So, I went to Nashville… during CMA week. Yeah… it was nuts.
This means 2 business trips in 2 weeks. My #herowife handled the entire situation at home, including huffing up 1/2 the house for a family reunion in another city.
Now, the trip itself was amazing. But, that’s not what this blog post is about. This post is about the aftermath of this 2nd trip.
First, my son became more attached than EVER. As far as my wife and I can tell, his psychology is functioning with the assumption that if anyone leaves, who knows when they are coming back? And, who knows if they are ever going to come back, at all?
Second, since he’s in the midst of his terrible twos. It’s been hard on me, mentally, to process the fact that I actually need to deal with these communication frustrations… I thought he’d skip it. It was looking that way at least. One can hope…
Thirdly, this last trip really taught me how much I really need to make time for my wife and I, separately as a couple… versus “together” as parents. We need to reconnect and make sure the marriage remains priority.
Well… more to come. It’s been a while on this blog since the last post. *sighs*… it’s just been so busy in life. As it always is, isn’t it???
So, last week, I flew out for my 1st business trip in… forever.
Due to the struggles of Pacific Standard Time (West Coast issues)… I had to fly out on a red eye. Got in a 1am local time. Then, couldn’t sleep until 4am local time. Woke up at 6am EST to grab some continental breakfast which… essentially destroyed me the next day (LOL!).
Housekeeping staff came in at 10-1030am. I jumped out of bed and enthusiastically greeted them, thinking it was my business partner.
Made them jump. Heh. OH Well…
Finally around 1030-11am, he shows up, we get some work done… and, head out for an afternoon long business meeting.
The meeting went smoothly, and, we went back to the hotel to drop off our stuff, check out the Kentucky Derby, and finally, head out for some grub. Not knowing how close Louisville is to the Ohio River, we crossed over the bridge into Indiana! At least in Southern California, crossing borders of any type doesn’t come as easy as such.
Finally having had a night out on the town, I stumbled back into the hotel with barely any sleep under my belt. Thanks a lot, jet lag. Well… the 2nd night was no different. I fell asleep from 1030pm-11pm… because, that felt like a nap in Pacific time. Then, from 11pm til 3 or 4am, I watched bits of HBO, spent some time chatting with my wife via Snapchat, surveyed social media… and, waited for the sandman to arrive.
Up early the next day for the flight home, I probably only for another 3 or so hours of sleep.
By the time I was on the 1st plane home, I was so zonked the flight attendant asked if I was okay. 🙁
AND, the 1st flight started in awful condition as the plane had yet to disembark the passengers before lining us up for boarding. Boarding took soooooo long that it delayed the flight to the point where I had only 5 minutes to hoof it over to my connecting flight from Denver back to San Diego.
Seriously… I was worried I was going to miss that flight.
All in all, 3 days for an afternoon meeting. HAHA. Such is life!
I missed my family with immensity. For two years straight, we’ve been around each other every calendar day. In fact, I believe my wife and I, until this point, only spent two calendar days away from each other since we got married.
So yeah… the missing was bad. Real bad.
Well… it won’t be the end. I have a business trip next week, and, more to come throughout this year. Both good & bad, such is the price in working at home. Personally, it’s worth it. Instead of spending 40+ hours a week away from my family, I spend less than that away every couple of months. It’s not a bad deal 😉
Yes… I work from home! And, I’m kind of ruined for the usual corporate lifestyle… “going in” to work. My office is this packed storage’ish place where a lot of toddler, media, workout, jiu jitsu, and miscellaneous overflow exists in the house. It’s a place I establish some time to every once in a while, do some video blogging or broadcasting via #Periscope or Snapchat… I’ve actually taken a liking to Snapchat.
A photo posted by Ben Fung (aka @DrBenFung) (@daddyintheraw) on
And, then… I’ve been looking back at the big picture. It’s MAY. That means, I’ve been “work at home” for TWO YEARS now. It’s really crazy to think that. Yes… I’ve taken some per diem gigs and some private clients over these past 24 months. However, the bulk of how we’ve been surviving financially has been from me working in this tiny little office, running around after my kid, cooking when I can, or jamming on this laptop at the bar of our kitchen.
It’s really quite crazy, when you stop and think about it. And, it’s awesome, amazing, and a gift of an experience.
What’s really crazy to think about is that… things are actually working out! Yes, it’s still financially a nightmare of sorts. However, it’s the LIFESTYLE I’m after. Of course, should the opportunity come and I get to realize some of my exit strategies that I end up with a big financial bump… yes, that would definitely be appreciated.
Still, I look back and mentally call upon the lovely experiences we’ve had as a family, the closeness I have with my wife, the love, fun, & adoration I have with my boy… how could I give this up?
My hopes and prayers, now, are that this next stage (as it develops) continues to grow this lifestyle along with the finances… that things finally balance out in a direction of growth.
So… due to life and bills to pay, I found myself away from home and in clinic for an entire week. Now, first things first: I was very thankful to this relationship with this local clinic I per diem at. We have a wonderful working arrangement and it helps that we’re pretty darn close in terms of a drive/walk. #Awesome
Well, what was supposed to be more of a half day all week turned into practically full time work all week. It worked out in most respects in that there are bills to pay and we gotta do the work, sometimes & many times, that we rather not.
I learned a lot about the healthcare consumer, my role as a clinical physical therapist, and even how that despite such a break from clinical care these last (nearly) two years… I’m still spot on with so much of what I do. I guess it really is like what they say about “riding a bike.” Now, while I enjoyed being in the clinic again… what hurt was being away from family.
After all, this was the first time in TWO YEARS I was away from home and family at a full time pace.
Ultimately, being away all day for a full time equivalent work week… I noticed something truly remarkable in parenting. First, my son was in a bad mood most of the day. Even though I took lunch at home, my wife would tell me how grumpy he would be in my absence. Our boy just likes having both parents around. We also, ironically, realized that mommy & daddy represented certain facets of emotions… much like Disney’s Inside Out.
Mommy = Anger, Fear, and Disgust.
Daddy = Joy & Sadness.
How accurate was this? Well… one day, I came home and Nate went from absolute anger-fit to super giggle happy. He got so happy we were running around and he ran into a wall. Immediately… he began to cry in the saddest most pitiful cry ever.
Well… that seemed to be our dynamic for the week. The biggest lesson I learned was this: I belong at home. I am MEANT to be Daddy In The Raw… a work at home dad.
I can’t say it’s been easy. I can’t even say it’s been financially advisable (yet! some big news, hopefully around the corner) or emotionally stable. However, it is something I know is right for my family.
Well, after such a long and hard week, we felt there was no better way than to make a quick impromptu trip to Disneyland 🙂
Here are some highlights:
Selfie after front row seating at the Paint The Night Parade.
Entrance into Tomorrowland.
How it started in the front. Now, diamonds in the back.
Ultimately, I learned that no matter where you are on your journey… you must find your home. Your home might be your actual home. It may be your family, your friends, your profession, your passion, your hobby, etc. Whatever that home is, find yourself there and start there. Why? Well… everyone starts somewhere. Even, Walt Disney.