It was a beautiful Sunday evening and Patrick was chilling with his boys at the newly-opened Opre Lounge. There had been a lot of media buzz around the opening of the event and Patrick knew he had to be there for the boys and for the culture. He didn’t want to be the odd one out when the guys were talking about their experience.
In the last five years since he resumed at Pika Technologies, his life has drastically changed in many ways. The work trips had been eye-opening and he’d come to understand why it is said that travel is education. There were also a lot of social events and even though he had started off trying to keep up with all of them just to garner favour with the boss, he had become quite used to them.
He then remembered Gina his wife and rolled his eyes internally. He knew that when he got home there was going to be yet another argument about his unavailability, which had become ‘normal’ in the past 5 years. He decided to chill a bit longer but was rudely interrupted after 15 minutes by the incessant ringing of his phone.
“Bro, you need to come quickly. Aunty Gina has been rushed to the hospital. She was found unconscious in your room and I called your doctor who sent an ambulance.” The person on the other end of the call was Albert his little (adult) cousin who lived with them and helped Gina to run the home and other errands. Albert had often suggested to him that the current design of his life was stressful but he’d hush him. What did he know about life and career advancement to advise an older person?
Patrick drove like a madman to the hospital and ran out without even shutting his door. He deeply loved his wife and couldn’t even imagine what life would be like without her. As soon as he saw Gina lying unconscious with the oxygen prongs in her nostrils, he burst into tears. This wasn’t the plan at all. For the first time in 5 years, his career and the boys meant nothing to him. This here was his life and he felt that he was on the verge of blowing it all up.
Gina stayed in the hospital for three weeks before she was discharged and he was able to be by her side. His boss had given him a compassionate leave and in addition, had allowed him to work remotely so that he could be with her. He had not hung out with his guys for three whole weeks, who would have thought it possible that he’d survive without the social events he thought he couldn’t do without?
The rubber had hit the road and with one incident, he realised that his life had been set up for stress, and this had also affected his wife and family. Now he had a clear idea of the things that really mattered and knew that he had to redesign an easy life for them.
Over the next couple of weeks, as his wife recuperated, the couple talked about the things that they had held as important.
Why did they do the jobs they did?
Why did they live where they did?
Why did their children attend the schools they did?
They soon realised that their lives were designed for stress and not ease and they decided to do something about it.
Patrick knew that he had to take the lead in this. He loved his job but knew that he could no longer continue at the current pace. He renegotiated the terms with his boss who moved him to a unit that did mostly remote work and minimal travel so he could spend time with his family. The daily after-work hangouts were cut down to once a week. They found a school that was closer to their home so they could spend less time in traffic. Their lives were redesigned for ease to minimise stress and improve their wellness and family relationships.
As we start a new year, do well to redesign your life for ease and a better quality of life.