Moments of Significance

Christmas grandson

Hayden with Grandma Jo

Last night I found myself working til about 3am because I wanted to finish something that was of importance to my business and that was essential for my clients. I was enjoying it too.

The reason behind why I was left burning the midnight oil was clear to me and ever so valid.

Throughout the day, during the time that I had actually allocated for working on my business, my family had quite simply come first.

In the morning I had dropped off my partner Jo at her Mum’s house, who was entertaining Jo’s brother, sister-in-law and two year old niece, Madison, who were visiting from Canberra for the festive period.

Maddy & Troy with Auntie Jo

Maddy & Troy with Auntie Jo

They were off to the Aquarium for the afternoon as little Maddy (as the family calls her and spells it) is obsessed with ‘little fishies’, thanks to a certain movie about a guy named Nemo. Maddy also appears to idolise Auntie Jo, which I have no doubt is because Auntie Jo makes it obvious that she idolises her cute little niece.

Having recently visited both the Sydney and Melbourne aquariums with said family, I figured that I really needed to catch up on my burgeoning, though self-directed workload.

As I returned home alone, I made myself a protein shake (significantly looking after my health these days!), turned on my computer and prepared to tackle the backlog of ‘stuff to do’.

That’s when my daughter called.

‘Dad, what are you up to?’ she began.

I explained how I had opened up this window of opportunity so I could catch up on my work, waffling on in great detail in workaholic fashion.

Then suddenly, ‘Why?’ became the more obvious answer.

‘Craig (my 25 year old son), Hayden (my six month old grandson) and I (Kim, my 22 year old daughter) want to come over for a swim.’

So that was game, set and match, wasn’t it!

Sun cream applied to Craig

Sun cream applied to Craig - tick!

‘Abracadabra’ is an old Aramaic saying, meaning ‘Created as I say it’, hence its application to magic stage tricks.

Well, before you could say ‘Abracadabra’ I had my own moments of magic.

Craig asked for sun cream to be rubbed on his back as he’s a ‘ranga’ like me and somewhat vulnerable to the sun’s ultra violet.

Kim thought it was hilarious to leave him with two large handprints of cream on his back. Probably to most readers it wouldn’t seem that funny, it was one of those ‘You had to be there’ moments, and luckily for me, I was there.

Grandpa Tony with Hayden

Grandpa Tony with Hayden

The next moment, I was in the pool lifting my gorgeous grandson into his swim ring chair, watching his beaming smile as his little legs kicked like crazy beneath the surface, like a duck on steroids.

It didn’t even bother me when my son’s dog, who had been left inside as she is not allowed in the strata swimming pool, decided to lift the edge of my lounge carpet and chew the underlay in protest.

A few moments later, I have the image of my son, beer in stubby holder in hand (a true Aussie) hosing down his very hot dog to cool her down and watching ‘Roxy’ trying to bite the water as it came out of the hose.

Meanwhile, little Hayden was managing to smear chocolate over the couch, his Mum, up his nose, in fact just about everywhere – some even found its way into his mouth!

Needless to say, my work was put on hold til they left.

Later that afternoon, as I tried to complete a project, I had to abandon it to drive back up to Hillarys Marina and meet Jo and the clan for dinner at Jo’s Mum’s favourite restaurant.

This had been their first Christmas since losing Jo’s Dad to his battle with cancer and the sense of a need for family unity was tangible.

I watched little Maddy shrieking and giggling with delight as she sat in a playground boat with Auntie Jo and Cousin Troy, while her Daddy jumped up and down to rock the boat from astern.

I realised that this had been another significant moment in a day filled with significant moments. It is such moments that will be remembered and reminisced over, for years to come by those involved.

Jo stayed over at her Mum’s house so she could enjoy breakfast with her niece – only geography limits these opportunities. I returned home to fit in the work I wanted to complete for my clients.

When Jo’s phone call awakened me this morning I was dreaming a strange dream, and I rarely remember them, but this was to do with realising that once you die, many of the things, the ‘stuff’, the valued possessions that seem so important to you now, will be divided up, burnt or thrown away by other people, to whom they mean nothing.

My grown up children, Craig and Kim

My grown up children, Craig and Kim

I thought about our Christmas day family breakfast and how my brother Peter had made the effort to fly over from England specially to catch up with our parents, particularly our Father, who has been at death’s door many times this year, yet still fights on.

I’m glad that I could be true to my work ethic and my clients as I completed my tasks last night, but I am delighted that I made the time and space in my life for some far more significant moments.

I hope you are doing the same and that 2012 will become a year of great positive significance for us all.

I love the work that I do, I love where and how I live, and I love my family and friends. I’m a lucky man.

“The first trick to happiness – and success- is to appreciate what we’ve already got.”

Andrew Matthews

Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year!


About Tony Inman

If you are looking for a coach, mentor or consultant to help you strategise the way you want your life to be and to build your business or develop your career to achieve that vision, then Tony Inman is the man to call.
With over 34 years management experience in numerous companies in Europe and Australia, including many of his own businesses, Tony has coached thousands of staff and hundreds of business owners and executives to set new goals, overcome obstacles or limiting beliefs and create and achieve new dreams.
Today Tony is a published author and presenter on the topics of personal and business growth. He is an incorrigible entrepreneur as well as a business and lifestyle coach, consultant and mentor.


  1. This is a great story Tony, and one many of us can relate to. Twenty years ago I would have probably foregone the family things in favour of work and then regretted my decision. My, how things look different today. The interesting thing I have found is that if you are true yourself and put the important things first all the other stuff falls into place. And you feel so much more free.

    • Thanks Bernie. You are quite right and you can never get that time back. The question is ‘Do you live to work?’ or ‘Do you work to live?’ Sometimes it seems unavoidable that we have to do things we not want to, in order to keep a job or keep a business going. At least if you are aware of the issue, you can look for alternative solutions.

  2. Joanne Small says:

    This is a fantastic story which I previously had only “skim” read. I am extremely grateful to the Universe or whatever made it possible to share some of my life with Tony Inman. You truly are an inspiration, a loving partner who is trying to find the very difficult answer to work/life/family balance.

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