The life – work balance thing hit home again this past week when, during a period during when our work load is high, that is, we’re busy and Melissa’s schedule is very full, “life” intervened. First, my car acted up – turns out it needed a software upgrade (pretty hard to imagine) – but it was not driveable, so were down to 1 car when we need to go 2, very different, directions. Then, after waiting months for an anniversary clock to be repaired, it finally was ready. The only problem was the clock shop is open 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. Melissa had been handling this and would have picked up the clock, except…she was actually busy with “real work.” Melissa needed to get to/from the location of the job she’s doing (30 to 40 miles away) with some pre-deposition witnesses and, well, I’m working, but in the office. I don’t know if it is easier working together or working for different employers when such life events occur, but I think this is one time when owning the business is better than working for someone else. That’s because the solution gets complicated. The solution was for me to use her car to get the anniversary clock on the way to the office, her taking a car service (Lyft got the call) to the job site and me then leaving the office early and driving a couple extra hours to pick her up from the job site. And, still, I had to get my car back from the shop but she was too busy to take me. Lyft again. Generally, this is not that complicated or inconvenient in the scheme of things, but it takes some planning and it required some time to think through. I know it happens to others; in talking with a client last week she revealed she was driving hours out of her way to pick up a child from school because her husband’s car was out of commission, like mine. We all make adjustments, but these are the types of things that remind me that the flexibility of working together is a good thing overall, but challenges remain! It is a matter of prioritizing, considering the options, then making it happen with the ultimate goal of making sure that the client is well served.
As usual, David’s post has reminded me of song lyrics. In “Beautiful Boy,” by John Lennon, there is a line that says:
Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.
How true! Just when we think we have our lives neatly organized and compartmentalized, something unexpected happens, causing us to adapt to our new situation. I do not have time to sit around, idly contemplating an ideal scenario; when the inevitable unexpected “crisis” happens, I have to spring into action, quickly, to ensure everything I had planned to do gets accomplished, in spite of the setback that has now captured my attention. David and I operate our business, as well as our marriage, as a partnership. We do not have gender based or other traditional roles; instead, if one of us is busy at work, the other person does the grocery shopping, etc. If the trash needs to be taken out, or the empty trash can needs to be brought in, whoever gets to it first does it. In David’s example, when his car broke down (fortunately, in our driveway) and had to be towed to the dealership for repairs, we had to make last minute adjustments in our plans. I had a long standing (and highly paid, I might add) consultation for a client that required me to make multiple trips to the client’s office, including on a day when David had no access to a car. (Due to other circumstances, he was unable to obtain the customary loaner car from the dealership.) Luckily for me, I am a huge fan of car services, such that I used my trusty app to hail a ride from Lyft. It cost quite a bit to use this mode of transportation, due to the distance I needed to go, but I arrived on time, early in fact, to consult with my client while David was working in the office after using my car to get there. Finding a solution to problems is something at which both David and I excel. And working as partners on the same team greatly helps our ability to get everything accomplished, even when life’s frustrations are added into the mix.
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