I was alone last night, late. I had just returned from a laughter filled evening with a few staff from our Leadership Training Centre. I stepped back into my house and stood at the front door, I surveyed the room by the light that was coming from above the stove. A low 25 watt light bulb filled the room with an eerie quiet. An unusual mess. What a busy weekend. I could here the bare feet slapping the floor, the laughter of my children while running from their bedroom to the kitchen and back top speed. Chasing each other, falling, waiting for a moment to see if any real pain would arrive. When none was felt they would spring to their feet and begin the run again. Ignoring my calls to slow down and be careful.
I looked at that open space in front of the couch and saw my sons “Space Boy” pajamas and three power rangers strewn across the floor. On the dining room table a half drawn picture of my daughter and I holding hands looking towards the sun, big smiles. The written message being simple… “I love you daddy!”
I looked around, sort of waiting, sort of just hoping for a call from their rooms. I heard nothing, just the wind through the trees outside my home. I kicked off my shoes and flopped down on my couch. I picked up the fourth book in the “Secrets of Droon” book series. A 30 plus set of children’s novels that we are reading. I wanted to read with them, to see their expression as the adventure was playing out in their heads. I wished they were there to say “Please daddy, just one more chapter!”
They weren’t there. I had dropped them off at school that morning. I had driven home…. alone, feeling empty.
I pulled my journal from my bag and started to read. To look over the past year. What was it that has made me so sad. Why couldn’t I bounce back from this feeling of emptiness? Maybe it’s because I wasn’t being true to me. Being honest with the whole picture. I need to change that. Please don’t get me wrong. Life is pretty good right now, I am spending time with wonderful people, my business seems to be going in the right direction and my personal life is looking up. I just can’t seem to shake this feeling of something missing.
I wrote for a while in my journal, trying to be specific and yet straight from the heart. There were some common elements in those entries. I created a 22 day challenge for my self. 22 days of changing those pieces of my life that I know I need to reboot.
I hope that through this process I will be able to jump back into the “game”. I can’t change how often I see my children, that is out of my hands. I can however create a home that will demonstrate an exceptional family life when they are here, with me. One that they will remember and cherish. It’s not about the stuff, it’s about the impact.
I won’t see my children now for almost a month. When they return I will be ready. My heart on my sleeve, arms open to catch them when they are jumping into them. To hold onto the times we have and to love the moments we share together.
The room is still quiet. I pick up a few of the toys on the floor and walk to their rooms. I fall onto my sons bed and look up at the big picture of Superman on the wall. I can only imagine what he dreams about… I close my eyes and nod off to sleep. It’s been a while since I slept in a single bed with pirate sheets… It was ok.