Filed under: Comment, Daddyhood, Family, Fatherhood, Holiday, Otis, Parents
So today is the last day of work for a week before the Chinese New Year holiday.
I know … I know … I’ve just come back from my Christmas holiday, but this has been going on for 6 years so I don’t know why you’re surprised.
Last year, Chinese New Year was the start of a horrible time.
Mum was rushed into hospital and I flew back to be with her.
She recovered – and even thrived – but 10 days later, when she had her heart operation, it all went terribly wrong.
I’ve written a lot about that so I won’t say anymore for now, but this holiday will be different and I am sure my Mum would be happy about that.
Family is very important.
Sometimes we take them for granted.
We don’t mean to, but pressure and expectation occasionally distracts us from what’s really important and that’s why holidays are so important, because you don’t just get to let go of the distractions, you get to spend uninterrupted time with the people who make you feel fulfilled.
I’m not going to lie … holidays are very different now I have a son, but they are still magical, just in a different way.
When we were in Sydney a few weeks ago, one of the things we did was take Otis to the beach … Balmoral Beach to be precise.
Watching him play in the sand and the sea for the first time in his life was very special for me.
Seeing the joy on his face as he engaged with nature with his Mum and Dad was something that affected me deeply.
China was never going to be our home forever, but being able to easily compare against another way of living – albeit in the bubble of a holiday – certainly brought home what we now view as important.
That doesn’t mean things are going to change immediately – the fact is I still love my job, my life and China – but it does mean the things we want to explore and experiment with in the future have to fit in with certain environmental requirements that we never previously viewed as important. What’s even more amazing is that I no longer see this as a restriction of opportunity, but a sign my life has grown in ways I never previously could imagine.
That would make my parents happy which means that makes me doubly happy.
So while it is true that I am going to have another holiday just weeks after my previous one, it is no longer about me being a work shy, lazy bastard, it’s about spending time with the most important people in my life and even you couldn’t begrudge me that.
OK, you can, but I’m choosing to ignore you.
See you on the 15th.
Happy ‘year of the monkey’.
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