In terms of parenting I was late to the party. I had my first child at 36 and second at 40 which means I had 36 years to do all the things younger parents do without kids. Looking back it didn’t seem like I had much free time but I must have because I somehow manage to be involved in my kids life, hold down a job and volunteer with community activities.
I used to have hobbies, I used to be spontaneous, I used to stay up late, I used to read more – it seems I used to do a lot of things I don’t anymore but I can’t really remember what those things were or why I thought they were important.
What I have started to do over the past five years is juggle. I’m not talking balls or bowling pins, I’m talking priorities. Work, family, community and play balance. I’ve realized that I’m not very good at striking the right balance but I don’t believe I’m alone in this regard. I’ve decided that the right balance is impossible and that’s because there are only so many minutes in the day and no one thing is more important than another.
I make it a point to spend weekends with my family. Monday through Friday are hectic. Like many of you, I have a demanding work schedule and outside of work I try to give back to the community through volunteer work. I’m a firm believer that our community is what we make of it and if we want it to be better for ourselves, our neighbors and our families we’ve got to do something about it. It won’t improve on its own.
There are some days I don’t see my kids because I leave before they’re out of bed and I’m home after they’re asleep. Thankfully I’m married to a woman who makes it a priority to be sure that one parent is always there to tuck the kids into bed which gets me to the point of this blog post.
Today is Valentine’s Day and for all you single people I hope you have a great day and I hope you do something special with someone you love. For you married couples, especially those of you married with children, I know you’ll spend at least part of the day with someone you love because as much as we think we know what love is we really don’t until we have children.
Life is what we make of it and learning to juggle all of life’s priorities is hard but you do it because you love someone. In many cases, mine included, you’re given the opportunity to juggle because someone loves you and their love and support makes it possible for you to be a wife or husband, mother or father and a community member.
Juggling is hard and there are times that all of the balls are going to come crashing down, fortunately, when someone loves you they’re often there to catch them before they hit the ground.
Today, Valentine’s Day 2014, I want to thank my wife for helping me strike a balance between what I have to do, what I need to do and what I want to do. Thank you for helping me keep all the balls in the air!