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Edition 189 – Self Indulgence

If you’re the owner or manager of a family business, there’s no doubt you perform a number of roles, and wear many hats, in any given week. They could be:

  1. Boss.
  2. Mentor.
  3. Manager.
  4. Spouse.
  5. Parent.
  6. Coach.
  7. Guardian.

Invariably, your week is full of performing each of those roles. That means, you’re always doing something for someone else. You’re always in the mode where someone is depending on you.

So, when was the last time you did something for yourself? When did you last, truly, self indulge?

This week’s topic came about from my own taste of self indulgence one Saturday in late August.

A group of Ford Falcon fanatics on Facebook posted an event – to travel from Eastern Creek to Mount Panorama, Bathurst as a tribute cruise to one of Australia’s greatest cars that was also a fundraiser for the Beyond Blue foundation. How could I not be a part of it?

I spent Friday afternoon washing and polishing my black 2016 Falcon XR8 Sprint. The beast never looked better.

Saturday morning, a heavy frost and -3 temperatures waved me on my way from Camden to the meet point at Eastern Creek. I intentionally left early, wanting to ensure I had a parking spot should the numbers be reasonable. I knew no one – but quickly struck up conversations with people who too were there on their own, indulging in their passion for our cars. Terry from Yass regaled the story of his ex-Police ‘98 Falcon XR8. Peter from Sydney talked passionately about his ‘15 Falcon XR8 that he loved driving and only had 4000km on the clock. Gav from Campbelltown’s ’91 Fairlane had been owned by aged pensioners for a quarter of a century before he became only the second owner.

At 9am, we took off from Eastern Creek, down the M4 and up and over the Blue Mountains, along the Great Western Highway. A convoy of 150 Ford Falcons of all ages and descriptions made their way to Lithgow first, before heading onto the holy grail of Australian motor sport, Mount Panorama.

For those that don’t know, Australia’s best motor sport circuit is actually a public road. As I turned onto Pit Straight, the line of 150 Falcons stretched as far as the eye could see. This was a pure act of self indulgence on my part and I was loving every minute of it – all at 60 kmh of course!

As the rumble of the 5.0 litre V8 bellowed off the concrete walls across the top of the Mountain, it dawned on me that there’s plenty of owners and managers of family businesses that make time for everyone else, but not for themselves. They’re so busy performing tasks and wearing many hats, there are times when they simply forget to live – forget those things in life they’re passionate about. They make no time for themselves and, in the process, deplete their own reserves of energy and resilience.

So, whether it’s driving cars, or hiking though the Victorian high country with some mates in the middle of winter, or hanging out with the other Sea Eagles fans at Brookvale Oval on a Sunday afternoon, take a moment to think what you’re passionate about – and then plan when you are going to indulge in that passion.

Taking time for yourself rewards you for the hard work you’re putting in. It also helps re-stock your energy levels and make you a more rounded person when you’re back wearing those many hats again.