Last weekend, my family was able to get away from our normal routines. The kids had a four-day holiday from school and through the combination of off-season rates and a generous gift, we were able to stay at a nice hotel about three hours down the coast.
We desperately needed the family time, the maid service, and the buffet breakfast. E-mail and internet was replaced by walks together along the beach, watching movies while cuddled on the bed, and guilt-free stuffing our bellies. Responsibilities and timelines were shelved.
It was nice.
Work That You Can’t Take Home
It reminded me of the times when I couldn’t take work home. During my time in the Air Force, most of my work–computers, notes, books, meetings–were held inside secure compounds & facilities, multiple keypad entry locks, and ID controls. Security concerns kept my classified work at work. I took nothing home.
Contrast that with today, as Rebecca and I live our work. Starting and running non-profit charities and small businesses mean long nights, work emails that come non-stop, and a computer that’s basically tied to my hip. Great for Type A personalities who like to work hard and see results; not so good for family time, rest, and our mental health.
So it was a nice change to spend a weekend with just family–through the bumps and normal family squabbles, of course–but not having to worry about responsibilities or deadlines. I am beginning to realize that we need to do that more. I need to stop answering and writing work emails throughout the night and weekends. And stop bringing home work that takes me away mentally from my family even while we share a kitchen table.
Work Less, Family More
So this may mean that I get to your email tomorrow. Or that the website design or business plan review or curriculum re-write might have to wait for Monday… but it also means that I spend more “real” time with my kids–not just in the same room with a computer on my lap. And that my wife and I can spend less time worrying about whether we’re spending enough time doing “ministry” and more time wondering what to do with all of our new down time…
… now where is Bec’s “honey-do” list?