A tragic story may push us to rethink our priorities, reports Jessica Hicks of Thrive Global, a website dedicated to reducing stress and burnout. In the case of Portland-based tech entrepreneur J.R. Storment, he writes a viral essay about how parents should rethink how they spend time with their families. That is, whether or not their own families, not just their career, are their main priority. Storment’s story reminds us that work should not overshadow our families.
He and his wife, Jessica Brandes, lost their eight-year-old twin son, Wiley, to epilepsy. The guilt-ridden couple “restored connections” with Oliver, their living twin, Storment writes. Storment, who is also the co-founder of Cloudability, has been barraged with the challenge of reintegrating his professional and personal life. He reveals that he founded the company and had his twin sons “in the very same month eight years ago.” Storment struggles to be in accord with his role as a founder and a father.
|Photo Credit: Shutterstock (via Thrive Global)|
When Wiley passed away that morning, Storment admits waking up early “for a series of back-to-back meetings” and other work-related tasks without bidding his sons goodbye before leaving home. Now, his family needs to deal with the new reality— from a family of four to a “triangle of three.” The “triangle is the strongest shape,” Storment remarks. He writes how he can return to work “in a way that won’t leave me again with the regrets I have now.”
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Losing a loved one is an inevitable and painful experience. Brandes and Storment recommend parents to hug their kids and avoid working too late. Brandes poses a question: People are scheduling meetings with their colleagues, but do working parents also schedule them with their kids? She further suggests families maximize their vacation time to bond with their children. Even if the couple is stricken with grief, they are living their lives “with a renewed sense of meaning” and strengthening their relationship with Oliver.
|Photo Credit via Shutterstock|
Oliver asks Storment for screen time, as stated in the latter’s now-viral post. Storment chooses to ask his son if he could play with him instead of saying “no” to his little one’s request. He notes, “He was happily surprised by my answer and we connected in a way I would have formerly missed out on. Small things matter.”