Babies, Work, and Perspective

I wrote this post a few weeks after Nora was born – January, 2015. It’s been sitting in my drafts for a couple of years. I still think about its message all the time, but I never posted it.

Nora’s third birthday was just two weeks ago, so now seems as good a time as any. Here it is..

Big events put things – especially my job – in perspective for me. I thought, and wrote, about this a couple years ago as Andrea was in the middle of treatment for breast cancer. At that time, watching a loved one battle through serious illness had a way of making a lot of my work seem small, even petty. As I said at the time: “it makes me a little bit sad to think that otherwise smart people waste their time doing stupid things (like being patent trolls) when they could be doing something productive like trying to cure cancer.”

I’m happy to report that we had some better news last month – our first daughter, Nora was born on 1/7 – and her arrival gives me a whole new perspective on what I do everyday.

The first thing I notice is that things seem *more* important, rather than less, as they did during cancer. You really want to be working on things that you can tell your kids about, and that you can be proud of. I’m really lucky on that score. Hand in hand with this is a greater feeling of responsibility. Higher stakes. You’re no longer just working for yourself.

I talk to Nora every night, when she goes to sleep. She can’t understand what I am saying, but I promise her that she can do and accomplish anything she wants in life. That the world is full of endless possibilities for the curious, hard working, and good hearted. Then I got to sleep and remind myself to wake up in the morning so I can work hard to help build a world that will keep that promise.

Welcome to the chaos, Nora!


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General Counsel @ Automattic



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