First off, forgive the hair. This was early 2000's. I have learned a lot since then. Not just with follicle design, but in life itself.

This picture sits on my desk. It sits there to remind me of a seminal moment of my life.

The pic was taken in 2006. I worked for a large radio company. I was career minded. Devices were always in my hand constantly. My job came first. Everything else, second. Including family at times. I am embarrassed to admit this photo even exists. Am even further embarrassed that I allowed this to happen in this pic. Here is the story.

Allow me to introduce you to my youngest - Shelby. She was 4 years-old when this pic was taken by a friend of mine. Shelby is just like me. Sarcastic, fun and far more intelligent than me. In the pic, she is pining for my attention. I am on my device. I was probably dealing with a work issue which was usual. Too busy to notice my own child needed me. And I wasn’t there – but my device was. Perhaps you have been there as well. if not, well played.

A friend of mine took the pic at a function that we were attending. Yes, even as social functions, I choose to work over preferring others, including my family - in this case, my own daughter. When he showed it to me, it floored me. It was a game changer.

I looked at the pic and was stunned. I asked myself, "What am I doing? Messing up, that's what." My priorities were out of whack. I had a precious treasure who just wanted her dad. I wasn't there - this pic is proof. It broke my heart. It still breaks my heart today looking at it. This pic was sobering. Very sobering.

I showed to a close friend of mine. He winced. Yeah. "What are you going to do about that?" he asked. My answer? "I am going to fix it."

I took both my oldest daughter (who was 14 at the time) out to dinner and asked her some pointed questions. "Have I been absent? How am I doing as a Father? What can I do to help you?" Her responses were frank - "Dad, we love you and know you have to work. We just want to be a part of that. Just be present for the moment." That, came out of a 14 year old. I bawled like a baby in the car afterwards.

Ok, be present. Noted. The balancing act was tough, but I know my girls were worth it.

I started doing "Dates" with my girls - trips to get ice cream, going to the movies, shopping for clothes, etc. We went and did everything we could together. Any excuse for me to disconnect from work and connect with my family was used. It was a challenging balancing act. I look back on that now as investing in my daughters and family. So worth it.

Today, that investment has paid off, my relationship with my daughters is awesome. My oldest is now working on her doctorate at Fresno State and my youngest is prepping for college with acceptance letters pouring in. We talk weekly.

My relationship with my girls changed because of this photo. It was a game changer. And I am glad it did.

If you can relate, you too can make the needed changes. I f I can do it, so can you.

 

All My Best,

 

The JimShow