The Forced Vacation
This past week was a time that I am not used to having – a week of quiet solitude. Towards the end of January, I had been feeling rundown. This is not unusual. I love my work and it drives me to have about a 16 hour work day, give or take 6 days a week. I enjoy going home from 5pm – 8pm at night to eat dinner and tuck my children in to bed. Then it is time to finish my work. This schedule is very rewarding. I know that I am giving my family everything I have and caring for my co-workers and clients needs. However, it can exhaust me after a while. Thus, when I was feeling drained it was not a new feeling. However, when I started getting some chills and then of course the fever – that was new.
Thus for the benefit of the team and our clients, I stayed home. That honestly was a new feeling. I don’t like staying home. Since I was 13 years old, I have had a job. I remember talking with Mr. Minor – my 8th grade social studies (and mock trial) teacher about getting a job. At 13 years of age, I would stay late at my middle school and be responsible for mopping the cafeteria floors. It is a whole different perspective when you actually have to clean up the mess you see others making around you.
Working at 13 was not put upon me by my parents or anyone else. It is something I did and have done since that time. I remember being in High School and having my job, my academic clubs, my volunteering with a local children’s group, and then changing clothes in the car to try to get to soccer practice on time. That did not even include my actual classes and the work that went with them. I had at times three jobs in college and 2 jobs in law school. The only time I felt out of control was when I had a panic attack at 14 years old, but that was the only one. It taught me to only worry about what is in my control and to leave the rest to God. I realized that it is a gift from God to have each day and to be able to “do”. So many don’t have the day or the abilities to do, as I am blessed to be able to do.
It was never expected of me, but it was instilled in me. My mother and father did not graduate college, but worked hard everyday to achieve a life for my sister and me. I would not see my father for months at a time, not because he was missing but because he was working. Looking back, I realize the sacrifices they made to give my sister and me, the opportunities we now enjoy. The same opportunities they did not have. My Dad grew up on a farm in the country of NC and my mom grew up one of nine children in upstate NY. They worked for everything they had, because that is all they had.
To have this life in which I am able to work and give every piece of me to my children, my wife, my team, and my clients for those same opportunities is a daily blessing. I gladly give of myself to serve those that chance at an opportunity to succeed. To be forced to sit for a week and do nothing is hard when what you possess is your ability to push through, however my team was amazing and I barely even heard from them. My wife is amazing in what she does on a daily basis to educate our young gentleman and lady. To have this week to recover was a great retreat of the mind to reconnect and reflect on how great a group of people I have around me, including my family, the team we have at Goldfinch Winslow, and the great clients we serve.