Mar, 22, 2015

As I sit here looking out the window of seat 4F from my second leg of this Redeye journey home from the west coast –  I’m mesmerized by the star filled sky.  For some reason ever since the passing of my grandfather (and best man) in 2007 and actually even more so since my Dad’s passing in 2005, I feel like it’s my opportunity to talk to them directly when I’m in the clear skies above. Probably a major reason as to why I chose to become a pilot.  

At any rate, tonight I use this time together to challenge my father in this one-way dialogue about “time”. Mostly how do you qualify and quantify one’s time on earth? Time with family vs. time chasing money. I know that term “chasing money” may sound arrogant to some, but truth be told – similar to my father chasing Muhammad Ali around the world for 15 plus years, I now see myself chasing in similar footsteps. Race to race on the NASCAR circuit or the year I spent working with Formula1 outlaw, Kimi Raikkonen, traveling from the US to Europe- it’s the same damn rodeo.

And so as I sit here, exhausted from a 16 day stretch back and forth from east to west coast and back with an unscheduled stop in Austin along the way for SXSW, I wonder what are the words of wisdom my Dad would have for me tonight? Are these grueling stretches of sometimes lonely nights and large bar tabs worth “chasing the money” in hopes of providing a better financial life for our family vs. actually just spending time with them?

Now all that being said, I don’t have an answer and probably never will. This may be the way that the Lord drew up my gameplan for life.  But flipping through Facebook pictures of my (very understanding) wife and 2 beautiful girls enjoying the water park at Great Wolf Lodge back home without their Daddy this week – simply has me questioning “is it all worth it”?

What if I will someday be sitting next to my dad, (smoking a great Cuban cigar of course), asking “damn it Dad, why didn’t you tell me….” or will it be – “look what I was able to provide them despite missing…”

No matter what the “right answer” may be friends, especially after the experience of my heart attack in December, I do know this! Don’t take the moments you do have with your family for granted. Put your phone down and watch that expression on your little girl’s face laughing as she runs through the sprinkler in the driveway. Let that text message wait as your wife tells you about her day over dinner. Let that phone call go to voicemail as one of your girls says, daddy “watch this”.

I don’t want my first attempt at writing a blog to come across as I don’t like what I do for a living. In fact, I love it! I love the people I’ve been able to meet, the great team we’ve built at HMS Worldwide, the clients that quickly become friends and our acomplishments together. It’s just weeks like this really have me trying to put into perspective how do you truly take the most advantage of your time on earth?

In this first sign off, I will leave you with this, which has been weighing on me heavily the past few months… Focus on prioritizing what’s really important. Make sure you realize time is your most valuable asset. And don’t leave this earth questioning, I wonder if my family knew…