My Path of Totality

Per definition, “The “Path of Totality” refers to the track or path on the Earth’s surface along which a total solar eclipse can be observed. During a total solar eclipse, the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, completely blocking the sun’s light for a brief period.

I bet you’re thinking “this is going to be some type of metaphor that business is like a black hole, or we can get blocked out from things out of our control, or technology issues, etc.”  Well, it’s really not that this time.  Get ready for some sappiness.  This is really a post about priorities and how I was reminded of mine because of the Full Eclipse on April 8th, 2024. We were very fortunate to be in the path of totality. What an opportunity, what good fortune, what a chance to see something not only historic but so dang cool! But it was a Monday and I had things to do; I have an online business** that keeps me busy, I have personal commitments, appointments, etc.  So, I guess I can take 10 or 15 minutes out of my day to go outside, put on some protective glasses and look up to see something amazing and then get back to work. About the time I was thinking this, my wife and I started discussing the opportunity to get together as a family.  You see, by some stroke of luck everybody was available that day. All my kids had the day off, my very young grandkids were excited hearing about this event (truth be told, they are excited about everything!). My mom was even free!  So why not do something fun that day. Why not get together? Why not make it an afternoon with a picnic lunch and games out in the park across the street from our home?  “I’ll tell you why I shouldn’t,” I said in my mind, “I have a lot of work to do.”  Still in its early stages, is it wise for me to take time away from working my online business?  Planning an event like this takes more than just the time to go outside for a few minutes.  It’s shopping, prepping, setting up games, chairs and food for the picnic, clean up after, and a lot more.  After about one and a half seconds my answer was a resounding “YES, I should!”  So, this blog post is not going to be about a metaphor about business or and how you can “eclipse yourself” with your behavior or non-behavior. This post is going to be about priorities and how we often let the business of the day impact and interfere with what is most important to us.  On April 8th, 2024, the sun and moon aligned. However, something much more important aligned on that day – everybody in my immediate family was available and wanted to get together.  To be honest, that was a lot more “cooler” (I know that’s not grammatically correct in this sentence) than the eclipse.  My wife made fun eclipse themed snacks in the spirit of her charcuterie skills, my oldest son set up games in the park, I took a lot of pictures to document our day, and most importantly, I remembered my “why” in starting this online venture.

In my mind I know why it is important to prioritize my personal life over my professional ambitions and goals.  I’m not a psychologist or other type of medical professional, so I did a little research to verify and substantiate my thinking.  Here is what my research concluded: Choosing personal priorities over work priorities can be beneficial.

Work-Life Balance – Prioritizing personal needs can help maintain a healthy work-life balance. When we consistently prioritize work over personal matters, we risk burnout, increased stress, and potential strain on personal relationships. Allocating time for personal priorities ensures we have time to relax, recharge, and engage in activities that bring us fulfillment outside of work.

Physical and Mental Health – Neglecting personal priorities in favor of work can have negative implications for physical and mental well-being. Engaging in activities such as exercise, hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or pursuing personal interests contributes to overall health and happiness. Prioritizing personal needs allows us to address our physical and emotional needs, leading to increased resilience and productivity in the long run.

Fulfillment and Satisfaction – Pursuing personal priorities provides us with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction outside of our professional accomplishments. Whether it’s spending time with family, pursuing a hobby, or volunteering for a cause, engaging in activities that align with personal values and interests can enhance overall satisfaction with life. This sense of fulfillment often spills over into the work pursuits, leading to increased motivation and productivity.

Preventing Burnout – Constantly prioritizing work over personal needs can increase the risk of burnout. Burnout is characterized by emotional exhaustion, reduced efficiency, and feelings of pessimism or detachment from work. By making time for our personal priorities, we can prevent burnout by replenishing our energy, maintaining perspective, and promoting resilience in the face of work-related challenges.

