It’s been quite a week. Both Agam and I have been burning the midnight oil. And as a result this Saturday we are both struggling with a deficit of sleep. I have a trip to NY coming up which comes with its own challenges. And Agam has to play single parent until Thursday, which is exhausting in its own way. We don’t have any relief in sight, and Greece is long time away.
So this morning we both decided to chuck it and plan a quick getaway somewhere. We don’t know yet where we are going, but it’s been three months of slog and recover, and no time to relax and rejoice. It’s code yellow time.
In hindsight I proved my point – I need a vacation every quarter to keep up the with the pace of our evolved life, ever sine Tara has become a part of it. The only way we get a break – is if we leave home, and go somewhere, even if just for a few days. Agam had challenged me on this mindset last year, and so to retaliate 😉 and teach a lesson I planned nothing but a trip to Greece in May. What I wanted to prove was – let’s see how soon we burn out. And the answer is 3 months.
In times like these, I wish we had family around, or some kind of help. So we could both take a break for a few hours, for our own sanity. But we chose this life, and we must make it work. And so we do in our own chaotic way. I am also not comfortable leaving my child with a stranger for a few hours on a weekend.
I don’t know how people with two kids manage their routine. I am sure it takes at least one career to take a back seat, or a few years of deficit. Good for them. What is surprising is – that Agam and I don’t lead CEO lives. We don’t even work for start ups. We have very normal jobs. But we are both very driven people. The challenge of our jobs stimulates us more than anything else. I dabble with photography, cooking and writing, and none of them stimulate me like a day at work. So I love what I do. But I do it in a way that leaves me exhausted by the end of the week. And I can say the same for Agam. So much so that we have started to use weekends to recover and not relax – two very different things.
And even though I sometimes wish that I dedicate this drive some place other than work, the truth is, I enjoy what I do. And I’d rather not spend it on something else. I find a lot of joy in my work, regardless of how demanding it can be on most days. I find performance reviews enriching. I find managing team dynamics fulfilling. I like debates about what is the right for the customer. I enjoy the chase of getting a slide deck ready in 20min, iterating over it for an hour, and taking it to show time. I live a fulfilled life because of the work I do. It is a very big part of my happiness. And I cannot take it away from myself.
What impact does this have on Tara? I don’t know yet. I know she loves to say the phrase – “I gotta head out in 15. I have a meeting at 8:30.” She hears me say that everyday, and she repeats it with the same tone of importance. it’s adorable. When I am with Tara, I am with her 100%. When I am at work, I am there, 100%. Yes, I spend more hours working than I spend with Tara, but that’s how the work week is spread out. We have 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening to spend with each other, before she has to go to bed. And I spend 8 hours at work during the day and another 2 in the evening. There can be no balance it’s 4 vs 10. So why worry about this balance? She will be a working woman herself, and she better know the reality. She and I both know that I cannot be at home with her for 8 hours and be stimulated by just that. It won’t do her any good either.
The point I am driving is that all said and done. We do what we do for our jolly good reasons. But when the weekend becomes a time slot to recover, that’s when the equation gets de-stabilized. And that must be avoided.
I am running on a 10 hour sleep deficit from this week. So I am melting pot of guilt, exhaustion and passion at this moment. But writing this down has helped me identify the problem statement. Now let’s declare a code yellow on this situation, identify the root causes, plan of action and an exit criterion so we can be happy and healthy and hopeful in Q2. A weekend getaway is the first step towards that. Yosemite – are you warm enough yet?