Losing an hour stinks. So does losing a friend.
I read yesterday's newspaper and saw an obituary that shocked me. It was for a 50-year-old man named Howard Glass. As a young reporter covering real estate, Howard was one of the first sources I made. He was smart and knew a lot about the deals going on in the South Florida market. But in my pre-kids days, I was taken aback when mid-conversation about a new project underway, Howard took a phone call from his wife who was home with their newborn son. Howard insisted she put the baby on the phone and he proceeded to talk baby talk to him. I didn't know what to make of the whole scene.
Many years later, I ran into Howard again. I asked about what he was doing in his career and I asked about his son. His face lit up the same way it did that day when he spoke baby talk in front of me. He had another a few years after the first and told me all about his kids' accomplishments. I had a hard time finding out about his work life because he was so excited telling me about his kids. Howard's obituary said he died of an inspirational battle with cancer.
In my struggle for work/life balance, I gained some perspective just thinking about Howard. I am sure Howard made the most of each hour he had with his family. He may have taken naps, he may have had some unproductive hours, but overall, I know without doubt that Howard knew family was as important as work.
Some of us work extremely hard and never have time for our personal lives, and particularly, our own families. Perhaps, however, it's time to change that. What changes have you made to emphasize family over your career? I love this blog post with balance tips from freelancer Allan Branch. Let's hear your best moves.