To Miss a Thousand Smiles

Happiness With Less

That old nasty guilt thing appeared again today. As I was standing checking my emails, I felt a little warm body snuggle up behind me and a pair of arms wrap themselves around my legs.

There was no voice saying “mummy”, only a silent message of “switch it off, please”.

I was about to say “hold on a second” until I saw the raised thumb with a tiny paper cut on the knuckle. I was annoyed with myself for even having the emails open. I had promised myself to only work during the hours when I am alone, yet here I was trying to sneak in a few minutes unnoticed.

With a cuddle and a plaster in place and a happier Lola I considered the bigger picture because you see it is not just about the fact I wasn’t present in that moment, but also about the example I am setting. I teach Lola to be polite and considerate and educate her through Montessori, a child led learning approach. Despite this, I am here standing with my back to her staring into a world where if I am honest, I don’t know the people I am talking to. It is so far removed from the example I strive to set so why do I do it! It’s time for change.

In writing my book Clancy Goes To France, I was criticised for writing about the importance of time with loved ones, yet that is my message and I stand by it. I’m not doing a great job of sticking to it myself at the moment. The paper cut and moment of guilt this morning tell me it’s time to walk the walk and reinforce my voice through my own actions.

Life is about balance. Work pays bills but there is no substitute for memories. Perhaps it’s time to bring back to life an idea I had twelve months ago – to Switch Off and Tune In.

If I can create a schedule for myself and perhaps write a book to help others who may face similar challenges whether self-employed or salaried, it will push me to test the theory and teach it to others. It will push me to disconnect from a world which although important in business, does not comfort my child during times of need. One which does not take pleasure from seeing pride on the face of a child at they accomplish a feat for the first time.

To miss a smile by the hands of an email is a lost memory, but to miss a thousand smiles and a lifetime of memories is a travesty.

It’s time to stop talking and start living the life I believe in.

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