A blog about the grief after losing a child to Niemann Pick, Type C, a rare disease, and how I'm moving forward with my life.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How we have a happy and successful life

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Last week I wrote about finding what you think is a happy and successful life.  This week I am writing about our happy and successful life.

Everyone has a different definition of being happy and successful.  I initially thought being happy and successful meant working 40-50 hours a week and making lots of money.  My perspective changed when I got married and had kids.

Mark and Lauren G

After I got married, I realized my life wasn't about me anymore.  It was about us.  We did things together, we had fun together, we were going to be going through life together.  We realized that we enjoyed cooking together and didn't like eating out at restaurants. 

But changing my mindset of working a lot to make a lot of money to do things was tougher.  I still regularly worked longer than I needed too.  But after a few changes at work, I realized that the extra time I was putting it wasn't worth it.  So that gave us time back to do things that we enjoyed.

When Dan was born, I realized that I had to go to work in order to afford diapers and formula and those things.  But I started to hate every minute of it.  I really, really wanted to stay home.  But that wasn't an option, so we went with the second best option - daddy staying home.

Then I changed jobs and my days became longer because of the change in commute.  It was a trade-off, but the job change brought a promotion, so it was a better fit at the time.  As Dan became sicker, I was able to telework a bit, which was nice because I was able to see him and spend some time with him, even though he was so sick.  I felt horrible that I wasn't around when he was growing and now I wouldn't have that long to spend with him.  I really started hating working.  But at the same time I knew that Dan had an amazing life because he spent it with Daddy.

After he died and I spent several weeks at home, I really started dreading going back to work.  I really hated the concept of working, not necessarily my job.  It gave us some time to reconnect with each other and learn to live with each other again.

Fast forward a few years and Shelby was born.  So again, Shelby is home with Daddy and having a great time.  Since we lost Dan, the options at work have changed again.  I am working longer hours each day, but I am teleworking more and have one day off from work every other week (in addition to the weekends). 

To many, our life is unconventional.  And to us, sometimes it is too.  But it works for us and provides Shelby with a loving and nurturing environment with Daddy.  I am able to spend time with her as she grows up, although many times Shelby sees me as a "toy" to play with and "bother" when I am teleworking.  I have considered giving up my telework day so I am not a "toy", but I realize that I cannot do that.  Seeing her grow and have fun and play is important to me.  The job will always be there, but Shelby being small won't.

We may not have a huge bank account, but we are happy.  We enjoy each other.  We enjoy being together.  Being with my family is more important to me than working 40-50 hours a week and making a ton of money.

Mark and Lauren Greutman can help you realize what your happy and successful life is.  And everyone has a different one.  There is no one size fits all.  So stop over to their website to use their free tools and listen to their experience to help you find your happy life.


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