I remember a phone call I had last year while I was on a business trip in Nebraska. I was talking on the phone with my (then) 6-year-old boy, Brandon, who was telling me all about his final baseball game of the season that he had played that day. As I listened, my heart hurt for missing the experience. He wrapped up the conversation with "Dad, I really wish you could have been there. . ." I told him "I really wished I could have, too" as tears rolled down my face.
I took that moment to think about what was really important to me. Work, and doing well at it is important to me--but not nearly as important as my wife and children. I thought to myself: "If only there was a way to be with my family as much as I'd like AND succeed in my work life at the same time." A few minutes later, I found myself watching a news channel that was airing an interview between some host and Steven Covey together with his son. Steven was helping his son publicize a major project the son had been working on for some time. It seemed to be along the same lines of study his father has pursued for years. I found it admirable for a father and son to work together. More importantly, I began to wonder what work I could pursue that would interest my son enough to pursue it with me.
(By "my son", of course, I mean Brandon. . . See, J. is going to be our retirement program [I'm thinking football star, but maybe baseball or bull riding will get us there], and Bryson's just learning to walk, so I'm not sure what to make of him yet. . . ;)
Anyhow, a year after this experience. . . school, work, church. . .they all still seem to have a way of trying to edge out my wife and kids in terms of importance. In my heart, however, family always prevails as first. (I just hope my actions always reveal it so.) But I still haven't found a way to include my family in my work. In any case, I feel I know the answer to "what's important?" To me, it IS my kids. And it IS my wife. and THEN it's church and work and school, etc. For the most part, Family is the WHY behind it all. I hope they know how important to me they are.
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