Ever have the idea for something you want to say or write about, but it’s just not fully formed yet? I first thought about writing this blog a few weeks ago, but I just didn’t feel like I had a good handle on it. As time has passed, events have happened that brought things into clearer focus for me.
Everyone in the working world seems to struggle to various degrees with striking the proper balance between work and life. Whatever your “proper balance” happens to be is a highly individual determination. In general, most people agree that work commitments get in the way of life commitments sometimes. Trying to successfully fulfill both parts while neglecting neither is an exhausting but necessary exercise. This week has been an epic example of this struggle for me. Work and life commitments have made the last few days very long indeed.
Over the past few weeks, several friends and family of EXAIR team members have fallen ill with conditions that generally are not ever resolved successfully. At times, it seems that there are not enough hopes, prayers or tears to go around to all in need. Reminders of our universal mortality seem to come at every turn. The latest reminder came last night. My wife and I were at a hospice facility where her uncle peacefully passed away with his son at his side. He was a two-time grandfather that unfortunately will miss his granddaughter’s birthday party next week.
As is often said, life is too short. It’s too short to forget, even temporarily, about our loved ones and families while other things get in the way. It’s too short to lose focus on the things that are really important while dealing with the mundane.
And it’s too short to ever assume that someday we’ll have the time to pursue our passion projects after we get our work finished. “Someday” isn’t guaranteed to come. What we don’t do today may never get done.
We all need to realize that we have choices to make in work and in life. None of us can possibly do everything that we want or need to do at any given time. Changing goals sometimes requires changing directions, and time is not always on our side.
With that in mind, we bid a fond farewell today to Gary Gunkel, our Marketing Manager for the past 14 years and an EXAIR team member for 22 years. Gary hired me as an Application Engineer back in 1992 and was my first manager at EXAIR. Gary was smart enough to recognize that “someday” isn’t guaranteed and that what you do for a living doesn’t necessarily define who you are as a person. Gary has decided to pursue his lifelong love of music, combined with service and teaching, as music director for his church. The change in direction and schedule will also allow him to attend to family matters that require his attention.
We had a brief gathering this morning to wish Gary our best with food, gifts, laughter and a few tears. No amount of thanks will be enough for his contributions over the years and he will be missed. He was a strong factor in shaping this company over the past 22 years, and for that we will be eternally grateful. I hope to convince him to make a guest appearance from time to time.
Take some time today to think about the things that are important to you. Give your friends and family a hug. Enjoy their company.
And make every day count.