What matters most in life
What's been going on?
This Calvin and Hobbes comic is one that I remember reading as a kid. Like many of the strips from Bill Waterson, its story was something that happens daily in the lives of parents but how he told it elevated it. Calvin and his Dad are usually at odds with one another, with Calvin doing something to either annoy or bother his dad, but here we see the opposite. For a moment, they are both playing and having a great time together.
It’s a rare moment in the comic, and sadly, that’s how life can be too.
Having kids during summer break means you have to make many choices like this one every day. You have to work because life mandates that you work, but you have to figure out where to slot that work into life because life isn’t just work (Kids or no kids, this just isn’t the case). It is easy to forget why we work because it is valued so highly in our culture that everything else falls after it. We work so we can live, and living shouldn’t be contained between before or after work hours.
When we allow work to mandate when our time is spent and to ignore or even get angry at others who just want some of that time, we have lost ourselves and our value as people to the work itself. I am not saying that you should never work a day in your life; life is work, but where you spend time is what matters.
Remember, we are given money for the time we spend working on something because it is time that will never come back to us. There will never be another July 1, 2022 again.
Because of this, and getting Covid, I have been a bit quiet recently.
This summer, I chose to be around my kids as much as possible instead of working. I do work still, it is 6:20 AM at the time of writing this article, but I place the work around my kids, around my life. I do this because they will only get this summer once, and my work will get done, but taking them places or simply being with them this summer is something that won’t happen again.
Being a parent in the 21st century is hard because it is a constant fight against feeling like a heel for hanging out with your kids or working to ensure you can afford life. It’s choosing to miss large portions of their life for a paycheck, and many of us have to do this to survive. I am grateful because I have help from family who can take care of my kids when I need it, but more often than not, I’m Calvin’s Dad in that comic strip. It’s tough financially and mentally because my value as a person and father is tied to how much I can make from work, but I know I making the best decision when my days look more like that comic strip than not.
Serialized content is coming to this Substack. It will be here, I promise, but I wanted to say thank you for being here and reading. I appreciate the time you’ve spent here today.