Stepping off the wheel in life means several things. It can refer to retirement or just taking a weekend or an evening with your family where work is not allowed.
Retirement causes me anxiety. The idea of not being able to do what I do for a living does give me pause. I suppose many male adults feel this way about work because it signals a big change in life. The term big change may be a huge understatement. It is one of the biggest shifts in a person’s life. It is a daunting thought to go from having a job, places to go, people to meet and objectives to accomplish to whatever it is you do when you retire. I will eventually get there, but it won’t be today.
Let’s focus on the term “stepping off the wheel” as it refers to time with your spouse or your family. If you have ever seen a mouse in a cage, he usually has a little wheel where he can get on and run for a while. Even a mouse gets off the wheel from time to time and doesn’t run. I know people that carry their iPhone to bed with them and answer emails until they go to sleep and sometimes even check their emails during the night. I think this type of person really needs to get off the wheel and learn when to shut it down.
Many years ago, I started turning the sound off on my phone and plugging it in to charge when I got home; I would leave my phone in the hallway. It was, and is, my way of stepping off the wheel, even if it is for a period of time. Now, we have iPads that also have our email on them, and even though our phones are turned off, we still see what’s going on when we open the iPad. I have learned myself well enough that if I look at the iPad at night and see an email from someone in business, many times I will not open the email at night because I know if I get my mind running in that direction, it is often hard to turn it off. Therefore, I save most business emails for the office the next morning and deal with them as needed.
At Christmas time, make a decision to step off the wheel when you get home and spend time with your children and your spouse. You will never have those moments again, and once they are passed, they will never be exactly like that again. Hopefully, you will have many similar moments, but it will never be exactly the same. So, hug your spouse, sit by the fire, watch an old Christmas movie (preferably White Christmas), and be in that moment. Get in the floor with your little children, cover up with a wubby, hold them close, and tell them you love them. Be with your family and be there mentally in those moments. Trust me when I tell you that in your later years in life, it will be those moments and those memories that you will cherish and not some business call or some deal you worked on.
Stepping off the wheel at family time is the greatest business decision you can make. KT