Take Time To Reset
Four years ago, my wife and I decided to take a cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Now this wasn’t any ordinary cruise. We cruised all the time but usually on smaller ships like Carnival. This time we went on the largest cruise ship in the world. When we stepped onboard this gigantic ship, I thought to myself, “This is like a floating mall.” It was quite overwhelming. This ship had an ice rink, four pools, a massive 4 story slide, a theatre, and an outdoor theatre. We got lost several times. It took us several days to remember which way the dining room was and which way was the theatre. It was a great trip but it did take us a few days before we could fully relax.
Summer is upon us. This past year, heck this past decade, has been so overwhelming. We make plans only to have them changed or even cancelled. It can be frustrating. In July I flew back from Ontario after my father’s funeral. I had the pleasure of transferring through Toronto. Needless to say, it was an experience. My flight was cancelled and changed 4 times in 24 hours, and even with all those changes I was still delayed several hours before I got home.
My point is this. Throughout the year, months, weeks, we are going to face challenges that seem overwhelming, almost to the point that you are ready to take a knee. Don’t let yourself get to that point. If you do, remember that there are people around you that will support you. This summer take time to recharge. Spend time with the family. Go for walks. Don’t let the burdens of this job take its toll on you or your family. I encourage you to take leave this summer and spend it re-centering yourself.
A few weeks ago, I buried my father after a tragic accident that could have been avoided. The last time I talked to him was over face time shortly before they removed the life support. If I had known that this would have been the last time I spoke to him, I think my priorities would have definitely been different. This job will come and go. For most of you, this won’t be your last posting and for you Public Servants and civilians, one day you will walk away from this place. If you don’t take time to focus on yourself and your family, what will be left when this chapter is over?
Now I’m not saying don’t focus on your job. I am saying that your job can’t be what defines you. Take the time to refocus this summer. Spend time with the family. Spend time on yourself. If you are not grounded you will very quickly become overwhelmed with life.
When my wife and I got off the ship, the problems we faced didn’t seem as big. When you step back and refocus you can overcome anything. Things that seemed too big won’t seem as overwhelming. Focus on the important things.