Finally Getting This Uncle Thing Right

Finally Getting This Uncle Thing Right

This week unfolded a little differently than I expected. I had been scheduled to meet Avnet Technology Solutions in New York on Tuesday before heading up to Connecticut to talk shop with Amy Katz (my business partner) on Wednesday. But before I hit the road my sister-in-law went into labor... and I finally started to act like a family guy. Perhaps HTG Peer Groups' focus on life-work balance is finally starting to sink in with me. Here's why.

I'm 42 but on some days I still have a lot of growing up to do. When I was 28, I headed to Las Vegas for Comdex even though my wife's due date with our first son was fast approaching. When I was 30, I spent far too much time at the office trying to save a doomed magazine even as my wife juggled our two young sons. When I was 35, I missed most of my wife's pregnancy with our third son because I was touring the world moderating CIO conferences.

How Do You Measure Happiness?

The paragraph above reads pretty harshly. My "hard work" paid off in some ways -- but in reality my wife has always done the really hard work. And I'll never get back the lost time with my wife and kids.

I guess I reached my inflection point when my wife's brother was diagnosed with cancer in 2007. He was 41 at the time. We knew he was sick but he never told us the initial prognosis: Doctors said he had three to six months to live.

My brother in law -- Ronnie -- was always a bit of a rebel. He never listen to authority. Instead of accepting his doctors' prognosis he battled cancel for nearly four years. And he spent as much time as possible with my family. Disney World. Hershey Park. Rush Concerts. Van Halen. We did it all. Ronnie was the ultimate uncle to my sons. He waged one hell of a war before dying in October 2010.

Ironically, his battle and death began to teach me how to live.

Phoning In Some Favors

Fast forward to 2012. When my wife's sister -- a.k.a. Ronnie's sister -- went into labor this week I started calling around and canceling my face-to-face meetings, which would have required business travel. Everything shifted to phone conversations.

To my amazement the world didn't end. Vendors didn't freak out. Our web traffic didn't stop. I've spent 20 years putting work at the center of my universe. I'm finally discovering the work universe continues spinning right along -- just fine -- without me.

Special Delivery

I became an uncle for the eighth time on January 18. But this is the first time I got it right and stuck around to celebrate the event. My new niece is named Rosalba Marie. It's time for me to stop blogging and go visit her.

Thanks for reading MSPmentor, and for reading my occasional rants that have nothing to do with managed services. Have an awesome weekend with your friends and family.
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