Andy Murray’s winning streak at the Australian Open is reminding me of one of the most impressive things I ever read about him. In the middle of the night one Monday earlier this month, I was cradling my nine-week old daughter Phoebe. As I was soothing her back to sleep, I happened to look at my phone and saw a news item that popped up. British* tennis star Andy Murray, ranked No 2 in the world, is about to become a dad for the first time. (Ahh, I remember that time four and a half years ago – life has not been the same since, and I wouldn’t go back for the world!) His wife, Kim Sears, is due in mid-February.
On more than one occasion, Murray has stated that he would fly home if his wife gives birth during the tournament, saying “I’d be way more disappointed winning the Australian Open and not being at the birth of the child”. He proved how important family is to him by rushing to hospital to see his father-in-law after his third round victory last weekend.
Murray’s focus and priorities reminded me of Mohamed el-Erian, who resigned as CEO of the world’s biggest bond business after his ten year-old daughter handed him a list of milestones in her life that he had missed.
In a small way, these stories remind me of my own priorities. Last October, when Phoebe was ten days past her due date and still hadn’t arrived, my best laid plans to have 3 weeks of paternity leave were starting to unravel fast. I may not get everything right in life, but on that occasion I got this right: if she had been even more overdue, I would have cancelled work commitments that were in the diary for the following week. Simple as that. (She arrived the next day.)
Right call Mohamed! Right call, Andy! I hope you crack open the champagne twice in the next month: once when you win the Australian Open for the first time and again subsequently when your first child is born. But if the baby comes early, then fly home.
Good luck in Melbourne, Andy!
*Scottish tennis star to some. Either way, hats off to this seriously impressive athlete.
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