I love this picture! It reminds me of what is really important in life. I bet most people imagine a similar picture of a homecoming after a long term absence.
But what about coming home everyday? Does it look and feel like this? Is homecoming from work one of the hardest times of the day for you?
After a long day of work–selling, building, manufacturing, managing, teaching, counseling, protecting, advising clients. Hopefully there is some constructive feedback from the boss (or not!). Then you commute home. Which is aggravated by traffic. So maybe you monologue angrily towards other drivers or you try to squeeze in extra phone calls. Or you check emails in the car. Or text while driving. Maybe you are not even on your way home yet. You’ve got a work related happy hour afterwards or a dinner with a client. The sun set long ago. PHEW!!!
All you want to do is be finished. It’s like coming home is the final stretch in the race. If you can just make it through the door, then you can stop holding yourself up and just collapse. All you really want to do is hit the pillow or couch!
But when that door opens it’s, “Hi honey/mommy/daddy I need you to. . .”
And it’s time to switch to family mode.
Maybe you cringe or brace for it stoicly. Maybe you grimace and greet your family with a tired sigh. Maybe you get frustrated and isolate yourself or get a drink. Maybe you check out emotionally.
Is this a habit or frame of mind you find yourself in?
Wouldn’t you rather feel the joy, excitement, and happiness that you feel after a long absence from your family?
Gary Keller of Keller Williams Realty recently wrote a book with Jay Papasan called, The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. A good book, he talks about how to figure out what is the one thing you can do in work and life that maximizes your time and energy. He talks about the scene in the movie “City Slickers” about Curly telling Mitch about the secret of life.
Here it is if you haven’t seen it: http://bit.ly/XDWgGi
What matters most to you?
Keller also talks about successful living as being the practice of fewer, more powerful habits that have a cumulatively positive effect over time. Setting your intention is a mindfulness practice that is one of these powerful habits.
And it is a simple exercise that you can do in a few minutes on the way home. Relax and ask yourself, “What is one thing I can do when I get home to be in accord with my higher values with my family?”
Setting a daily intention around your homecoming can, over time, energize your home-coming instead of being another demand on your time. Over time, setting your intention for a happy homecoming can have a dynamic impact on your relationships at home.
And if coming home feels like a drain, if you are being told by family members that you are irritable when you come home or fighting, try counseling. It can help you realign your intentions and values and repair your relationships.
Work smarter, not harder. Try your best, certainly. But remember that your family is as important if not more important to you as your work. Save something of your best for them everyday.