“Pops, I think this is the most fun thing I do with you…”
These words were spoken by my 4-year old granddaughter Ellie as we were taking a walk through the neighborhood. It was the sweetest thing I could ever hear.
Her sister Maddie had started out with us, but the precocious 3-year old made a business decision in the nippy weather and decided quickly to return to the warm living room with Barb and the dogs.
It dawned on me that this was the exact same sidewalk stroll I had regularly made with my mother about a decade ago. With Mom, she was nearing 90 years old and slowly stepping behind her walker. She also was suffering from dementia, and while I have fond memories of the activity, the conversation wasn’t always so pleasant!
On the flip side, Ellie was holding my hand and nearly skipping with energy. I didn’t have to do much of the talking, she was non-stop jabbering. Her viewpoint was full of wonder and fun. I hope that she will remember these times; I know that I will.
The stark juxtaposition of location and activity between the two was moving for me.
My mother was well on the back-end of her Back Nine journey and the struggle for her mentally and physically was significant. Ellie is very early in her “round” and displays the joy and jubilation of life, which I hope will continue for her lifetime.
It also dawned on me that maybe we might be doing a similar stroll on a different sidewalk 30 years from now. Only she will be leading me.
Yesterday was the 11th anniversary of my father’s passing. Our nearly 15-year old dog Captain Jack is struggling with what we hope is “only” pancreatitis. Our granddaughters were with us for the weekend, bringing unbounded energy, smiles, a little mischief, and a whole lot of love.
Walking the Back Nine for all of us will involve the same juxtaposition. There are times where the proximity of time brings about a sort of perfect storm that can become very emotional. In my case, I had to fight the battle to even break away and muster the mental discipline to write this article. The same was true that decade ago when Mom was living with us and there were times of sadness and frustration that could envelop our mind and sap our energy.
My point is that as we blend and balance our personal and professional experiences, it becomes necessary to adjust our expectations. We must acknowledge what we are going through, cut ourselves some slack, set proper priorities, and then embrace the good, bad, and in between of our days.
In doing so, we are able to make the most of each experience.
In a recent newsletter poll, time management was the number one discipline that readers wanted to improve.
I’m holding a FREE Unleashed® Leadership Series on Unleashing Time and Balance. It will be a 45-minute Zoom webinar that will become part of a course being developed.
Registration is open. April 7th at 12:05 pm Pacific Time. Your only investment is your time. You must register online to attend. If you register and can’t attend in person, you will be sent the recording at no cost.
Quote of the Week:
“No man is free who cannot command himself.”
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