readers of this blog know i’ve struggled for a few years with my travel schedule. the struggle could be characterized this way…
on one hand:
– i love the stuff i travel for
– my company wants me to do the stuff i travel for
– i have secretly loved the travel (maybe it made me feel important?)
on the other hand:
– i’ve been frustrating everyone in my life (mostly my wife and children; but, ironically, even the company i travel for)
– i’ve finally gotten to the point where i’m not enjoying all of it.
i started a one-year sabbatical from outside speaking events (non-ys stuff) in may of last year. the idea was that jeannie and i would see how it feels with none of that stuff for a year, then decide how much was appropriate to add back into my calendar.
problem is: we felt no difference at all over these past 9 months. if anything, things had only gotten worse.
so i came to the ys exec team on our retreat a few weeks ago and told them, “i don’t seem capable of figuring this out. and if you guys don’t help me make some significant cuts, i’m concerned that i will have a truly crappy marriage in another year or two.” thankfully, they took me seriously, and we came up with a pretty significant list of travel guidelines for me.
in 2007, i was away from home 138 nights, not including anything that was truly family vacation or my quarterly silent retreats.
if i’d had these rules in place, i would have been home an additional 54 nights.
i’m hopeful that this will really make a difference in my quality of life, the quality of my marriage and family, and the quality of my leadership at ys.
No more Non-National Student Events
–If I do a student event, it’s vacation time and there has to be clear family value to these (and, jeannie will be a filter on these)
Zondervan trip one time per month (a total of 8 or so per year). trips to Z should normally be limited to one night away.
One EJ (spanish YS) convention per year (instead of two)
Exec Team retreats only will be three nights away
No more CORE speaking events (i’ll still be on the CORE development team)
Bring any potential youth worker speaking engagements to the Exec Team to filter
Don’t attend YM Executive Council (a yearly gathering i’ve attended every other year)
Convention travel begins Wed at the earliest, and fly home from Convention (in the first two cities) on Monday. (i’ve often been at our conventions for an entire week for each city.)