When I was a child I felt aggrieved; why was there no “children’s day” to go with their mother’s and father’s equivalent? “Every day is children’s day” I was told.
As time has moved on, my perspective has changed. I now feel blessed enough to say that for me every day is Father’s Day. Of course, technically that is not true. Yesterday was Father’s Day; a day when all around the world we took time to show our dads how much we care about them and appreciate all they do for us. I am a dad and so I was on the receiving end of cards, presents (always happy to receive a box of Titleist Pro Vs!) and cups of tea.
Team Jones went out for breakfast into Birkdale village – something we do every weekend but it had an extra special feel – made more obvious by the packed out restaurant with standing room only as other dads got a pat on the back from their loved ones.
As I reflect on my life now I realise that Father’s Day has become less of a one-off big day or annual milestone because of the changes I have made in my life over the last two years. The biggest change – aside from the practical and tangible changes of leaving the corrosive corporate world; starting a new business/working for myself; stopping work full time; working from home; spending more and more time with my wonderful wife and darling daughter; more exercise; back playing golf; reading books again; writing every day; not using my iPad and iPhone after 9pm; taking caffeine out of my diet and walking slower – yes, I deliberately walk slower now than I once did, is one of a different mindset – I am now present in my life and in the life of my family.
Back in the dark days, I was physically in the room but really stuck in my head; thinking (stressing) about work; looking at my phone and blackberry – constantly checking emails and checking for emails; working evenings and weekend all the time; fighting tiredness due to fitful, anxious sleep; feeling a constant sense of being in a rush trying to cram all of my work and other things into the day. I rushed around and felt rushed. I planned ahead obsessively – I still plan ahead and like to be organised but in a more relaxed and calm way. I found it hard to relax and even harder to enjoy stuff – constantly thinking ahead to what was next – not living in the moment.
My world now – my world where the balance feels right, where work fits around my life, makes days like yesterday hugely enjoyable but just like most of my other days. My days now are full of quality time with my girls and time for me to do the things I care about in a way and timescale that suits me. It is the ultimate liberation.
I have a much greater sense of calmness and contentment now; I take the time to enjoy the moment I am in; I am able to feel totally and completed committed to whatever it is I am doing – whether that’s walking into the village with my girls, playing golf, writing a blog post or just sitting and enjoying the TV or a book. The pace I do things now means I have the time to look around me and enjoy them, soaking up my surroundings and the moment I am in, including the work I do for myself and my clients. I now have the space in my head to enjoy every minute I spend with my two perfect people, without worrying about what else I should be doing or what I have to do later or tomorrow.
Father’s Day was special yesterday because my life is now very special. I am now present all the time – not just there in body but also in mind, and that is the best Father’s Day present I could ever get.