Family First. Sounds good, but what does it mean? It's tempting to define it according to the amount of time spent with your family compared to time spent leading your business. As Indies, there is always overlap, and since no two families or businesses are alike, there is no way to define for everyone what it means to put family first.
What matters most is where your heart is. Whether you have a traditional job or an Indie business (or both), a moment by moment decision to focus your heart in your home, even as you tend to business and career, is what it means to put family first.
This afternoon at 3:00pm EST, my father (pictured with my brothers), who will be 80 this September, is undergoing his third surgery in 4 days. I have been with him since Sunday when he was rushed to the first operation. Yesterday, he finally opened his eyes to recognize that I was there. What a moment that was! A breathing tube prevents him from speaking but his eyes were as alert and communicative as ever.
Newsletters must go out, memberships must be processed, phone calls must be returned, radio shows must be planned and hosted — and those things are continuing from the ICU waiting room and the local coffee shop where I use free Wi-Fi.
My father enjoyed a long career in the educational field. He was rarely home for weekday dinners and as a member of the National Guard, he was frequently away at training camps on weekends. But through it all, there was no doubt that his heart was always in his home. As a child, no matter what time it was when he finally came home, I listened for him to walk up the steps, check the locks on the front door and go from room to room turning on hall lights to look in on us before he finally went to bed himself.
I will return home today to celebrate my daughter's graduation from pre-kindergarten. Then my family and I are coming back to DC to see about my dad. Everything will continue as it always does, yet this month, it's Family First in a whole new way.
Thank you God, for a wonderful dad and a great example of what it means to put Family First.