I love to ski. I like jogging and hiking in nature. And I used to play very good football. But stand-up paddling is not mine.
So it happened that I had the honour of being all alone in this world with my nine-month-old grandson for a few hours.
On April 16, 2022, exactly one year ago, we wrote another exciting chapter in our family history. Always looking for a way to meet us all somewhere in this world that has become so global. Third Culture Kids have now become Third Culture Adults.
In Hollymook near Jervis Bay in New South Wales, Australia, we celebrated a family reunion and a birthday along the way. My wife, my two daughters, our son-in-law and our grandson and me.
And that included a stand-up paddle boarding experience before sunrise through the mangrove swamps on the coast. For everyone but me.
I volunteered to do the care work for our grandson during this time. And then I saw everyone else disappear into the mangrove swamps. I suddenly felt so alone and so responsible for the little personality in my care.
At first I felt a hint of panic that gripped me, but quickly subsided and was replaced by a feeling of pride for the trust that was placed in me. Of all of them, but most of all of my little grandson. What did I do to deserve this?
What a beautiful morning. He and I, all to ourselves.
In the meantime, I have become a self-determined “on-time grandfather”, even though I continue to work in self-employment. The term “on-time grandfather” comes from Eckart Hammer, who has written a beautiful book about being a grandfather.
➡ And you? How do you combine family life and work?
If you are interested, I accompany managers in situations when difficult decisions are pending and / or alternatives need to be developed.
Thanks also to Betram Kaspar, who reminds me again and again of this topic through his wonderful podcast series “Calmly getting older” (also with Eckart Hammer, among others). See also https://lnkd.in/e9yfdkYX.