Making Time for Family

Prioritizing family time for a balanced life.

Making Time for Family

As life becomes more hectic, it becomes increasingly challenging to carve out time for what truly matters.

My son has taken on the challenge of restoring a 1937 International truck, and I couldn’t be prouder of his achievements thus far. While there’s still a considerable amount of work ahead, this project has provided us with a wonderful opportunity to bond and collaborate.

Recently, a business coach criticized me for supposedly dedicating too much time to leisure activities and not enough to business matters. I parted ways with him shortly thereafter.

He, on the other hand, has a dog and a girlfriend and resides in a bustling city apartment. His perspective is limited because he lacks the same priorities as me. The primary motivation behind my work isn’t to finance extravagant trips or nights out; it’s to ensure my well-being and quality time with my family—my wife and kids.

The reality struck me recently: my eldest son is already 14, and we only have roughly four more years with him living under our roof. Soon, he’ll be eager to explore his independence. Similarly, my youngest son will only be with us for about another decade before he, too, ventures out on his own. Time flies, and before we know it, these precious years will have slipped away.

Here’s our plan to ensure we allocate our time where it matters most. Firstly, I’ve prioritized family time. Whenever possible, I set aside early afternoons to engage with each of my children on projects they’re passionate about. My eldest son focuses on the 1937 International truck; my other sons enjoy video games; my daughter loves crafting; and together, we’re working on building a go-cart from an old lawnmower.

Indeed, these projects require a significant time commitment, but the value they bring far surpasses any monetary investment. Every moment spent with my children is priceless, outweighing any financial contribution I could make.

Let’s not overlook the importance of my wife. Transitioning from being employed by others to working for ourselves posed challenges for both of us. We had to adapt and learn how to navigate this new dynamic. What became evident to me was the necessity of pausing more frequently to prioritize time with her. We began scheduling lunch dates at least once a month and made a conscious effort to engage in conversations unrelated to business during the day.

One of the most rewarding decisions we made was to envision our future together. There was a period when my wife and I pursued our dreams, which didn’t always align. However, we’ve since shifted to dreaming collaboratively, working hand in hand to achieve those shared aspirations.

One of our collective dreams is to embark on more family adventures. We’ve long prioritized providing experiences over material possessions for our family. Our latest aspiration is to travel to all 50 states and at least one foreign country (excluding Canada or Mexico) before our oldest child leaves the nest. We’re making steady progress toward achieving this goal.

The overarching lesson here is the importance of prioritizing your priorities. It won’t always be a smooth journey, and at times, it may even feel incredibly challenging, if not nearly impossible. However, staying committed to what truly matters is key to navigating through life’s complexities.

Seek out innovative solutions to make things work. While it may require a bit of creativity, I have full confidence that you can overcome any obstacles. So, get out there and prioritize spending time on what truly matters.

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