This photo popped up on my Facebook timeline recently. Seeing it annoyed me.
I mean, doesn’t Facebook realize that I don’t want to relive my Patch years?
But, then I started thinking about where I was four years ago, when this photo was taken – and now.
I was a reporter/editor and the face of a local arm of AOL’s national media network first – and everything else second, third and dead last. From the time my daughter was almost 1 year old until she was 4 years old she competed against local happenings, fires, crime and breaking news for my time. She grew accustomed to seeing me with my laptop on my lap.
Breakfasts at our house amounted to me unplugging the laptop from the living room and carrying it to the kitchen table where I continued to write and post on social media while eating with my family.
I can remember times when after daycare or pre-school my daughter happily accompanied me on missions following bank robberies, fires and car crashes. Mostly we took photos and assessed crime scenes from the vantage point of my car and she was proud to “help.”
My laptop accompanied us on vacations and I constantly checked email on my iPhone, pretty much from the time I woke up until I went to bed.
I felt I needed to be this person. The community looked to me – with Patch as a conduit – to keep them updated on news and I never wanted to let anyone down.
Except, in doing so, I let my family down. More times than I would like to admit.
When all was said, and done, I lost the job that had become my life. What remained was my family.
In the nearly three years since my departure from Patch, I have grown as a person, as well as a mom and wife. I worked tirelessly to expand my client base and build my public relations and marketing company, always while keeping my family first.
I carve time out of my schedule every week to volunteer at the library when my daughter’s class is there. I take pride in calling all her classmates by name as I check out their books. Four months in and I know about half of the kids’ names in the two kindergarten classes after her class.
I chaperoned her field trip and serve as her class’s homeroom helper, assisting her teacher with class parties and more.
I pick her up from school every day and watch, sometimes tearfully, as she runs to me, smiling from ear-to-ear. I want to grab this moment and hold onto it forever.
The ride home is focused on her day. I joke that she begins talking before she gets in the car and doesn’t stop until bedtime. I cherish this precious time.
I appreciate the perspective that seeing the photo has given me. I am surprised that it’s only been four years. It feels like a lifetime ago.
On second thought, thanks Facebook for reminding me that I never want to hold a job or run a business if doing so means sacrificing the most important things in my life.