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Take time to make time

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- My grandfather passed away last year and this loss made me question my priorities. I was blessed to see him before he died, but I missed a tremendous opportunity when the entire family gathered earlier that summer to celebrate my grandparents' 65th wedding anniversary. I was too busy to attend with an upcoming move and work priorities. I thought I had more time and would definitely attend the next gathering ... but I was the only grandchild who missed this celebration.

You can probably imagine the regret I felt being the odd man out. My grandfather was an important part of my upbringing and he made valuable investments into my life. I decided to turn that regret into action by taking my 14-year old daughter on a road trip. Those of you who have teenagers will understand the increasing difficulty of communication and relationship between parents and their children during their teenage years. I, too, was feeling somewhat helpless when I decided to brave 1,900 miles of highway and interstate to attend the Big Ten conference wrestling tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich. My daughter knew nothing about wrestling before this trip, but we cheered together until we lost our voices, and we toured Hillsdale College on the trip home. We created some great memories and I made an investment in our relationship.

The importance of assessing priorities and making time to invest in those priorities also extends to our Air Force family. Mentoring Airmen and making investments into their lives can be difficult because there never seems to be enough time to overcome the competing priorities of work, family, friends and personal interests. I am blessed because others have made time to invest in my life, and I multiply this blessing when I follow this example and invest in others. I challenge you to make time for the top priorities in your life ... invest in someone else.