The discovery of time (outside work)

This story is not about running… or, well, it actually is somehow… see for yourself:

Today, I spent a day at an adventure park with my family. The day started off at half past seven with my son waking my wife and me with the cutest laughter a 9 month old baby can have – ever. We got ready for the ride to the park, drove for one hour and spent time in one of the regions smaller, but most authentic adventure parks. We had the full package with lying in the grass, playing in the sand, taking funny children’s rides and watching animals. We had one wonderful day together as the small little family we are since my son has been born.

On the way back, I was checking the time: We had spent not more than 7hrs in the park. But yet, all the action and fun and good feeling felt like this had been a much longer time. It definitely was packed with lots of memories to hold on to for a long time.

The realization came as a shock to me: For the last couple of months, I had been engaged in a major project at my company. I do care very much for the company and colleagues I work for and this project was important to them. So, naturally, my last months had been filled with 10-14h-days at work. I literally sprinted through my work day not to disappoint anyone and to keep up with everything. Following several heated discussions with my wife, I had been trying to balance work and family life, but it never occurred to me how poor my choice of priorities had been.

Not until that moment in the car, returning from that adventure park, my son and wife in the back. These 7hrs spent with the two people I love most, in a tiny adventure park, had been more rewarding than any of the 14hr-days spent at work in the last few months. There were not nearly as many memories worth holding dear in the whole sequence of endless work days. And not one reward as fulfilling as the giggling of my son and wife, when we drove home.

This is when I discovered the true meaning of time and I want it written down clearly to remind me, the next time, I am tempted to work late:

  • If 7hrs of a day spent with the ones you love holds that much joy, what a waste were the 14hr-days spent away from them.
  • If months spent for something you care for deeply, fade in the light of just 7hrs spent with your family, then the priorities should be clear.