“Lost time is never found again.”
Nothing is more important to me than my family, so I am protective of the time I spend with loved ones.
I mention this because my life is full of prospective time robbers – usually well-meaning people who pull and tug at me for my time. Could I attend a breakfast meeting before work? Am I available for a meeting with a local nonprofit after work? Would I mind staffing an educational booth for another group this weekend?
No single request is particularly onerous, but the cumulative effect is pronounced. I found myself leaving for work before my daughter got up for school, and then I’d return home that night when she was climbing back into bed.
Thankfully, those days are behind me, but it took a conscious effort to make it so. I simply had to begin saying “Sorry, but no.” Some people are taken aback when I tell them I’m not available all the time anymore, even when I explain that I’m going home to spend time with my family.
I’ve learned that moderation is the key. Saying “no” is not a crime. In fact, it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.
Yes, I want to volunteer, to help others, to be a valued employee and a good citizen of my community.
Mostly, though, I want to be a good husband, father, son and friend. I do that best by being wise how I spend my time.