Know When to Switch Off

I try to write about topics related to leadership and productivity. Normally this means that I end up banging out posts before or after work, and on weekends. I call it ‘captured time‘. I enjoy the process, but I never stopped to think that sometimes what I enjoy may be considered and encroachment into the total switch off time of others. This realization came to me while driving with my daughter to go spend some daddy-daughter time by the fountain at Camana Bay. Read on.

Taylor

We had an hour to kill waiting to pick up my son, Ryan, from an activity so Taylor and I decided to go and chill for a bit and watch the kids play in the fountain. As we drove there together my normal Sunday blogging ideas (or lack thereof) started to invade my mind. What was I going to write about? How was I ever going to find the time, what with this non-productive visit to the park and all?

So I nonchalantly asked Taylor, “What would you like me to write my blog on this week?” For good measure I added, “What would you like answered that big people always give kids silly answers on because they think the kids will not understand?” Her response, I am now convinced, was her subtle 11-year-old way of saying, “Hey dad, I thought this is supposed to be my time, our time.”

The three questions?

  1. What do adults do when there is bird poop on the windshield?
  2. Does everyone know to use Ctrl-Alt-Del when the robot invasion comes?
  3. What do adults do when their daughters grow up too fast and hold their boyfriends hand?

From the minds and mouths of kids, right?

But really, as I got over my initial reaction of, “Come on Taylor, get serious“, I got to what I think was the subtext to those questions. Well the first two questions at least. The third I think she threw out there to see if I was paying attention. Note to boyfriend – NO HANDHOLDING ALLOWED UNTIL SHE IS 18.

My learning? This blog and my writing is important to me but I cannot let it get in the way of good times free of pressure to do anything outside of being in the moment that I should be (or I promised to be) in with someone else. If I have carved out the time for my projects when others don’t need or want to be with me then by all means it is OK for me to turn my attention to that project. However, if I have promised my time to others it is unfair to them to be anything other than fully engaged in that activity, that moment. The blog writing can wait until a more appropriate time.

Turning to the questions, I have not the foggiest clue how to answer with any degree of intelligence the first two questions she asked and simply refuse to face the possibility of the third question.  So, on returning home and having some ‘me’ time, this blog post was the best way out for me.

Bird poop on the car windshield! Did I read this all wrong? Was she really just saying I needed to wash my truck?

I live in the Cayman Islands and I'm married to Christina. We have two incredible children, Ryan, attending Northeastern University in Boston, MA, and Taylor, attending Trinity College School, in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. I own several businesses in Cayman. My list of 'pasts' include past chairman of the Cayman Islands Special Economic Zone Authority, past president of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, and past president of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce.

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5 thoughts on “Know When to Switch Off

  1. David, very instructive (timely reminder to a fellow blogger). Two lessons – we must not underestimate our young children and always strive to strike the right balance on that which is important. In both instances, we need wisdom.

  2. Go Taylor! Well said! We only get to borrow these sweet kids for a short while before they get on with the business of building their own lives.

    As for the bird poop – I’m open to suggestions. Whenever I squirt the windshield wiper fluid, it simply smears said bird poop across the windshield and I know the bird is out there laughing at me somewhere.