I received a very nice note from a Mattel friend who left a couple years before me in a situation similar to mine--chasing the dream. He updated me on his life and, fortunately, he is doing great. He described how long it took him after leaving Mattel to slow down and start enjoying his family, living in the present and not glued to his Blackberry screen.
Right now, I'm very busy building the new business and I don't foresee any slowdown coming soon. On the contrary, I see more speed and craziness heading my way, as we get closer to launching the site and the company. To be honest, I love it. I love almost every minute I spend building this dream. It doesn't feel like a job at all. But my friend does have a point. I need to start thinking about how much quality time I spend with my kids and the things I may be missing. I'm definitely spending more time with them than before, but I know that I have room for improvement.
After re-reading his e-mail, a rush of guilt prompted me to take my kids, one of their friends, and our dog Dorito to the beach strand to skateboard at 10:00 PM. On the way, I bought a jug of milk and cookies, grabbed some plastic cups, and sat on a bench on the pier to indulge. We shared a fantastic and magical mini night picnic. At some point towards the end, I couldn't resist and connected to my CrackBerry while we were dipping cookies. There was nothing critical that required my attention on that evil little screen, but unfortunately that instant was enough to interrupt the magic of that unique moment. My kids noticed my absence immediately and continued to have fun without me. The present became past, faster than the screen went to black. It was too late when I realized that a precious time had gone by, before I hit reply.