A little over a week ago my touring life ended. The decision to retire my band Twisted Sister from public performing was made over a year ago. November 12, 2016 (our final date) was not really set until about two months ago. The final night was in Monterrey, Mexico, where we headlined a festival in front of 35,000 adoring fans who stood in the pouring rain for hours.
The night came and went as all the nights had for the past 40-plus years--a blur of activity that went by in a flash. Some of the band members flew back to NYC together with very little conversation about the night; it just seemed to be as thousands of other nights have been. I thought that maybe everyone is/was collectively in denial. We said our goodbyes as we walked toward baggage claim at JFK and it was done. Over.
As I contemplated the meaning of it all and what has happened to the band during the past year, I realized that the holiday season we're in is symbolic of the feeling that we all seem to harbor this time of year, repeating the phrase, "I can't believe how this year has just flown by. Where the hell did it go?"
It's a good reminder for all of us to take stock of what we've accomplished. Was it what we wanted it to be? Did we reach the goals we set out for ourselves? Maybe it's time to make that list and review how the year in business panned out.
There is so much emphasis on the hows and whys we entrepreneurs do what we do that sometimes the human, emotional element gets lost. I know that there is a rush to finish those end-of-year deadlines that pressure us, but the holidays really should bring us back to the focus, to what really matters: The love of family, friendships and the relationships we have of those who help our businesses along the way.
If writing for Inc.com has done nothing else for me, it has brought home a responsibility to understand the balance of work and family. Every time I sit down to write an article, I become more aware of the toll, in human terms, of what the struggle really is. We all get so wrapped up in the pursuit of our big dreams that it becomes very easy to forget the impact it has made on those we tend to rely on most to help us get through the tough days--our friends, family and co-workers.
Unfortunately, we all don't have time (although maybe we should try to find it somehow) for yoga, deep breathing or meditation. We've all made promises to ourselves that "this year it will be different. I will lose weight. I will stop smoking. I will stop drinking too much."
At the end of the day, as you go through the ups, downs and daily challenges that we get so wrapped up in that our self-worth seems to be defined by--our success or lack thereof--try to take a breather and take notice of your family, friends and those who work for you.
This holiday season in particular should be used to let everyone know how much you appreciate their efforts, or their presence. Send an email, tell them in person or just pick up the phone.
Do that today. I promise, the next workday will come soon enough, but for the actual holidays, you should just sit back, take some time and smell the turkey.