Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Balance Versus Seasons

This school year has been a big year of transition in our family, with our girls finishing 9th and 6th grade. Here is a hint I wish someone would have told me: when your kids start high school, their level of activity explodes. Between schoolwork, sports, band, church activities, time with friends.... you get the picture. Most of these need more than just time - they need an emotional investment. When your kid has a band concert or a volleyball game, you are present there. Being an engaged parent is a good thing.

A few weeks ago I was putting together slides for Ember's board of directors meeting. Taking a big picture perspective gives you different realizations sometimes and I realized that Ember has had a great year. We've been involved in some amazing projects, connected some incredibly talented and passionate young people and Ember X, being our first official overseas adventure, has all the potential for a ton of great impact. It's an exciting time and we're getting better and better at our core competencies.

I think balance is a misnomer but I do think we live in seasons. A year ago, I would have told you that my season of juggling trying to be a great husband and father, holding down a day job, running a nonprofit as a 'hobby', taking care of an aging parent, mowing my lawn once a month.... that this season was good, a little difficult but so fulfilling.. After this year, I will tell you that it has still very fulfilling but it also has been very challenging, mostly because it would be wrong to sacrifice your kids to the alter of your hobby.

All this to say, my kids had a great great school year. And I'm proud of what Ember did this year and what we are doing this summer. Ember X is going to be a great experience. And I've scheduled a 6 week sabbatical at the end of the summer.

Photo: swim meet on the first day of summer vaca, June 2013.