Before you get all hot and bothered by the title of this post, it’s rated PG. I promise.
Relationships – at least the ones you really value and want to thrive – require a LOT of work, effort, action, focus, time, and a host of other words that could be added here.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no master at managing them, and I don’t think I’m alone.
Life is hard. Countless opposing forces battle for our attention.
- Our social lives (i.e., Facebook, e-mails, Twitter, blogs).
- Our personal interests that provide fulfillment (i.e., Words With Friends!)
- And… oh yea, our families.
They might not always be dealt with in that order, but honestly, they probably are more times than not.
For me, between managing a full-time job, an upcoming career change and relocation, writing a novel, and trying to master cat-herding, it’s easy to stay so busy that I neglect the people around me. Specifically, my wife and kids.
I get lost in a project and then ignore someone’s need for attention, be it an encouraging word, a hug, help with math, or just to be really heard. I’m just simply not “present”. When I realize this, it bugs the hell out of me. There will be a moment of opportunity where someone needs my attention and I’m not there. And once that moment’s gone, I can’t get it back.
The point I’m trying to make is a simple one.
Love who you do more than what you do.
Love is a verb. An action verb. Our families should be the foundation of our support system. Our safe haven. Our fanbase.
- Love your spouse more than your job. And show them.
- Love your kids more than your hobbies. And show them.
- Rinse and repeat.
Not to say that our jobs don’t sometimes require us to be consumed with a project or absent for a period of time. There’s obviously responsibility that comes with having a job. Also not to say that we can’t have hobbies that allow us to have a little needed “me time”. We need that.
I don’t say this from atop a soap box. Heck, I spend most of my time underneath it! I think most of us know what to do, but it’s sometimes hard to actually do it. I don’t have it all figured out, but I have 5 (ok, 6 counting Wally!) really good sources of motivation.