No one has ever said that they wished they had spent more time at work on their death bed. Scrooge almost did. He was lucky that someone saved from that fate by stepping in and helping. If you find yourself spending more and more time at work than with the family, then consider this the Spirit of Christmas Past, Present and Future stepping in to change your perspective.
Christmas Past: The Empty Chair at Christmas Dinner
Do you remember all the exceptions you used to make so that you could spend time with your spouse? Back then you treasured every activity you shared together. Without reservation you did what it took to be with them in the most important moments of their lives. What changed? Try to learn from the past. Find excuses to be home again. No longer be the empty chair at Christmas dinner.
Christmas Present: Seize the Day
As Master Oogway of Kung Fu Panda put it, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the ‘present.’” Too often we put off playing with our kids or spending time with our spouses until tomorrow. But to the busy businessman or woman, tomorrow may never come. Seize today’s opportunities. Spend every ounce of energy with your loved ones. Plan to be home, then be there, just as you would at work. Your current relationship with your spouse is more important than that of your boss; make him or her your priority.
Christmas Future: Look to the Future
Write down family goals and plan your life to accomplish them. Sit down with those that you care about and write down things that you want to do together over the next six months. Then write a plan detailing how you are going to accomplish each of them. When it’s written, put it somewhere where you can all see it. Meet each benchmark along the way and you’ll ensure future happiness with your family.
Let your last words praise the times you spent with your family rather than lament the time you missed working. Learn from the past, live in the present and plan for the future. Live a full life again.