An Embarrassment

Happy Anniversary. To me! Nine years with Jack Hammer, finding leaders who will help great businesses to grow and prosper. Could there be a better job in the whole world?

I suffer from an embarrassment of good fortune – and have decided it’s not serving me to avoid the celebration of it. I know how blessed I am; and I know that folks are suffering out there – it feels downright insensitive if not disrespectful to be having a good time.
But I am.

Firstly, I’m doing good work. Not just ‘good’ by our usual standards of rigour and application, but ‘good’ because the leaders we’re placing right now will play a role in shaping a better world.

Secondly, I’m enabled. Fibre, an abundance of devices, and an office with a door that closes. My Partner has wholeheartedly taken on the feeding, clothing, schooling and transporting of our children and the running of our home, freeing me to work. Allowing me to confidently don the mantle of ‘breadwinner’ while he tackles ‘homemaker’, ‘primary caregiver’ and ‘teacher’ all at the same time. We know whose job is the harder –

Thirdly, and finally, I was ready for work-from-home as a result of having ‘practiced’ for about a year before it became a necessity. That first year I darn near worked myself to death. Here’s what I learnt and put into practice THIS year.

1. Have boundaries. The whole family should know when you’re working, and when you’re not. When you’re done, put the phone down, close the laptop, step away from your desk.
2. Do something for yourself with your saved time. Exercise. Play the piano. Garden. During lockdown I learnt to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (First Movement) on my elderly upright – it’s the equivalent of a good meditation session. I know I’m not the only one finding more time to be creative, constructive, to parent and to exercise.
3. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’ve got young children at home, or you’re single-parenting, or you don’t have a space – give yourself a break. This too shall pass.

Here’s to the next nine years.

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