That Work-Life Balance Thing

Since the beginning of last month, work and life has been a bit of a whirlwind. In life, my wife and I celebrated four years of marriage. Instead of gifts or dinner or a trip for our anniversary, we decided to buy a bunch of flowers and shrubs to plant around our house -- something that has been desperately needed since we moved in two and a half years ago. Because our work has taken each of us on the road much of the last year, we haven't really spent any quality time together. And frankly, that was making life generally unpleasant.

This will happen when you love your life partner.

But since spending a weekend buying things for gardening and then actually gardening, it seems our situation has reversed itself.

We've been together all the time -- especially in the last couple weeks.

Just after the last post here, I participated in the Bush Fellowship retreat. This was an experience I will specifically write further about at a later time, but for now, it's important to say that the weekend exceeded my enlightenment expectations. A theme for that weekend, however, was personal wellness. Leaders, especially great leaders, cannot be great (i.e., effective) if they are not well. The Bush Foundation is taking this very seriously and are urging Fellows to use our fellowship funds for improving or maintaining our wellness. What this means for some is a gym membership and for others it could mean bringing your spouse with you to a conference or workshop you are attending via the Fellowship.

That is the case this week. 

Officially, my Fellowship started June 1, but once I learned I had received the honor, planning for Stanford Social Innovation Review's Data on Purpose conference at Stanford University immediately commenced.

 With my wife at Stanford University where I am attending a conference. As part of the Bush Fellowship, we are encouraged to have our loved ones travel with us.

With my wife at Stanford University where I am attending a conference. As part of the Bush Fellowship, we are encouraged to have our loved ones travel with us.

Because neither my wife nor I had ever been to Palo Alto (we've been to San Francisco) we decided to take advantage of exactly what the Bush Foundation is hoping will happen with the Fellowship ... that we will engage in the things that we love to do professionally as leaders, but not do it too far and for too long from our families and loved ones. 

This has been a wonderful way to kick off the Fellowship. To be able to nerd out and network at a data conference at one of the premier universities in the world and to share the experience of traveling with my wife has been a cherished experience.

When my Bush Fellowship is complete, I hope to continue the practice of having my wife travel with me when appropriate. What a great way to balance work and life and to build on our shared life experience.