Sunday Column (331)

A while back I have been looking into applying some app that would let me write my blog posts offline and send them whenever I am online. That app in form of WordPress exists on my ipad/iphone yet not on my Mac. What I found for my Mac was too complex for me, and I ended up writing a draft into my notepad instead. Why not. Copy/paste is simpler than trying to learn a new system.

Thinking about what I wrote just now, it sounds like I am getting old. Maybe I am. Maybe I am getting a bit inflexible in terms of using new systems, or changing some processes. Don’t get me wrong, I love processes, and I love implementing them. Following the rules, black or white, yes or no. But, these rules and processes need to have a purpose, fulfil a sense for the workflow. If they don’t, what’s the point.

The latter is the case for most organisations I worked for. And this will always be the case, in days of change, in days of growth. Growing a company above 50 employees is when it gets critical to implement the right processes. Having different people involved, across time zones, doesn’t make it easier. Never mind, to my satisfaction, things are well where I am.

Yet the same is true at home. Having the right processes in place as a family, ones that make sense, rules that everyone can adhere to, is important. There is no other way for people to work or play or live together, than accepting each others’ territory, freedom and stick to certain rules and processes. So work and life are really similar.

Despite July I have been busy at work. Advertising doesn’t seem to slow down, yet in my line of work the summer frees people up to catch up on things they neglected most of the year. Pitches are usually finished by mid/end July, then there is room for holidays, catch ups and strategic thinking. I love those meetings with a loose agenda, brainstorming potential synergies and partnerships. I am excited. But before I know it, September is back and the buzz is to start again. I am loving adtech!

This week I was off from Thursday lunch time. I had that booked for a while as my lovely wife went off on a jolly to Lisbon with some friends. Good on her! I am very happy for her to be able to do it, to be able to let go and enjoy herself. When Rohan was upset when she was leaving, I told him we should thank Buddha that we are in a grateful position for mummy to be able to go away. Not that I think he understood it, but the distraction helped to calm him down in no time.

I was looking forward to that weekend for a long time, not for her to be away but on the one hand I think she deserves a break; on the other hand, I want quality time for and full attention from my boys.

kids

So how did the weekend go? Mixed to be honest. We had lots of fun, some tears, some shouting, some time outs, some cuddles but overall very positive! They adhered to the above mentioned rules, accepted my authority (they really didn’t want me to get cross), and helped me where they could with the little chores. In times of test you realise the characters they are building. One rather behaving, being the big brother, the other being more the disruptor. Both great in their own way.

The oldest got his scorecard – he has done fantastically well. Needless to say I am very proud of him, reading the report with a little tear in my eyes. What a lucky dad am I? The youngest asked a lot of questions and going for a walk with him is great. Having time with either of them, conversations about their little world without thinking of work or worrying about anything else is great. Of course it is a full time job. My wife is doing a fantastic job of keeping them entertained, and helping them to grow up.

Having to look after the dog, keeping time of appointments, managing food intake, and yes food was high on the agenda, plus trying to fit in me time, doing the laundry and doing the chores…..it was a lot of work. Just as well I am back to the real world and my wife is back next week. She is a hero, every mum is, at least in my mind. The work they putting in, the love they share, and the things they put up with.

Of course it is all good, and them and I enjoyed it, but somewhat I don’t seem to be born to be a stay at home dad. However, being able to share a day with them, joining in activities like sing and stomp, seeing what joy they have doing activities and playing with their buddies, sitting down and making things with them, that is great. I miss that. I sometimes wonder how much I have missed already from seeing the boys grow up compared to my wife. Whilst I love my work, love working and wanted a career, and I fully understand my kids can do so much because of me wanting a career, it is sad to think that one cannot have it all. The little sacrifices in life.

But the older they get the more enjoyable it gets, the less activities they want to probably share with me. Not long and I will go fishing with the boys, choosing things we can do together, then I embarrass them by going out with them at uni (I think I will be cool, but guess it is never going to happen, I won’t get an invite, let’s stay realistic 😉 ), and then I shall look after my grandkids….

The cycle of life.

Oups, maybe we are looking too deep into things.

Have a great week ahead.

Love and Kindness from my part of the world.
Volker