to tackle it, but more importantly, my kids, my relationship with them and myself deserved uninterrupted father and son’s time without any work in sight.
And my third, and most important, realization before the trip would take place was the great opportunity I had just ahead of me to enjoy spending time with both my sons. We would be able to bond, play and really listen to each other. I realized the great gift I´ve been given to have them, for them to have me, and for all of us to have the time to be together getting to know each other better and being able to play and goof around. It actually took me back when I used to play with my father and the great memories this brought to mind. I hope my kid´s memories will include remembering the good times with dad at the beach. I also hope they will transmit the importance of spending quality time with family to their own future kids.
Now that I´m back at the office, having had a great time these past couple of days, I feel like I want more of it. I don´t want more of it because it’s easy, because it’s not, but because it´s meaningful. It´s meaningful to my boys as it is to me.
During this trip, I enjoyed sharing time with them, appreciating how much they have learned at school and at home, how open their minds were to new ideas, how wanting to experience new things was a welcomed thing to them, and how they were completely transparent with their emotions, crying, yelling or dancing in the middle of a beach if they felt like doing so. It rejuvenated my soul to play with them. I felt like a kid again. It was humbling to see the miracle of life develop and grow right in front of my eyes. I get emotional just realizing all of this right now.
These are the moments we should all seek to replicate as much as possible; these are the things that really matter. These are the memories that never die. These memories are eternal. Stop and realize this now as later might just be too late.
To my sons:
Thank you my sons for sharing this time with me, for taking me as I am, for your unconditional love to me, for your trust in me. I will always love you and look after you. I will always try to be the best possible father to you. I wish you become better than me in every single aspect of life. I wish you become real men. And by real men I mean that you are able to appreciate and be grateful for being alive, having a family, having a wife that loves you and that you love back, believing in something, having dreams and being brave enough to work towards reaching them.
My sons, I love you both. I am the luckiest man on earth for having you. You, your baby sister and your mom have made me complete. I look forward to all the adventures we´ll share together in the future, I can´t wait.