A few days ago I watched a Ted.com talk by author Nigel Marsh. He wrote a couple of books about finding a balance in our lives between work and family – “Fat, Forty, and Fired” and “Overworked & Underlaid.“
His ideas resonated with me and I feel that when I get busy at work with consecutive 10+ hour days, I am missing something. He didn’t come up with any formulas, but his main message was to make small choices. He described a call from his wife asking him to leave work early to pick up his son from school. She was busy with the other three children and needed some help with the kids. Marsh went picked up his son and they hung out in the park and went for a bite to eat. He finished the night by reading his son a story and putting him to bed. His son said this was the best day of his life.
I try to keep in mind that my children and wife for that matter, are so precious that if I can make any small choices to find a bit more time with them, the better. I am not a business or bank executive like Mr. Marsh was, and I am blessed that education is a profession that is more family-friendly than most professions, but there are times when I feel out of balance. Work demands overtake time spent with my children, time spent renewing the relationship with my wife, and time spent taking care of my personal health and fitness and well-being.
I spent an entire day yesterday with my three children. Nadia is out of city on a conference and I have all three. We survived day number 2 in fine style, although I did lose my patience a couple of times. Owen is shown above at the Guitar Art Festival Expo at the Continental Hotel. He plays the guitar and I wanted to encourage him and the other two to play music. Ollie loves the drums. Hopefully after the basketball season is over, I can learn the piano and my dream of a family band can be realized. I’m looking for stuff to do at home that doesn’t include a screen! Owen wants an electric guitar and Ollie wants a drum set, and I want a keyboard. We’ll see where this goes…
When I am in charge of the kids, I prefer doing stuff rather than just sitting at home. It makes it easier for me and the boys instead of me scrambling around trying to keep the house clean and nothing gets broken. In the morning we went to the school’s bubble and played tennis and basketball. In the late afternoon after a hike around our new neighborhood, we went and saw “Medved Yogi – Yogi Bear” and ate a pizza at Vapiano. The weather is cold and the melting snow makes everything wet and muddy, so the more we can do indoors, the better.
It was great to hang out with the kids all day and I have another one today. Our neighborhood, Dedinje, means “old man’s hill” and below is the view from top of the hill looking east into the suburbs of Belgrade.