During a meeting at work today, my mind started to wander a little bit. I don’t recall what prompted the wandering or what, more specifically, prompted to me to start thinking about the beach. And taking the girls to the beach this summer.
This sweet, albeit generic, thought quickly evolved. It wasn’t just about taking the girls to the beach this summer, it was about making a spontaneous decision one weekday summer morning to play hooky from work and take the girls to the beach, simply because the sun is shining bright and I love my girls. I imagined it in such vivid detail – waking up, looking at the time, listening to the weather forecast, smiling at my idea, preparing the sandwiches, announcing the surprise to the girls and sending an e-mail to my team that I would not be coming into the office – that I momentarily forgot where I was.
As I thought more about my little dream as the day wore on, I came to a realization that made me want to cry. Never once in my 20+ years professional career have I ever played hooky. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always taken my vacation time (although I usually work quite a bit during my vacations). But I’ve never woken up and simply decided not to go to work that day. Hell, I can count on two hands the number of sick days I’ve taken since my first job out of college.
I’m starting to think I’m crazy. Ten years have gone by since Chloe was born. Five+ years since Sophie. And yes, I took a few months off in 2007, but that’s it. What have I been thinking? My kids are growing up so fast, and I feel like I’ve missed most of it. I can’t get those years back, but I can start thinking about the future. And maybe, for once, I’ll start taking some risks to get to a happier place.