When I was working, there were so many conversations that I had to keep track of. So many developments happening simultaneously.
I managed to stay on top of it. I was really good at just keeping my finger on the pulse of everything.
The funny (and sad) thing is that while I’d never really miss a beat at work, I’d miss lots and lots of stuff at home.
I would literally zone out during dinner. The people I loved most in the world would look me straight in the eye and talk to me, and I would be looking right back at them — but I didn’t hear a word they said.
The love-of-my-life recently told me that one of the things that he likes most about Gap Year is that they all have my full attention. He told me it used to be “painful” to watch #2 trying to get my attention, and I’d be completely zoned out, thinking about work.
What’s worse (and I still cringe when I think back on this) is that I’d miss the volumes spoken through silence.
I know there were times when I could have lightened the load that one of my kids simply by hearing their silence. Adolscence can be such a difficult and lonely place. I deeply regret the times I missed hearing the voice of silence. I regret this most of all.
It’s embarrassing to own all of this. I wish that it wasn’t me who did these things.
But here’s the thing, you guys…. you can never get too bummed when you blow it like this.
I’m not trying to minimize or in any way excuse it… It was a huge miss on my part. I’m finally coming to the place where I own it. Heavens knows I’ve previously spent plenty of time excusing myself for it; numerating all the things I did well as a parent; as a spouse. It was a huge miss. I own it now.
But I’m not going to let myself get down about it.
The future is SO HUGE. It’s just so big. There are so, so, so many conversations that haven’t yet happened — and lots of them are super important ones.
There will be joys and disappointments and accomplishments and total, spectacular failures.
They are all coming. And they’ll all be expressed in some way, shape or form.
This time I’m listening.
I think that the people I love most in the world see this in me. I think they’ve forgiven me for all the stuff I did miss. Or at least, they’re on their way to doing so.
So here’s a bit of perspective for my friends surfing that monster wave that is work…
If you miss something at work, someone will brief you; someone will catch you up; someone will have your back.
With the people who really matter most in your life, that won’t always happen.
And sometimes the fact that you totally missed it hurts them. Deeply.
It’s just something to think about, I guess. It’s something I was thinking about and I wanted to share it.
Thanks for indulging.
<…. we now resume our regularly scheduled programming.>