April is a mixed month for me. No, I’m not talking about the fact that we had snow this week. In April, I celebrate many happy milestones, including my birthday and my wedding anniversary. And now, both my daughters have April wedding anniversaries. And the blooming daffodils along the road remind me that spring is finally here.
Yet, there is always a sad part of April for me. My father died from Hodgkin’s disease on April 23rd, just a few days before my fourth birthday. Losing a parent as a child leaves a hole in your heart and shapes who you are.
Stephen Covey has a great story about “big rocks”. If you’re not familiar with it, just google it. Our families are our big rocks and my daughters remind me of that. And as little as they are, my grandchildren are also big rocks for me. Every time one of my daughters calls me on FaceTime and I see a cute little toddler smiling at me from my iPhone, I fall in love with them all over again.
I’ve started my next chapter of consulting, coaching and interim management, and I’m now on a path to spend more time with all of them. I will live near them and I hope to be with them on birthdays and holidays and lots of just regular days. I won’t have to pick and choose a few weekends to fly half way across the country to see them.
My heart melted this week. My three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter told her dad she wanted to call and ask me to make cookies with her. The only cookies I made with my own daughters was the kind where you slice up the cookie dough that comes in a plastic tube. They were the best I could do, with a busy management job.
Overall, I don’t regret how I balanced having a career and being a mother. But I do look forward to fun times with my grandkids.
This is when I get to the “so what” part of the post. Whether or not you relate to my personal stories, you have your own big rocks. You probably struggle for that elusive work life balance. Don’t give up the struggle. Make time to do what you love with the people you love. As someone who lost a parent as a small child, I know all too well that “life is short”.