On Life Balance...

Small rant below. E46 M3 CSL (a most delightfully balanced car) for your time:

A few months ago I was asked to join the Board of Directors of a group whose mission I fully support. In fact, my part-time-extra-winter-job is directly related, and the match seemed perfect. “Just four meetings a year” I was told - and evening, weekday meetings, no less. I’m not really free on weekday evenings, but I can make exceptions.


Of course, I knew there would be work to be done outside of these meetings, but this, I assumed, would be done on my own time. Since April, there have been, as promised, just two quarterly meetings. However, there have been no fewer than four conference calls and one fundraising event. One of the meetings was originally scheduled for 12-2pm on a Saturday in July - this being 90 minutes away from me, this was going to dominate the day for me and make it very unlikely that my wife would take the kids somewhere interesting without me. Not to mention that weekends are the only time we all have together as a family. It turned out that so few people could make the Saturday meeting that it was rescheduled - to the middle of my vacation. I couldn’t make it to that one either.

Then, each of the conference calls has been held at some awful time for me, generally between 5pm and 7pm - precisely the most demanding time of day for me. I have only been able to dial into ONE of the calls, and I had to hide from my kids for an hour - not what I wanted to do on a beautiful afternoon in June.

Now, there’s a call scheduled for this Sunday at 5:00 pm. The chair can’t do later because guess why - because he has houseguests - so is sticking with 5:00. This would mean that just at the time my kids are getting tired and hungry, I’d have to tell my wife “ok I’m gonna disappear for an hour... see ya good luck with the hardest hour of the day” Umm yeah.

Every time a parent of older children tells me, “enjoy them while they’re young,” or “these are the best years,” or “it’s over before you know it,” it reinforces for me exactly why I am bending over backwards to put my kids ahead of just about everything else in my life. I try to maintain a base level of fitness, get out with (adult) friends, and spend time with my wife - all of which are essential to me - but just about everything else comes second.


I don’t want to resign from my position because I really do believe in what this group is doing. But I sent a long email today explaining just why I haven’t been able to participate in just about anything since May. I feel bad about my absence, and expressed that, but also tried to explain that I just can’t be available at 5pm. And definitely not on a weekend in the summer.

We’ll see how it goes. I like these people and I want to help them out. I hope I am able to do that. Just don’t get between me and my family.


On that note, it’s time to go pick up my kids from my parents! It’s a beautiful afternoon and I can’t wait to see them, go biking, play in the yard, whatever they want to do. It’s magical, and I won’t trade it for anything.

Happy Friday, Oppo.

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