November 7th 2016
Today was my Dad’s first day at his new job. It was his first first day in almost 10 years. For the past decade he’s been a self-employed business owner, and has seen great success.
The trait that I’ve always admired the most about my Dad is his work ethic. He’s the hardest worker I’ve ever known. For ten years he’s worked a minimum of 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. Sometimes twelve hours, sometimes six days. Because the business is his, and he is the business he is incapable of taking holiday, because there’s no one to look after things whilst he’s away, and he wouldn’t dream of letting his customers down. Since the inception of the business he’s only missed one working day, and that was for his Mum’s funeral.
Recently, the rewards for this hard work have become… less worth it.
Among everything else that has happened to him in the past few years, I think he lost sight of the point of it all. He invests time, he expels energy, it keeps him up at night. It’s not a 9-5, sometimes he doesn’t get to switch off until 8/9pm.
But, you know, he’s never really complained. Perhaps sometimes he’d come home angry and say “I wonder why I even bother”, but he still gets up the next morning and does the same thing.
His reasons for leaving the business behind were not financial, I think they were psychological. It’s always been the case that if he wanted to expand he could, and it was a really successful business considering that it was a one man operation (sorry Mum, I’m going to give Dad all of the credit here). He could have employed, or franchised, or taken a step back, but he didn’t, because he all he wanted was to be able to provide for his family. And for twenty-eight years he’s done that.
His has been the sole income throughout the raising of all three of us kids. But now we’ve all moved out, have our own jobs and our own families, he can relax a bit. He’s done his job, and we’re so grateful to him for it. (Again, Mum, sorry to leave you out, but, you know….)
At some point the roles will switch and we’ll be the ones to look after and provide for him (them) but until then I think he’s earned his peace of mind.
His new job will hopefully cause him less stress, less aggravation, and allow him to sleep easier. He’ll go to work and work hard like he’s always done, but he’ll get to come home at 5 o’clock and be able to turn his mind off and relax. And he deserves that.
Until tomorrow, if I end up with even half of his work ethic then I’ll do well.