Maintaining the right balance

  • Published
  • By Maj. Stephen Esposito
  • 97th Communications Squadron commander
I pressed send on what feels like the one hundredth email today and glanced out my window to notice it is pitch black outside. That's funny; I don't remember Retreat sounding. I swivel my chair back around to my desk and finish up replying to another ten emails before heading home. When I get home my daughter just finished brushing her teeth and is going to bed.

Does it feel like you blink once and the day is already over? How can you find the right balance between the demands of work, the enjoyment of family and the fun off-duty time?

Many of us arrive at work early in the morning and don't return home until late in the evening. With tighter fiscal constraints and less manpower, many of us "extend" our work day to keep the work-seams from splitting apart. Often times we may overlook the fabric of our home life. Long days at work are required at times to complete the mission, but there are slower times when the mission gives time back to your day. I feel that finding these lull periods is the key to balancing your work and home life.

My daughter recently had a birthday. My wife and I decided to surprise her with a pizza during her school lunchtime. My daughter's lunch time fit nicely between two other meetings on the calendar. It was a little difficult to finish the first meeting, order the pizza, pick it up, make it to her school on-time, and ensure there was enough time to drive to the next meeting. When my daughter arrived in the lunchroom to see Mom and Dad with a pizza for lunch, it was pure magic. We only spent 25 minutes together eating pizza and talking about the finer points of fourth grade, but to this day, my daughter still talks about her surprise at school for her birthday.

Sometimes it is difficult to find those opportunities where home and work can be successfully intertwined. The opportunities are there; sometimes you need to look a little closer. No matter how much you "catch up" at work or at home there will always be more to accomplish. Try to find a way to give time to your work mission and your home life.

As a closing thought to help you find this balance, I'll paraphrase Dr. Richard Carlson, that even when you die, your inbox won't be empty.