TO the original question on how do you balance work, family, life and surfing its all about prioritizing your life really. I am 36 years old, have a 14 year old daughter and a 7 year old daughter, and a wife who works as a teacher and I work in ship repair design field which can be hectic. My wife and I have built our life around a beach lifestyle, the beach is important to us and we prioritize that time together as a family on the beach (May thru September). How I do it with family- My kids are both in competitive dance and its quite time consuming, and when my wife is not off for the summer her job has lots of hours worked at home, so basically when the wave forecast calls for good waves on Thursday lets say, I take on as much stuff at home, cooking dinner, running the kids to here and there etc so my wife can get her stuff done early in the week then I have my time on Thursday to surf or whatever. Sometimes it doesnt work out perfectly but my wife complelty understands my passion for surfing, she knows thats who am I and its part of us being together, now if we have swell for 10 days straight around day 7 or 8 she may not be so understanding, but living in VB thats not really an issue to much. How I manage it at work- Well basically, I could go someowhere else (anohter company) and make more money, be a bit more comfortable financially, but would not have the freedoms I do currently. When we are busy, and a job needs to get done, i am here to get it done working late, weekends etc (salary no overtime or comp time for ot) but when things are slower I can drop out of work a few hours early to hit the tide right, or come in at 11 a.m. if the winds are light for the dawn patrol session.
Its not easy to be an east coast surfer and get the twaves on the right tide, wind, etc as much as you would like. Basically you have to prioritize whats important to you in your life and do the career family, home , etc around it. If I didnt have kids I wouldnt live in the nieghborhood that I do, but we wanted a great school syste so we live 30 minutes (with slight traffic) from the beach to have our kids in good schools in a house we can afford. We prioritized our daugheters education over our convience to the beach, you just do what you have to do
Bushwood, I agree. I am 42, married with older kids (college age) and a 5 year old son. I have had the same job for 12 years so I have figured out how to use my time accrued for swells that peak during the week all year long. To keep this job, I have to live a little further away from the beach then I would like but it gives me the freedom to catch MOST swells(not all). Same for the family situation. I work my a$$ off around the house and help out getting the boy ready for school and really pitch in on flat days. That way when the swell comes, I got the home sh&t all squared away. My wife is a beach girl so she understands and that is HUGE. Find a girl who understands what we do and WHY we do it. Each year we save enough to go to PR or Bahamas for a 4/5 day trip. I found a really good balance. I'm lucky, I guess...........
"When the surf's good, nobody works." -Turtle
Here's how I balance my job and family:
1) Always surf when it impacts things the least (i.e. On the weekends super early in the AM or in the evening when all family-related activities are done).
2) Do your part around the house. That means: Bathe the kids, cook dinner, fold laundry, mow lawns, clean-up, take care of the dog, go food shopping, etc. This keeps the Wife happy, kinda. This is a segway to #3.
3) Keep the wife happy. I don't know what keeps your wives happy. Maybe they like to dress you up in a diaper or make you massage feet...That one is subjective.
4) Don't procrastinate at work. If you think you're gonna surf after work while you were drooling over the cams all day or F-ing around with your buddies in the office or on the job, you're kidding yourself. Git-er-done man!
5) If you can, WORK FROM HOME at least once a week if your job allows it. The early AM and after work sessions will present themselves a lot easier.
6) Always keep surfing on the mind...Opportunities to surf present themselves when you least expect it. Keep an eye on the cams, download the apps, call your bud at the beach who is jobless, etc. You gotta be on it to get it.
Having a school job helps, with many holidays and vacation days and out by 4 gives plenty of time after work as well as starting at 8 is enough time for the DP sessions.
It helps if you have a wife who is cool and isnt bothered by your extracurricular activities, but its also important to help around the house and spend time together. If you dont have a girl, when you do, let it be known of the things you like and that it wont change so she knows off the bat.
A lot of times its all about time management - I work full time and I am a year into getting my masters (half way done) and I have yet to miss a day of good surf, gotta plan ahead the best you can.
wb and you can find me at crystal and sweetwater and all over wb.
now grant it im only 18 and a senior in high school. ive figured out how to balance my life, with school and friends. and what i realized is with school work your A$$ off when its flat so when its good during the week you can go. then life in general i have had a job (lifeguard) so i tried and worked as long as possible so when the swell does come i can take off and of course the lifeguarding helped me stay in swimming shape. and finally friends ive gone through alot of relationships where the girl didnt understand what it meant that when the surf is going off i gotta be there so those relationships never worked. but finally i found a girl who realizes that when the surf is going off she could sit on the beach and watch or just chill with her friends as she knows when the surf is flat ill be there with her to keep her happy, key words with a relationship you gotta keep them happy.
Recently Ive hit the wall and am ready to walk into the wild and drop out of society only hold up is that I have a wife that I love. Three years ago worked two blocks off the water so was able to surf before after work and during lunch. Then I saw the writing on the wall that the company was about to close and jumped ship. (This did close) Took a new job that would put me on the road all over the easternshore so I figured I would be able to surf more spots. I am the only one that does my type of work in the company so if I dont get it done there is nobody there to help and having to good of a work ethic I keep plugging away. I slip a session in when I can. Now my wife has moved to Nashville and Ill be heading inland with her soon but looking at getto properties near Savanah to have a place close to the ocean. Sorry for the blah blah but my point is to not chance the American dream. Living simple is living large and happy!!!! I am trying to offload and down size to I can work to live instead of living to work.
A lot of good perspectives on this thread!
My take on it isn't too different. I recently turned 30, and have been able to get in the water quite often. Raised in NJ, it was only fitting that I had surfing in my life......now and forever. I started surfing and bodyboarding when I was 10, on family vacations to Wildwood, we went every year. Fast forward to the 2000's and being on my own, I work a great job, having a boss that is very 50/50 on balancing work, and living life. I am able to take off to catch great days, and work double when it's flat for periods at a time. Now starting to take that next step in life with starting a family, having a significant other who is outgoing and understands having an adventure lifestyle, things wont change until there is a baby on the way........maybe a hiatus from jumping ship.....but such is life........the kids are going to be raised the same as we were. Live life simple.
bushwood had great points and that is pretty much what I do. one point though....make sure you let your prospective wife know how much surfing means to you BEFORE you get married and that she clearly understands that means that she is on her own when the swell comes up!