Dag had just offered me the assignment in Norway and I needed to discuss it with my wife immediately. She had been a stay-at-home mom for several years, caring for our young son. We had been discussing home-based business ideas and she had decided to launch a desktop publishing business. She had a business plan, a marketing plan, and a training plan. After borrowing some money, we identified the hardware and software she would need. Everything was set and today was the day!
It was October 31—the morning of Halloween. If you’ve ever met an American child, you probably know this is one of the most exciting days of the year. Dressing up in costume coupled with an apparently endless supply of candy equals complete childhood heaven! Our son was dressed up in his Peter Pan costume, complete with green tunic, green tights, and a cute little green hat.
After my meeting with Dag, I knew that I needed to talk with my wife before she headed to the computer store. They had gone to the health club for a morning workout. Since cell phones were futuristic gadgets (which means we didn’t have one), I did the logical thing—I called the health club and had her paged.
Based on her reaction when she got to the phone, I had discovered how to make my wife instantly panic—page her at the gym!
[Slightly panicked] “Oh, no! What’s wrong?!”
[Me] “Nothing’s wrong. Did you buy the computer stuff already?”
[A little more panicked] “No, why? What’s the matter?!”
[Me] “Good. Don’t go there—come meet me for lunch instead.”
[Still more panicked] “WHY? What happened? Is everything OK?”
[Me] “Everything’s fine—I just need you to come meet me for lunch.”
I know she didn’t really believe me and was certain that something terrible had happened (or was about to happen). Filled with worry, she left the gym, loaded our son into the car, and drove toward my office.
We met at a pizza place a few blocks from the office. We ordered a pizza, but I don’t think either of us paid any attention to what we were eating. There was our son—running around the restaurant in his Peter Pan costume, charming everyone in the place. [Or annoying the heck of them—we didn’t really pay any attention since we were engrossed in our conversation.]
Norway? To live there? For how long? We’ve never even been there. We don’t speak Norwegian—can we even learn Norwegian? [Does anyone learn Norwegian?]
When would we leave? What would we do with our house? Our cars? Our furniture? How would we find a house there? Or a car? Could we afford it?
What about our son? Are there English language schools there? Would he make friends? Would he learn Norwegian?
There were so many questions, but there was no question that it was exciting. We were going to live in Europe! It would be the start of an incredible adventure—one that would transform our lives and would also transform my career.
A few days later, we realized that we had never discussed whether to go. We both just assumed we would.
A few days after that, we learned that my wife was pregnant, so our second child was born in Norway.
For now…I’ll leave you with this thought:
Embrace new opportunities. But try to do it without making your loved ones panic.