Let’s go to Philadelphia for the kids’ spring break vacation, my husband says. We might be able to find the restaurant where we had our first date.
When my boyfriend and I were nineteen and twenty-one, we traveled together to the Temple Open, the first competition of the college fencing season. Our college team members begged him to go with me so they would not have to put up with three hours of nonstop fencing conversation. That train journey turned into a relationship that has lasted twenty-one years and generated three children. And also? Thousands of hours of fencing talk.
If you had asked me twenty years ago where I would wind up, I never in a million years would have said I would be where I am. Staying home was the last thing on my mind. And yet, when the moment came to make the decision to go back to work? I would have done anything on earth to stay home. Looking back, there were numerous clues. My desire to spend time with my dog. My tendency to work from home to avoid endless meetings that resulted in piles of work being heaped on my shoulders. Why did I inevitably wind up with lots of work after communal conversations? Because I get things done. And when you are someone who gets things done, everyone knows it and comes to you for help.
Over the years, my area of focus has simultaneously become much smaller and much larger. How is that possible? you ask. My focus has become narrower because there are five people at the center of it – me, my husband and our three children. But it has also grown much larger because the group of people who we interact with has become enormous. Fencers. Other families. Bloggers. Local friends. Every time a member of my family makes a deep connection with someone, we keep that person in our lives. We may only see each other once a year, but the threads of connection are present 365 days of the year.
And when we do see our friends in person? It is like no time at all has passed.
Kathy Zucker is an international social media Shorty Award winner, mother of three and a startup founder at companies including the Metro Moms Network®.