RBE Update: Luxuries vs. Habits
Bachelorhood vs. Parenthood = Tranquility vs Mild Alcoholism
The biggest difference I’ve felt since the start of the sabbatical is a sense of quiet and time for thoughtful reflection (including writing a blog post). Now to parents everywhere this is a no-brainer. You’re not constantly stressed over the trying to get the kids, dressed and out the door in time for school; getting back in time for pickups and fighting with them to eat dinner and go to sleep. It’s been said that one has finite supply of willpower per day and once exhausted, you just want to curl into a ball and cry — or in my case reach for a stiff drink — as my stockpile of whisky can attest to.
Reflections at Halftime
I’m just under halfway through the Re-Bachelorhood Experiment and it’s time to take stock. It was brought up by a good friend that, if not careful, most of the stuff I end up doing would never be replicable at conclusion of my parenthood sabbatical. As such, I’ve have been mindful to categorize the activities I now have time to undertake as Luxuries vs New Habits. For instance:
I participated in a Magic: the Gathering release event — the first time in 5 years — on my first weekend home alone. LUXURY
Similarly, I had a chance to meet up with a good friend to go climbing and the local gym after work and even signed up for a membership figuring I’d have opportunities go enough times over the next 2 months to make it worthwhile. LUXURY
Took a work trip to Toronto and took the extra time to spend time with my parents and see my extended family (more on this later) including meeting my 6 day old baby nephew and my 9-month old nephew. LUXURY
Hang out with my buddies including one friend who flew in from Calgary over the weekend and who’s expecting his first kid over the summer. It wasn’t epic but it did include non-child friendly levels of imbibing and good times. LUXURY
I’m trying to start a daily routine of taking 5 mins to write down the things I’m grateful for. It’s said that this boosts your optimism which in turn makes you more effective at work. Hopefully NEW HABIT
Developed a system to preplan and cook healthy meals for the week. NEW HABIT
Between all of that, there’s also been filing taxes which I consider a necessary CHORE.
Goals for H2
Well given Luxuries outnumber Habits 2–1, play time’s over and it’s time hunker down and set goals. Here are the other Habits I’d like to lock in and Infrastructure I want to build by the conclusion of sabbatical to make sure I made the most of the time:
- sustainable, time efficient exercise routine that can help me keep up the energy levels and keep the pounds off. The requirements for this are going to be challenging as need to be able to squeeze this in once the kids get back.
- time efficient way to keep in contact with friends and acquaintances. On the count, I have to thank some friends for recommending this article. Also am going to review this book which I skimmed some years ago but didn’t have time to study.
- Strategy to nurture my professional network into my future areas of interest and opportunity. As always time efficiency and sustainability will be key.
One other thing, one unfortunate BAD HABIT I have picked up now that I have the hours to kill is watching too much trashy TV like Legends of Tomorrow and Archer. These will probably go away once the kids come back and exhaustion and mild alcoholism returns but better to book the time to wake up earlier to reflect and/or exercise.
Okay, let’s go execute second half!
Meanwhile on the Other side of the World…
P.S. I do miss the kids terribly and I’m extremely grateful my wife keeps me well informed of their latest adventures in Asia through the magic of chat, social media and FaceTime. Suffice it to say, and thankfully, it seems like they are having the time of their lives. I dare say getting them adjusted to the boring Bay Area may be challenging.