Recently my accountant, while attempting to figure out my tax situation, asked me how many days I spent on the road last year. He was looking into my expenses and hoping to save me a little from the government. So I went to my calendar and added them all up and the number?
201 days and nights I was out of town. 201 days I was away from my family. 201 nights I wasn’t sleeping in my own bed. 201 days of being on airplanes, being in hotel rooms, being in strange cities. 201 days where I couldn’t go to my son’s basketball or football games, see my daughter’s first violin performance, go to my wife’s charity gala that she helps plan every year.
201 is a pretty damn big number. And that doesn’t include the days I worked when I was at home! So out of 365 days, I had 164 at home which may or may not be a reasonable number. I don’t know really. Here’s what I DO know…I missed being at home. I enjoy travel and I enjoy my job, but 201 days is a ridiculous number. I know I have missed so much already and my kids are only soon-to-be 9 and 6, so I can’t imagine what I’ll miss when they are soon-to-be 16 and 13! So now the balancing act begins. Up until the last couple of years, I was able to go to work and not think about it much because the kids were so young. But now? Now it’s bothering me…and them. I know because they are always asking me when I’ll be home. They ask if I’ll be able to attend their games and shows and all the things they are doing these days. And I want too!
So what will I do? A family has to eat and even though my wife has taken on a new job, I’m still the primary bread winner. So I have to figure it out. Maybe turn down a job or two. Learn to not worry about the money so much and try to enjoy the time I have with my family. It’s going to be something new for me but I think I can do it. So here’s hoping I can walk the balance beam and learn to balance work with life. It’s been too long since I was able to do a little of both and enjoy simply hanging out on a Saturday night with my friends and family. Time to let go a little and breathe….
Trust me, it will do me some good.