Last week there was a Reddit feed that went pretty viral on other platforms on the internet. I caught it coming across my LinkedIn feed:
It was my dad's birthday on the weekend, and I couldn't help but think of him when I read this.
Not from the perspective of judging him or wishing he was around more.
But rather feeling deep compassion for him.
He worked hard in whatever he did. It was one of his ways of feeling relevant in the world. Which I very much understand.
It's just, I don't think he realised that he wouldn't have "later" when he made the choices he did in arranging his life.
"Later" became unexpectedly short for my dad, who died of cancer at 61.
This conversation is not simply one of working less. That's too easy. There are many things which also belong in this conversation.
Health and vitality.
I have to pinch myself sometimes when I reflect on my work in the world. Seeing people say yes to looking at difficult aspects of themselves, zooming out to engage with the full conversation around these topics, so that they can feel more personal freedom in the long run.
What can I say? It's epic.
As a former corporate finance consultant, I'm no stranger to strategy. Sometimes the conversations I have with clients are about time allocation, business direction and corporate identity. Sometimes they're about how one deals with these intimate matters as listed above.
Whatever the questions are, they all matter. They all contribute to the beautiful complexity that is being human, and how we heal the relationships we have with ourselves and with others.
Back to the quote... I'd suggest what's most important to consider here is how we can come into right relationship with our work. How we can make it a both/and thing.
Yes, your kids will probably miss you if you're not around. And, if they get to see what you build, and what it takes, it might teach them a thing or two about how to move things in the world.
I'd love to hear from you, if you're a parent, how is/was it for you balancing your professional goals and commitments with being around with the kids?
And what about if you're the parent that stays home, or takes on more at home, to facilitate your partner in being more engaged at work. How is that for you?
I can't tell you how grateful I am to you for being here, reading with me, and choosing to be intentional about your life.
May your week feel full and alive.
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Cultivating Courage Ep 24 is LIVE!
In the latest episode, Mike and I talked about a topic we're pretty passionate about: mind-body connection and the aspect of healing that the medical institution misses.