The other night, I went to my kid's science fair at his middle school. Hard to believe he's in middle school already. It was pretty apparent that it meant a lot to him that I was there.
Often, work consumes. All day long, in meetings and conference calls with people overseas. Dealing with insurmountable time, budget, and money constraints can take a lot out of you and it's easy to lose sight of what matters. I was happy to see his science fair presentation and appreciate all of the hard work and brainpower that went into it. It turns out that jet planes are pretty cool to a 12 year old.
For the first few years of my son Jonas's life I was in a start-up that was struggling to stay afloat. It meant long hours and the stress was pretty unreal at times. At the time it was "important" work. Seeing a thing through and making something from nothing at that scale was new and exciting, despite the toll it took on me.
Time wore on, the business was a success to varying degrees, I had a second son (Jack), and a lot of things changed in my life. Looking back, I sometimes prioritized poorly. It's something I regret and it is something that I refuse to let happen again.
The struggle of balancing what seems important with the reality of what is important has been pushed around the internet for years. It inspired one of the best posts I have ever read.
I see a lot of technology types on twitter like Shawn Blanc and Ben Brooks and Dan Jalkut with new babies and if I have any useful advice to give you guys it's that you can't let that time go without a fight. It is important now, but it will be more important later.
One day, probably sooner than you could ever imagine, your kid will come walking up to you and you'll see them for the first time as a full-grown autonomous person -- not as a little potato that was, just the other day, laying on a baby blanket staring at a mobile. It happened before your eyes but more quickly than you thought possible. You'll realize that he is the sum of all of the decisions and mistakes you've made up to that point.
Some things are out of our control but how you choose to spend your time is not one of them. Control how you spend your time. Make good decisions. Don't fuck it up.