Sydney, Australia, 1989.
So here I was… making it in the super-competitive business world. I was: heir apparent in a major multi-national ad firm, marketing writer, national new-business director, just voted in the top 10 across the country, blah blah. An ‘80’s Mad Man.
And then we had a third child, unexpectedly.
I came home one night late (as usual) from the office and my wife asked me to change our 6-month-old son’s diapers. But as he was lying on his back on the changing table, I saw in his eyes a look which I’ve ever forgotten.
That look said to me, “I don’t care what your title is; I don’t care how much you earn; my nappy needs cleaning and that’s your job now.”
It hit me like a ton of bricks. I suddenly realised: THIS is what matters, this is the real life, not the fleeting trappings of work and hierarchy at the office. The scales fell from my eyes. Within a year, I had resigned and moved back to a smaller and saner environment where we could be more involved in raising our kids.
That was my lifestyle moment. I’ve never regretted it.
Postscript: that Aussie son is now 30 and when I tell him the story he smiles and kids me, but has no memory of it.
It’s ok dude, I’ve got it for both of us.