For the first time in many years, my family held a reunion this year. Relatives traveled from all over the country to be at my parents’ farm for Labor Day weekend, and it was one of the best times I’ve ever had. I had so much fun that I can easily say I wouldn’t trade our time together for anything, but I have to admit that a few months beforehand, I struggled a little. All of you face painters and entertainers will know what I mean.
What I’m talking about is that as the date for the reunion drew closer, I began to turn down event opportunities for Labor Day weekend. Each one gave me a twinge, especially since we were planning to be gone not only for Saturday and Sunday, but for the Friday before and the following Monday. It was so hard to say no to work on the popular holiday weekend that I began to wonder if I had become a bit of a workaholic.
Well, no matter what, I was going to the reunion. That was decided. But I didn’t just want to go. I wanted to be free of feeling pulled in two pieces. I wanted to be able go and enjoy the time with my family without feeling like I should be working.
Those workaholic feelings kept nagging me until I pulled myself up short with a mental conversation one day. I finally asked myself the important question. If I were to look back in ten years, what would I wish I had done? Would I wish I had worked on that weekend, or would I wish I had spent time with my family? Without a doubt, I would definitely regret having missed a rare gathering with my extended family.
Once I faced it directly, the weight caused by the constant reminders of missed work opportunities slipped off my shoulders once and for all, and I was free. When the holiday weekend arrived, we packed our bags, loaded the car, and went on an awesome four days of fun with no regrets.
Interruptions in our busy work schedules come to all of us. They can’t be helped, and in some cases they shouldn’t be. While they might irk you now and then, shut down the temptation to agonize over missed work by focusing on the truly important things in life. Life is about living, not just working, and it’s best when it’s lived with no regrets.
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