Friday, April 13, 2007

priorities and stuff

I'm taking time out of my busy schedule to drop a note on my blog.

It's still hectic with work and ... stuff. I got in this morning around 5 am (again) and have so many urgent things to do it makes my head spin.

After listening to the hypnotic voice of the Radio 4 shipping forecaster on the world service, I got out of my car and paused. I was met with a beautiful dawn chorus of birds. It was so beautiful I just had to stand and listen for a few minutes.

I got into the office, had a cup of tea and then set about work at a leisurely pace, remembering the old addage of Rob Parsons "Walk around any graveyard in Britain and you won't find a headstone with the following inscription: 'I wish I'd spent more time at the office' "

This Easter break I took my two youngest lads and Sue away in a caravan. Cheap, cheerful - and absolutely delightful. I don't mind working hard, and I'm certainly never one to be called work - shy, but at the end of the day, none of us are indispensable. I vow to leave my kids with great memories of their childhood, not a dad asleep on the sofa, or absent through work commitments or other stuff.

I can't bear to watch 'The Apprentice' with Alan Sugar, the tyrant boss demnding all and more of his strength-sapped sycophants. In truth, I fell for that load of old tripe years ago. Now I see it for what it really is. I'm lucky that I can have a work-life balance and I intend to meet this challenge head on.

The lengthy days in the office from dawn to dusk are hopefully going to be a thing of the past. I don't mind the odd early morning, and I'll do the best I can with the most integrity. I'm happy to give 100%. I'm not giving 200%. The pie of my day is hopefully clearly marked: work / kids / stuff. I now need to make the 'stuff' section smaller and the 'kids' section fatter.

The stuff thing is a deception you know. We all need stuff, but I have too much of it. Stuff that isn't work, but there to please myself or other people. I have so much stuff I find that I often let folks down because my stuff is as overwhelming as my work. To those of you who read this, if I have let you down over things recently, or taken my time in sorting something out - I'm really sorry. I need to learn to prioritise, and I'm just beginning to understand this now.

Life is not a game, you get one shot at it.

Being a terrific lawyer with a glittering career? Hmmm. Being a good lawyer with kids and a wife who will appreciate me? Exceptional. I'll take the latter any day. Now I need to work on the stuff...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have learned a valuable lesson, Paul. What was worrying me was the heart attack getting you first. A wise move, if I may say so, a wise move.