Patience & Perspective: Cabin Trip + Father’s Day 2017!

No interview tips or resume advice today. I also won’t re-read this 100 times before publishing trying to get it perfect. Just going to let it flow!

Today is Father’s Day 2017. We just got back from a family vacation, we stayed in a cabin near Douglas Lake in east Tennessee. I use the word “vacation” loosely, traveling with 2 & 4 year-old boys isn’t exactly relaxing.

Many people visit the Gatlinburg/Smokey Mountain area. We visit because it’s a special place for my family. Although I grew up in Madison, IN…I’m originally from Tennessee and have so many great memories of visiting Grandma & Grandpa in Knoxville. My parents live there now and so do my brother, sister and their families. We don’t see each other as much as we would like so renting a cabin allows us to visit and get all of my parent’s 9 grandchildren together!

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Why am I writing today? 3 reasons come to mind:

  1. After spending a few hours with the family this morning, my wife was kind enough to take the boys out so dad can have some “me” time.
  2. When I take time away from work, I usually end up with a few ideas for work and receive great reminders about family and life. This trip was no different. I’ve written on this topic before: 5 Benefits From Taking a Vacation & Reminder: Remember Your Why!
  3. Although none of you reading this look to me for inspiration, I thought sharing some of my reflections might inspire at least one person. Maybe, maybe not. That’s ok!

Patience & Perspective.

These two words stuck with me this week. Having kids requires significant patience. If you have kids, you know this. I’m more patient than I use to be, thanks to the boys. But, it’s also one of the most important qualities I need to improve when it comes to parenting. I work on it daily. Spending time with family this week and watching the kids have a blast was a great reminder of why I try to be better.

Spending time with family and getting away from work (mostly) also provides great perspective. I rarely unplug completely and this week was no different. But getting away from our regular routines and focusing on the kids was a great reminder about what’s important. Yes, that’s cliche’ish. It’s also true.

Getting away from our regular routines wasn’t a goal of the trip but, in hindsight, definitely a benefit. My wife works as well and has a great career at Roche. We both choose to work and accept the associated pros and cons. We prefer to keep the boys on regular schedules when it comes to meals, bedtime, etc. However, it’s easy for life to become one big routine. During the week we take them to daycare, pick them up, eat dinner, maybe play for an hour or so and then start the bed time process. Routine can be good. But, taking a break from it can be good as well.

It’s ok to work hard and focus on a career. But, it’s important to off-set that occasionally. For me, this short time away provided great perspective. Work is important. But, sometimes we take it too seriously!

My advice? If you don’t have your next vacation scheduled, start planning now!

There you have it. A few minutes inside my head, that nobody asked for!

As for the rest of the day? Some time with the boys along with a few welcomed breaks from the boys, thanks to my awesome wife. A little U.S. Open later. We’ll cap off the day with a few filets and a nice bottle of red!

To all the dad’s out there, Happy Father’s Day. Cheers!

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