What Do You Do For Love?

What do you do because you love of the other person?

How do you answer the call to business and the call to family, especially when the time commitment conflicts?

Today my Dad is back in the hospital.  It feels like we’re beginning that long hopefully slow end of life cycle with several trips some critical and others less critical.  And I face a quandary.  He’s bored out of his mind, wants to come home, wants people to come and visit and someone to talk to.   I’m the one who lives closest to him – the other sisters are hour or more away, but I’ve got a business to run.  I spent the weekend in the hospital with him, but I’ve got to get some of my work done too. 

Quandary:  How to decide where to spend my time and how much time to spend where?  What are the priorities and values I am to call upon to make this decision? 

I remember watching a movie about an up and coming Olympic skater who was killed in an auto accident just before tryouts.  He’d made it all that way.  His father, a small business owner had never seen his son skate – because he had a business to run, money to earn to pay for his son’s skating lessons etc.  He thought he would get to watch him skate someday – but that day never came.

I don’t want to have those feelings left over when Dad’s departure comes, but I also can’t be putting my business on hold every time he or one of my kids or my husband gets sick.

I know this isn’t unique to me.  It’s something we all face as business owners, especially if you also are a single parent.  .I’m wondering what others do.  How do you decide where to put your time and energy, especially when it seems like you are being called upon to spend it in more than one place / event at a time?

For me, this time I asked, “Is Dad safe and well-cared for? (Yes)  “Is this illness, at least at this time life-threatening?” (No)  “Does he NEED me there or is it more a matter of convenience – a keeping him company in an otherwise boring situation?” (No he doesn’t need me there to prove I love him, just to be someone to talk to)  “Having spent the last 2 days there with him, can my business tolerate my absence and prosper?” (No)

Those are the questions I asked myself.  What are the questions you ask yourself?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Want to chat – to explore your options?  Drop me a line and let me know what you think at leona@simplyeffectivecoaching.com



3 thoughts on “What Do You Do For Love?

  1. Leona,

    The question of balance is always hard, and made harder by end of life issues. Mary’s mom sounds like she is in a similar boat as your dad. Is it right to drop everything each time she heads to the ER? I don’t know the answer.

    For awhile she seemed to be accelerating towards the inevitable, returning to the hospital within 2 days of being discharged. Both of them would be what I consider lengthy stays of at least a week.

    Since then, they have got her meds stabilized and she appears to be “Semi-healthy” again. That could always change with the next visit to the ER.

    While I am sure your dad enjoys what time he has with you while at the hospital, I bet he wouldn’t want your company going under because of the time you spend caring for him.

    If you two have a decent relationship, and he is lucid enough, why not have a conversation with him and see what kind of feedback to get from him?

    I imagine your mom has already past. So, why not imagine having a similar conversation with her? What kind of advice would she offer?

  2. We are both in “the sandwich generation,” Leona, and I am pleased to make your acquaintance here. I will read your other posts. You have posed a thought-provoking question, and I will try to write on it. How DO I decide how to spend my time and energy when it is called for in different directions? Darn good question!

  3. Pingback: Evaluating conflicting commitments

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