You would think by now I would have learned my lesson. How often have I sacrificed quality time with my children and my wife for the sake of answering emails, texts or posting to Facebook or Twitter? And, how often have I used the lame excuse of “I just have to do this one thing…?”
I can’t even begin to count how often I’ve done that. I’m embarrassed about it.
Since Saturday, I’ve been vacationing with my family and my brother-in-law & sister-in-law and their kids in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It’s gorgeous here. I’ve never been before. But, I’m glad we came to this place. I needed a break from the normal pace of life. I needed to get away and disengage for a bit. I did that same thing back in the spring as well. For 2 weeks I fasted from all technology. I did not check, nor respond to my email, or post to Twitter or Facebook.
However, this vacation has been a little different. I’m checking and responding to my email early in the mornings, blogging early, and using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram sparingly during the day (mostly scheduling things through HootSuite).
I’m a distracted person already, even without media technology and social media added to the mix. If you know me well, you know how true that is. But over the last few days I’ve been reminded of something that I know to be more true than anything in this world:
At the end of the day, nothing’s more important than time with my wife and children.
I was driving with my brother-in-law, home from the grocery the other night, when I recalled this simple truth. We were talking about the day and how much we both needed this vacation. At one point in the conversation, as we talked about the demands of our work, but also how much we love what we do, we agreed- the most important thing in life is that our children know their daddy’s are there, present, interested, and involved in their lives. Although work is important, it should never trump time with our children.
We want our wives to know they are more important than a project or an email correspondence. At the end of the day, nothing’s more important.
Last night I took my 11 and 12-year old girls down to the beach to hunt for crabs. It was a blast. We laughed, we screamed (well, they screamed!), we gave chase, and we celebrated every capture of an elusive crab that we made. We were together, on a moon-lit beach with crashing waves for a backdrop. At one point, I realized that I had forgotten my iPhone back at the house. I smiled, though, as I looked at the silhouettes of my girls dancing across the beach. My iPhone would have only gotten in the way of that amazing moment with them.
Don’t miss this: there will always be time to Tweet, or Facebook, or email. There will not always be time to spend with the most important people in the world. I had to drive 14 hours away from my house to be reminded of this. I pray I can apply and stop having to re-learn all the time!
Have you learned this lesson lately? What has changed for you?