Home Alone

Welcome to the twenty-third edition of “In Touch.” As always, I would love to continue the conversation so please hit “reply” and let me know what you think.

Story of the Week: “Home Alone”

After six months of sleep deprivation, my wife and I decided that we were in need of a short break, so we made plans to spend just two days away from our newborn twins and our 9-year-old son Rolando (and our two-year-old dog Lucky) and visit Athens.

Of course, things that are seemingly simple in theory are not so easy to implement in practice and so ‘project getaway’ required some complex logistics. Christine took the twins to her mother’s house, where she would spend the evening with them before our very early morning flight, while Rolando was taken (with Lucky) to stay with his other grandmother.

All of this meant that, for the first time in ages, I would be at home alone. I don’t mind admitting — since my wife is not yet a subscriber to this newsletter — that I was really looking forward to having a good night’s sleep, uninterrupted by the sound of babies crying to be fed.

The most relaxing evening of the year turned out to be the loneliest time I had spent in 2021. Yes, it was quiet when I lay down but there was no Christine to my left and no Lucky on the carpet next to my side of the bed. I didn’t like this at all. I sat up and opened my laptop but instead of focusing on my e-mails, all I could see were the imagined faces of my wife and children on the screen. I decided to force myself to sleep but eventually spent most of that precious time tossing and turning left and right. There was no sleep for me that night.

If there is any kind of lesson to be gained from my experience, it is that it’s easy (and natural) to convince ourselves that things would be much better if certain aspects of our life were to suddenly disappear, if only for a short time. However, it’s amazing how much we miss things and people when they are not there. And this doesn’t only apply to our home life but to work too. I have heard from many people who were very pleased to be working from home for a while, due to the pandemic, but soon missed their colleagues. And how many times have you heard someone say, “I thought things would be better in my new job but now I wish I hadn’t left the old one.”?

It is important to cherish the value of what we have. When I found myself with no family — and no pet dog — I realised how much I need them to be happy and I really didn’t care if I didn’t get that good night’s sleep. I know it will come eventually!

Words of Wisdom

On happiness:

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”

Denis Waitley, Motivational Speaker

On gratitude:

“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.”

Gertrude Stein, Author

A Question to Ponder, my friend.

“Have you ever felt (home) alone?”

Hit reply and let me know.

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Best Regards,

Michael R. Virardi

www.michaelvirardi.com

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