After spending the better part of the last year helping to create and launch Mutual of Omaha’s new aha moment campaign, I finally have some time to sit down and think of my own. (And, by “finally having time,” I mean it’s currently 12:30 in the morning and I’ve spent the last four hours writing a presentation, which has left me somewhat wired to say the least.) So, yes, I have a bit of time.
Since the very beginning of the campaign development, I’ve always said that the decision to have K-Man was my aha moment. G and I had spent a number of years trying to figure out if we were going to try to have a kid and the night that we finally decided, I thought, was the aha moment. It was that moment of clarity, as we (more or less) define it in the campaign. “Yes, let’s do this.” And, as we all know, having a child certainly changes your life, which is another part of the definition.
But, as I’ve spent more and more time thinking about the campaign (which coincides with the more and more time I’ve spent running in the last two months – including the most wonderfully relaxing 12+mile/two-hour trek last Saturday), I’m not so sure that K-Man is the aha moment. I think there’s something that’s even deeper. He’s certainly a gift (and more of one each day, it seems), but there’s something deeper. And, yes, while I’ve written about the kid for nearly four years now (sometimes more frequently than others), there’s another subject that I’ve written about quite a bit: Balance.
A few minutes into that epic run on Saturday, something clicked. It wasn’t the proverbial runner’s high, but something else. It was contentment. Satisfaction. It was balance. I realized at that very moment that I was, perhaps for the first time in my entire life, managing to work in all of the important parts. Work was great. The family was great. I was running regularly. I was writing (yes, maybe sporadically, but writing, nonetheless). I felt like I had achieved some sort of balance. But that was just the first act of this aha moment.
What came next was more important, I think. Again, I’ve written this before, but I think I forgot about it almost as soon as my fingers danced on the keys. I realized that it’s not about doing everything, always. Finding balance is probably impossible with that kind of pressure. Instead, I think the key to balance is more in the averages than the always.
No, I’m not writing as much as I want to, but I am writing. And, that’s okay. That’s enough. In the past, my absence from the creative keyboard would have sent me into a funk. I wouldn’t have been satisfied that I wasn’t doing what I maybe loved more than anything else in the world (from a hobby perspective). But, I am writing quite a bit, actually, it’s just not here in this blog.
I think we, or never mind “we,” I’ll own this all for myself…I think I have (or maybe had is more like it) this incessant need to constantly be challenging myself to do every single thing at every single minute. And, because that’s impossible – I ended up wondering where I was going wrong. I ended up going wrong. I ended up being completely out of balance.
As I look back on “the trying decision,” without knowing it then, for me it probably had more to do with this idea of balance. I was already so out of balance, how would I possibly handle fatherhood? How would I possible handle LESS time to work in everything…all the time?
A number of people have said that aha moments happen when you least expect them. That may be true. But, what’s also true is that science supports the fact that they happen when you are, in fact, thinking about such things the most. You are ready for the aha moment.
Who knows? Maybe K-Man is the aha moment. After all this time, he may very well be the thing that weighed down the other side of the scale to bring me this much welcomed balance. I’ll take it.