During my first pregnancy, my dad was diagnosed with cancer and died a few weeks after Chloe’s birth. The most heartbreaking photo of this time was his retirement party.
My dad had always idealized retirement. Work hard now, play later. He was a workaholic (a tendency that I’m constantly fighting as well). He enjoyed life, but retirement! He planned on traveling 6 weeks a year to see grandchildren and have tons of adventures.
This never happened. The year he planned to retire, he was diagnosed with cancer and died 8 months later. It was probably the most influential moment of my life. I still cry every time I think of it. I promised myself that I would live life fully now, not put off for tomorrow. This was one of the greatest gifts my dad ever gave me.
During this time, I read Tim Ferris’s Four Hour Work Week and started incorporating his best concepts into my life: Work smarter, not harder. Focus on the 20% of your life that’s making 80% of your results. Delegate big chunks of your life. Create a flexible work life. Don’t put off life for retirement — live life now.
Chloe was my excuse to reset. I had to leave at 5pm, so I needed to ruthlessly prioritize, focus on what I was best, and delete / delegate the rest. I started working flexibly: took mornings to hang with the kids after particularly busy times; worked from vacation spots, so evenings could be spent with fire pits and swimming.
Take a minute to do an assessment of your life. Are you putting off life until the end of a big project? Or, until you hire that backfill? There is always going to be something. Please don’t put off life. As I saw with my dad, it’s way too short.