Two and a Half Things
I met Doug in the lunch room at work last week and we had a fantastic conversation about parenting and values. He talked about how he learned that he could only ever do two-and-a-half things well at any given time, and he's written it up this week:
"When my kids were still young, I wanted to be a good father, a good husband, a good worker, a good rugby player, a good rugby coach, a good friend, a well-read person, a musical person, and a person who was physically fit. I tried to do ALL these things for a period of time. I did not feel fulfilled. I felt tired.Of course he's generalizing, but I thought it really captured the essence of the tradeoffs we make with our time (and money). Every challenge I've felt as a new parent has been related to this truth -- you can't do it all.
That's when I learned that you can only do 2 1/2 things well. So, I made some tough choices. I focused on being a good Dad, focused on excelling in my work, and any remaining time (whatever there was) was dedicated to continuously building my great relationship with my wife. My rugby playing/coaching went out the window. Our social life virtually disappeared. Reading, music and exercise - gone. But I loved and was energized by the vast majority of my days."