This has been an interesting year for me, filled with lots of upheavel. The biggest change was in my professional life. I left my position at Brentmark Software to focus on Live Oak Games and my writing. Instead of commuting, I now work out of an office in my home.
Needless to say, a change like resonates throughout all aspects of your life.
Running a small business is an extraordinarily time-consuming thing. There is always work to do, always something you should be thinking about, always some opportunity that you are missing. Writing is very much the same way. Once you start writing seriously, you find yourself thinking about your writing virtually all the time.
When you’re doing these things out of your home, the lines between personal and professional obligations become almost nonexistent. It’s all to easy to “run upstairs to answer a few quick e-mails.” You have to stay very focussed and very disciplined. When you’re with your family, you’re with your family. You can’t be thinking about the business or the book. You have to be in the moment and thinking about the family.
You also have to make sure you’re not pressuring your family. Sometimes when you’re with the kids, they don’t want to do anything with you. They want you there, but they just want to play with each other. It’s very easy to start thinking “I might as well be upstairs getting things done instead of sitting here…” Once you do that, however, you might as well go. You’re not with the kids at that point, anyway.
How does this all relate to Thanksgiving?
I started writing daddytales two and a half years ago because I was absolutely flabbergasted by the things that I was experiencing. I just had to tell someone – and that someone ended up being you. Over the years, however, writing daddytales has become an important part of my life. It has helped keep me thinking and focussed on my family.
The focus it has given me, the awareness of my kids that I’ve spent so much time cultivating, has proven to be invaluable over the past several months. Would I have made it through the transition to working at home without DaddyTales? Probably.
But I doubt I would have been as good of a father.
So.. that’s what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving: daddytales.
When I started this back in April of 2005, I never dreamed that such a simple thing would have affected me so profoundly. I’m sure that there’s a lesson there, a moral about keeping our focus on the important things – but I’ve never been good with lessons.
I’m just thankful that DaddyTales has helped keep me grounded and focussed on what’s truly important: being a daddy.