“Does life ever feel too luxurious for you?”
A long-time friend of mine texted me those words tonight. It’s not hard to see why. After all, I’ve basically been assaulting the social media feeds of my friends with what seems like the most luxurious life a quote-unquote normal person could lead.
A weekend behind the wheel of a supercar with one of my best friends in the world. A first-class flight to Miami, where a waterfront suite awaited. Custom sunglasses sent to me as a congratulations for driving that supercar to the top of the podium. I won’t lie—sometimes I sit back and wonder how in the world I got to where I am today.
There are people who’ve never flown first class in their entire lives. Hell, there are people who’ve never flown. When I drove the NSX over the weekend, I was reminded that it’s the third mid-engine supercar I’ve driven on track this year alone. That’s just silly. When I don’t get upgraded at my boutique hotel of the week, I get disappointed—and then I remember that, to most people, a regular old Marriott is a really nice hotel.
But it all comes at a cost. Every minute I’m sitting in first class, drinking a cocktail in a rooftop bar in Manhattan, or sliding sideways through a sweeper is a second that I’m not with my two young children. I was barely able to adjust my schedule to make sure that I didn’t miss my daughter’s first day of kindergarten—if I hadn’t been there for that, I might have lost my mind. Every time that I drive to the airport, my kids ask me, “How long will you be gone this time, Didi?”
It would be bad enough if all I did was travel for my day job. Tack on a few press events here and there, and a couple of weekends playing music, and I’m easily away from home more nights per year than not.
I never forget how fortunate I am to have the opportunities I have. But I never forget what I’m missing, either. I’ll never forget the people from this past weekend who were excited to just be able to touch a supercar—and I get to drive them as fast as I possibly can on tracks all over the world. But I’ll never forget that I had to miss coaching my son’s soccer practice in order to do it. I’ll never forget that I got to use my frequent flier miles and hotel points to take my kids to Disney World for what amounted to free, but I’ll also never forget that I had to miss countless everyday activities to be able to do it.
It’s a tough life to balance. In order to take that Disney trip, I had to turn down the chance to drive yet another supercar. At Spa. For free. I briefly considered moving my kids’ Disney trip to take the gig—and an hour later, I felt ashamed. How dare I delay the excitement and joy my kids get from seeing Donald Duck and Elsa just so I could go play amateur racer?
Over the past several years, I’ve managed to establish myself as somebody who can be valuable to an organization as a consultant and to a press organization as a writer, but at a cost. So when you see me doing something ridiculous, like driving a supercar around the country, and you say, “Man, how do I get to do what you do,” don’t be surprised when I ask, “How do I get to do what you do?”
I had to get out of my bed at 630 because my toddlers were hogging the whole thing.
That is a very different perspective. I am glad you go to get back to see them off for school. I saw the fatherly Bark as we were traveling this past weekend when you chose to delay your rest so that you could let kids touch and see the NSX which was very nice. That can’t replace missing those days with your kids but it should be comforting to know that you brought happiness to a big group of other ones.
Also, I still believe those sunglasses make you look like Dog the Bounty Hunter.
Given the disparity in size, maybe Puppy the Bounty Hunter.
haha, now I know why he stepped so far away from Jadrice in the picture
The thing I love the most about you and Jack is that you are approachable, everyday guys regardless of your achievements. We respect you for not being snobs.
Thank you. That means a great deal to have the respect of sensible, smart guys such as yourselves.
I know sometimes it seems I disagree with you two all of the time, but in reality I’m probably 70/30 agree disagree. But, just like with product reviews, I’m more likely to speak up when I disagree.
I don’t think either of us wants people who agree with us 100% of the time. What fun is that?
Anyone who travels extensively for work will likely agree, its not near as much fun as they make it look on TV.. I average 150-175 nights away from home, just for work. Throw in another 40-50 nights, on nights away for things I want to do, and that doesn’t leave much year left. I guess I’m lucky that I never had any kids, as I’m not sure where I would have made the cutbacks in my work. As it is, even way back when, my far easier travel schedule, cost me a marriage.
“sensible, smart guys”.
This I will never be , however like you I am a Father and during those early , critical years when they grow faster than you can blink , I had to be gone not only for my day gig of being a mechanic , but anytime the ‘phone rang and the voice said these was money to be made , I rolled out 24/7 .
It’s cool that you have these wonderful things happening but it’s better that you’re keenly aware of time slipping away , time that once lost , is forever gone .
As soon as you can , take your Children with you ~ I did this , not glamorous jobs but I still missed my Baby Boy and so he got to travel all over the place , mostly Blue Collar job sites and crappy motels (Motel 6 was always an upgrade for me/us) and know what ? .
My Son is a well adapted , smart and wise young Man far above and beyond his peers because of it .
He’s gone so much further in life than I ever could because he knew he was loved and was expected to thrive and prosper .
Keep on keeping on Mark , from where I sit you’re on track , just keep ’em close as you can .
Your primary job is to teach them to know what to do when you’re not there .