Improved Relationships – Investing time and effort into our personal relationships strengthens bonds with friends, family, and significant others. Neglecting these relationships for work can lead to feelings of isolation and strain on those we love, like and adore. Prioritizing our personal priorities allows us to nurture meaningful relationships, developing a support system that can help direct both personal and professional challenges more effectively.

Then it happened on April 8th, 2024, at 1:43PM in the afternoon in my part of the country… No, I’m not talking about the eclipse.  Everyone was looking up, everyone was together, everyone was enjoying the moment, everyone was present and everyone was happy.  The moon completely blocked the sun, but I did not let a misguided mindset block my purpose and happiness of togetherness with those I love.  Long after the event was over, we played games and snacked and had a great time.  That large event lasted for only a few minutes but added to a lifetime of significant memories we have as a family.  The important thing I learned is that we don’t need an event to create moments.  It is understanding and choosing to use our time wisely.  Sometimes, it is putting the work aside on a Monday (or any day), to just look all around at what is really important.  I can make up the time later to focus on my work, but I can never reclaim those precious and near perfect moments with my “why.”  On April 8th, 2024, I got to experience my Path of Totality in a number of ways.  And I hope you experience your Path of Totality with whatever or whoever is important to you!

“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” – Mother Teresa

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.” – Stephen Covey

And, as usual, a few bad Dad Jokes:

What did the sun say to the moon during the eclipse? “You’re really overshadowing me today!”

What did one eclipse say to the other? “I’ve got you covered!”

Until next time, STAY FRESH, friends!




**If you are curious about this process and wish to know more about an affiliate marketing business, please subscribe to my newsletter here to learn more.  And please continue following my blog.  My hope is not only to create the freedom I so long for but pass on what I have learned to others who have similar aspirations.

24 thoughts on “My Path of Totality”

  1. Hi Ernie,
    Isn’t it so odd how we can set out and build a business and have a WHY related to family time, freedom, health, but then get busy and potentially neglect those things 🤔

    It’s so inspiring that you remembered your why and set this all up for your family time! It’s a reminder for me to include in my weekly or monthly biz review, a regular reflection time to evaluate if I’m neglecting those things I’m working for while working.

    hope that makes sense 😁

  2. Sarah Goulding

    I love this! I loved seeing all the pictures and video from the eclipse. We didn’t have the same effect in the Uk so I was jealous of all the family gatherings over the water.
    My family is the same, my mum keeps sending us dates of when we can all get together in the summer and it’s proving very difficult. Now we are all married and have other families to please, children to taxi it’s hard to schedule. But it shouldn’t be. We all let life take over and really it’s very simple.
    Some days we remember our WHy and they are the best days. Memory making and family time is what I live for.

    1. Thank you, Sarah! I follow you on your blog and TikTok and see you are very busy, but you look happily busy! It is great spending that time with family, huh? Thanks for your visit!

  3. I spent the eclipse with 3 dogs and a parrot. 🦜 They became very quiet during that time except my Boston Terrier came looking for me and gazed compassionately into my eyes. When darkness descended, the active bird life stilled to silence. What is important to me is these effects did not start and end with the eclipse but will always live in my heart.

    1. Animals are amazing! They know and alert us to so many things, huh? We should pay more attention to our non-human friends! This event was a great memory! Thanks for the visit!

  4. Ernie, I love your post! I was visiting my mom a few weeks ago in Florida and thinking to myself, I should be working on my business. Thankfully, I had good intuition, and some friends to tell me to close the computer, be present, and just enjoy mom and me time. It doesn’t come often, and it is my why: having the freedom of time to spend doing the stuff I love with the people I love. Thanks for the reminder, many of us need to hear it!!!

    1. I am so glad you got to have some uninterrupted time with your mom! What a gift that is for us. Our “why” needs to be on the forefront to motivate us to success! I look forward to the day of realizing true freedom from the limitations of depending on others for an income. Thanks for the visit!

