Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Finding Balance

Is there such a thing as balance? Is there ever a time when you can say to yourself, I'm attending to everything in my life with the care and attention it deserves?

I have a strange, but amazing work schedule. I work from home two and a half days a week and spend the other two and a half days in the office. In theory, this allows me to spend more time with my son while still putting in a 40 hour work week. It really is great and I'm lucky to have been able to work out a schedule like this, but it does present some problems.

When I'm really cranking out the work, when I'm "on" and fully concentrated on my job, I don't really interact with Chunk as much as I should. We don't take our usual long walks. We don't play much. The "one hour media time" rule gets broken a little more often. Basically, I'm being a lousy dad. At the same time, I'm being a great employee. I'm being efficient and focused and sharp. When I'm "on" at home, I can crank out twice the work I can get done in the office.

On the other hand, when I concentrate more on parenting during my days at home, work suffers. There are a lot more interruptions. I don't really concentrate like I should, so my productivity plummets. Chunk and I go for our usual long walks, we go to the library and load up on books, we chase each other around the house, etc. Basically, I'm being a great dad.

Where's the balance? Can I be a good dad and a good employee at the same time? Can I be efficient with my job and attentive to my son, without letting either one suffer? I think its possible, but elusive, especially at his current age. I've been working this schedule for a year now and I think I'm close some days.

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