I think it's amazing how much choice we have.
My mechanic dad worked very hard while I was growing up. It affected how much time we had together. I was finishing high school when he began to ponder it.
Don't misread me. I always think of him as the best man I have known. On the other hand, he had a totally different relationship with my brother who is 8 years younger than me. Dad decided by then that a life took precedence.
After working for a car dealership for 20 years, a series of circumstances left my dad with a decision. After much investigation and no small amount of prayer, he decided to start his own garage.
I remember how he spent the first year with an ad in the Yellow Pages. He had so much business coming in by word of mouth that he didn't really need it so he cancelled. The business kept growing.
A couple of years later, he was so busy that I asked one day why he didn't hire more mechanics to help him. His answer? "Son, a big part of my life was managing other people. I did it enough to know that I'm much happier staying small and managing myself."
His values reflected his words. I can remember how he would stop in the middle of a job and run into town (2 1/2 miles) to get parts for the car. He always took time to talk with the people behind the parts counter. He was their friend. They confided in him because they respected him and they knew he cared.
When a customer came for work to be done, dad would take the time to listen to what was happening in that person's car AND that person's life. Sometimes people would linger just to talk.
Frequently, people drove in from ranch country many miles away. Dad would start work on their car with them waiting. If lunchtime arrived, he would say, "Come on in the house and let's have something to eat."
My mom always cooked extra and was never really surprised. One time she counted and had something like 30 unexpected lunch guests in a month.
Each of those actions reflected my dad's choice about how to live his life. What choices do you need to make about how to lives yours?