  5. Ernie,
    I think it’s great that you took the time to spend with your family. I did the same with my boys for the eclipse. We are usually all very busy with my work and life, and then with their school and work we rarely have time like that together. We just hung out on our front porch with the dog to see the eclipse. It was time together and it was nice. I even told them that. I love all the pictures of you and your family. It looks like all of you had a great time! I do try to enforce family time with my kids at dinner time. I tell them that it’s important to have that time together and to catch up on what’s going on with each other. I think it’s so important to have some kind of family time together. Just so you have some kind of interaction with each other and know what’s going on in each other’s lives. This was a great reminder of how family time is important. Thanks, Erin!

    1. We really did have a good time at the event. I am glad you have your priorities set with your family at dinner time and other times. That is so important to establish that foundation so when they get older, they have these wonderful memories. Thanks for the visit!

  6. Hi, Ernie!
    Great post about your why! I’m glad you had a great time with your family during the eclipse! That’s certainly a memory they’ll treasure!
    My why is also family. In fact, I’m soon going to join my husband for a Sunday together. I’m looking forward to it!
    Have a great week!

    1. In my opinion, and for me, Family is my most important WHY. I see it is the same for you. I am glad you get to join your husband for a Sunday dinner. Time together is such a priceless gift. Thaks for your visit!

  7. Hi Ernie, you fooled me because I thought you would say that you would not indulge in a picnic and instead stay focused as if it were any other day. I liked how you decided that if everything around you were aligned with why you should do it (including the eclipse), it would have been a waste if you didn’t follow through. Well done…and I would have done the same thing. There are such precious memories you cannot return if you don’t let go and enjoy the moment. You would have regretted it, as would everyone to pass on the opportunity.

    1. I agree. It was certainly not a waste of time. It is funny that my family has talked about the stuff we did that day more than the eclipse. How great it worked out that way. Hope you were able to see it or do something fun that day. Thanks for the visit!

  8. Ernie,
    You did the right thing. It is so important to spend time with family when we can. Tomorrow is never promised. I say good for you for taking the time and experience the eclipse with your family. Memories are so important. And you must remember your “Why”.

  9. Ernie,

    Wow, what a beautiful reflection on priorities and the value of family time. It’s so important to cherish those moments with loved ones, even if it means stepping away from work for a while.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  10. Ernie, I finally got to read the famous blog post that magically aligned with something I had written similar! Now I see what you were referring to, and you were right: it was eerily alike! I can absolutely appreciate that most wonderful and incredible time you got to spend with your entire family… the fact that everything “aligned” perfectly was a beautiful gift from the Big-Man-Upstairs, no doubt. The whole reason why we are starting this online journey is to have these moments, just like this. Without having the freedom for these moments, then what’s it all for? What a beautiful reminder that we need to put (and keep) our priorities in order. Love, love, LOVE this, Ernie!

    Oh… and I’m incredibly jealous you were in the direct path of the Eclipse. I know that was magical to witness.

    1. Aligned time with my family is truly a give and more important to me more than just about anything else! You are right, I stated this journey for them and me. I will, one day not need to worry about dependence on anyone or any company to provide for my WHY. Thanks for the visit and I truly appreciate you!

  11. Hi Ernie,
    what a beautiful story. You are truly blessed to have such a loving and close knit family. I love the references to the eclipse without turning it into some weird analogy about affiliate marketing. Just brilliant.

  12. Ernie, Wow, what a heartwarming reminder about the importance of priorities and cherishing moments with loved ones! Your experience on April 8th, 2024, beautifully illustrates the value of making time for family amidst the hustle of daily life. It’s inspiring to see how you embraced the opportunity to create lasting memories and prioritize what truly matters. Thanks for sharing your touching story and the insightful reflections on work-life balance. Wishing you many more moments of “Path of Totality” with your loved ones! Thanks, Atif

  13. Thanks, Atif. The eclipse was a great excuse to get out and enjoy each other that day. but truth be told, I want to create more “eclipse” moments as I provide for my WHY! I know you are in it for the same reasons and I truly appreciate you and also for your visit to my post! Cheers!

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