By the end of 2015, I made a decision: I wasn’t going to let newfound pressures and responsibilities overtake the most important things in my life. Managing the loose ends of a family business — a task I inherited when my father died in June — had done just that. It was time to stop. I asked a friend for advice, and he told me to practice prudence.
Prudence is about using reason to govern oneself. In my case, prudence means putting the added responsibilities in their proper place, behind the things that are more important, specifically my wife and children and my career.
Indeed, 2015 was about doing the best I could with the added pressures. I think I did OK, for the simple reason that I still have a pulse and can stand up. I was able to keep doing my day job well. I can’t say I would have achieved the same results if this all happened a decade ago.
But 2016 is going to be about taking my life back.
The need to do that came into clearer focus last night. I went to a wake for a mentor from my North Shore Community College days and ran into several people who were part of that circle 25 years ago. We talked about what we were up to these days and the twists and turns our lives had taken. It reminded me of how hard I’ve worked since then to get to where I am now. If I turn my back now, I’ll be putting all those years to waste. I’m not going to let that happen.
I’m not tossing the new responsibilities aside, however. But from here on out, they’re taking a backseat to my real work.