Last week, my son wrote me the sweetest note. He talked about his favorite sports, how he likes to play with me, his favorite football teams, and even drew me a couple of pictures.
Then he simply wrote: “I love you, dad.”
But that’s not what I read.
I promise you it’s what was written. I actually read it three times in a row to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me.
But again, it’s not what I read. It was the strangest experience and incredibly hard to explain, but what I read was: “I miss you, dad.”
I could see the words; I saw that he wrote: “I love you, dad.” But every time I read it in my mind I read the words: “I miss you, dad.”
I wasn’t having a stroke, I wasn’t just tired, and I promise you I’ve been reading for years. It was the strangest experience.
As I’ve tried to understand it, I actually think it was somewhat of a spiritual moment. I realize as I write this blog that I have no idea how you perceive this reality; I have no idea what your own beliefs about spirituality are; or if you even have any. But for me—it felt like a spiritual moment.
Ever since COVID-19 hit hard, I have wrestled with problems I never thought I would need to solve. I’ve wondered about how to keep my employees working, how to serve our organization’s partners and investors, as well as move our mission forward in an ever-changing, pandemic-influenced climate.
Between the increasing problems to solve and the continual bombardment of changing scenarios, it’s easy to get anxious and stressed. At times, I found myself in survival mode and my consistent answer was to simply work harder and for longer hours.
Even when I was home, I wasn’t really present.
Then I read this note. “I love you, dad....” or “I miss you, dad.” However I read it and whatever it said, it hardly mattered. The truth was: I needed to go home—and really show up.
If I want to make it through COVID-19 with relationships intact, with business thriving, and with my leadership staying strong—then I also need to unplug, spend time with my family, and make sure I recharge so I can offer the best wisdom and energy to everyone around me. Including my family.
If, like me you’re looking around, wondering how to solve life’s complex problems during our current pandemic, let me encourage you to start by loving your family. Love your spouse, love your partner, love your children, and love yourself.
One of the best ways you can ‘LoveFoCo’ during this time is to love those closest to you. “Extended Spring Break” only happens once in a lifetime (hopefully). Embrace the moment. Go for the bike ride. Run together. Color Together. Buy a new game. Cook a great meal together. And do your best to unplug at work, so you can plug in at home.
Love FoCo. Love Your Family.