It has been a while, but yesterday I actually had a feeling where I was about to panic. It doesn’t happen often, but I felt a twinge of it and had to calm myself. I can handle this.
I am not ashamed to admit it. I was spoiled as a kid. No no no, not that kind of spoiled. I didn’t get EVERYTHING I asked for. Come on, seriously… even though I wanted the Nintendo and Sega systems, we had Coleco Vision. Not quite the same thing.
No, I was spoiled by the attention that I got from my parents. And I cannot imagine how hard it must have been, especially during the months of February through April each year. I am not sure what maniac thought it was a good idea to put tax season right in the middle of little league baseball season, but every year the joy of baseball was mixed with the stress of tax season.
Not my stress per se, but the stress to my parents. And yet, despite that, despite my dad doing 400 tax returns a season; despite my mom keeping the house and office together while dad did the returns; despite the fact that since my mom and dad worked out of the house there were people coming in and out at all times of day… mom and dad never missed a baseball game. In fact, dad managed all of the teams, never missed a game and never missed a practice. And my mom? Never missed a game (although she did occasionally get there late, which in one occasion was good because she didn’t have to see me actually break my wrist, just take me to the hospital) and she always had time to take care of the home.
So why did all of this come back to me in a wave of panic? Because we just signed Brooklyn up for tee-ball. And no, the panic I felt was not because she was placed on the Orioles and not the Dodgers. It was a larger panic than that. It was the panic that I might miss something. That despite all of the stresses and responsibilities of tax season my parents never missed a game, but that I would succumb to my own responsibilities and stress and not be there for something monumental like her first home run or her first diving catch.
So I had to take a breath. I had to think. I had to remember the one word that would alleviate my fears… “balance.” It can be done, and I had two terrific role models to show the way, although I doubt I would have the discipline to work at 10 o’clock at night.
Should be fairly simple, right? Hmm, no not really, but the first step in battle is to identify the objective and size up the obstacles. Well, the objective is that elusive “balance” between work and play, between the sense of responsibility for my clients and my work as compared with the need to be with Brooklyn and celebrate her growing up and development into a world-class baseball player, to take her place amongst the Dodger greats such as Koufax, Snider, and Garvey. So at least I know the key is balance.
My friends, yet another week of thoughts with no resolution, no answers. But I do like to think that preparedness is the key. If I identify today that balance is the key, then I can plan for tomorrow on how to accomplish it. I can plan ahead, keep my calendar handy, and balance my life to accomplish both my goals: a successful lawyer, counselor, and business-owner and the father who never missed a game and was always there to argue with the umpires…
Week one of a balanced life begins today. It helps to keep that in perspective.