Home » Kendrick-Holmes: Don't ask me about work-life balance; ask one of my kids – Opelika Auburn News

Kendrick-Holmes: Don't ask me about work-life balance; ask one of my kids – Opelika Auburn News

by Arifa Rana

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LaFayette native Dimon Kendrick-Holmes is the editor of the Opelika-Auburn News.
I got a tough question this week.
A student at Auburn asked me what advice I have for young journalists about balancing work and personal life.
I told her I was the wrong person to ask.
When I began my newspaper career, I had a wife, a 1-year-old and another child on the way. I was an entry level reporter in a small city, which means I was making about 10 grand less than a new school teacher.
I couldn’t stay in that job and support my family. Working overtime wasn’t allowed, so I punched out each week at 40 hours and then worked another 20-30 hours off the clock. My supervisors were amazed at my productivity.
So were other newspapers. Within three months, I had a much better job in a much better city. Pretty quickly, I became an editor and loved my job and realized that it didn’t seem like work. Pretty soon, I also had four children.
One day, I was encouraging the baby in the house to stand up, and Bess told me to stop. “If you teach that kid to walk early, you’ve got to come home and chase him around.”
Point taken. Two decades later, I’m happy to say that Bess and I are still together and have many happy memories of the life we’ve lived and the family we’ve raised, but it wasn’t easy.
Anyway, the day after my interview with the student, one of my children did something that gives me hope that this next generation will do a better job of finding balance in life.
Our third child, who’s a senior at the University of Georgia, invited Bess and me to meet him and his younger brother and some of their friends at a bar in Athens.
He wanted to show us what he’s been doing this semester while he’s been finishing his degree and finding a job and playing some final gigs with his cover band and, ahem, celebrating a national championship in football.
It turns out that since he returned from a risk management internship in Wisconsin last summer, he’s been writing a bunch of songs. This semester, he put together a band of his own, even inviting his little brother to play keyboard, and he taught them his songs and booked studio time and cut an EP.
That’s why we were going to the bar in Athens.
It was a concert and launch party for his new band, The Ken-Ho Caravan, and his new EP, “Fond du Lac Confidential.”
On the way, I told Bess, half joking, that I hoped this didn’t mean he was going to abandon practical pursuits.
You know, like having a steady job and living somewhere besides his childhood bedroom.
But really, I couldn’t be prouder. In two months, he’ll be starting a good job in Atlanta, and as he approaches the finish line of his college career, what does he do?
He makes time for the big creative thing that he’s always wanted to do.
Now that’s work-life balance.
Way to go, son. You’ll go far.
Dimon Kendrick-Holmes is editor of the Opelika-Auburn News. Email him at dkendrick-holmes@oanow.com
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LaFayette native Dimon Kendrick-Holmes is the editor of the Opelika-Auburn News.
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