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We preempt our regular programming for this conference blog special presentation

November 24, 2012

Normally, on Saturdays, we present a list of industry news stories. In a survey done a couple years ago, we asked what people wanted to see from FWA and one of the answers that came back was industry news. However, this week, I’ve been on a cruise around the Caribbean, and there’s no free wifi on a cruise ship.

Given that it’s a twentieth-anniversary cruise, even if there was free Internet, I probably wouldn’t use it to write blog posts. It’s a cruise, after all.

There was a day when a week away from the kids, just with my wife, would have been the most wonderful gift ever. It’s not that we don’t love our kids–we certainly do. But when we had both of them home at the same time, and involved in a cafeteria list of activities–about which I’ve whined often on this very blog–a week of getting up whenever you want to and not getting in a car is like heaven.

Now, my daughter has one foot firmly planted in her emerging life. Most of the other leg is leaning that way. She still has part of the other foot at home–maybe her pinky toe. And my son is following behind her. I always thought he wasn’t as independent as she was, but I’m wrong. He’s just different, more social than she is. She’s no wallflower, but she’s equally comfortable working alone. He likes being around people (or electronics–often used to text with people).

Either way, they’re starting the transcend the gravity of childhood and learn to fly. This is one instance in which the Icarus story doesn’t, and shouldn’t apply. When you’re young, you need to cling to your dreams as if they were the most important thing–because they are. Don’t be afraid of the height. And don’t be afraid of the mud they’ll drag you through while you pursue them. Soon enough, you’ll have a family and kids of your own to drive to activities–and then it’s too late to realize you sold your dream for the mirage of a steady pay check. It’s easy to do when you’re young and life stretches out in front of you like a giant empty Saturday with no plans and all possibilities.

Anyway, we’re cruising this week and it’s a holiday week anyway. And time to start getting the holiday stuff down from the attic and realizing that the Christmas cards aren’t going to write themselves. Probably nothing vitally important happened this week.

So I’m taking a relax with my wife. The one thing about kids and activities and dreams you didn’t chase and paychecks you did (sometimes in vain), is that you focus so much on the daily task-oriented stuff that you forget about the important things. My wife is one of the most important things. When I retreat into the office to write or edit or pump out blog posts or watch Mad Men when I should be writing, she’s always there. My kids are who they are, in large part because of her. When I was laid off and looking for work and there wasn’t any, she never once asked when I was going to get the money coming again. She’s far more patient with me than I deserve.

As the kids grow up and start to leave, we enter a new phase of our lives, where the primary focus of our lives since June 21, 1993 is no longer our primary focus. While there are visions of leisure and giant empty Saturdays that vanish quicker than we thought possible, it’s a transition. And like anything worth having, it’s worth working through the hard parts, if there are any.

So this week, we really start that transition. My son is being spoiled by his grandparents and sleeping until early afternoon. And my wife and I are starting the process of finding more things that don’t involve children. Thus, there will be no industry news today.

I think it’s a good trade.

  1. Jack Owen permalink
    November 24, 2012 8:02 am


  2. November 24, 2012 10:21 am

    Indeed, an excellent trade.

  3. November 24, 2012 9:06 pm

    This is one of your best blog posts ever, Chris.

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