June 1, 2015 § 3 Comments
Tuesday would have been my father’s 93rd birthday. He’s been gone for 26 years but a surprise reminder occurred when my older brother, Bob Jr., delivered our dad’s rolltop desk from Canmore, Alberta, recently.
The old piece of furniture has endured a tough life. When I first grew up, it remained at the old farmhouse where my father was raised in North Rolla, B.C. It was moved into Dawson Creek, thankfully, before vandals burned down all the buildings at the farm.
Once at our house, the desk, probably more than 100 years old, proved to be a landing spot for my father’s paperwork. I think I inherited my lack of filing prowess from him.
My father willed the desk to Bob and I snapped up the opportunity to take it when my brother began downsizing.
I remember always being fascinated with the desk – its many cubby holes, the deep drawers, the handiwork behind the rolltop, and the solid oak structure.
The arrival of the desk was an opportunity to connect with Bob, my sister-in-law, Louise, and their son, Logan. I hadn’t seen my nephew in a few years and memories of my dad rushed back into my head.
I’ve been without my father almost as long as I had him – I was 28 when he passed away.
The desk is a reminder of my father, beyond its physical presence. It is strong. It has character. Its dark stain makes it appear stoic. My father had an enduring quality, though he passed away much too young at age 66.
Although it needs some tender loving care, the desk is reminiscent of my dad’s relentless drive to excel as a highways foreman, a position in which he rarely missed a day’s work, even when seriously ill.
Dad might have been called a workaholic though that term wasn’t used widely in his generation.
I believe we share a lot of the same qualities – caring, compassion, generosity, a sense of fairness and justice, and a wry sense of humour. He was shy until he got to know people. I am the same, though my career choice has found me coming to grips with public speaking and schmoozing upon occasion.
He preferred talking one-on-one to people, often workmates about a project. Through practice, I have learned to be comfortable in crowds, though I like smaller groups, talking about shared interests like sports or music.
I gained my work ethic from Dad but also learned the value of playing hard, something he was just figuring out how to do when he passed away.
Ironically, he died on the way home after watching his first NHL hockey game in person. I have been to many professional sporting events live along with going to numerous concerts, another love of mine.
Dad’s idea of going on vacation was to get from points A to B as fast as possible. I enjoy compiling hordes of information and then plotting out a general plan, with room to be spontaneous.
I’m thrilled the arrival of the desk provided a new opportunity to think about my father.
Happy Birthday, Dad. We’ll take good care of your desk and continue thinking of you often.
March 26, 2012 § 6 Comments
Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Alright, you could argue that every day is that. But there’s only one day that’s the first day of my 30s. And that day is today.
Plenty of folks have asked me if I’m nervous about turning 30. I’ll admit, I had a minor meltdown yesterday, my last day in my 20s, in the San Francisco airport waiting to come home. “Mini” meaning it lasted all of about 30 seconds before I stopped myself and made me name 10 things I was really sad about. After the second one it was already sounding more than a little ridiculous.
Saturday night, I was watching Fast & Furious in my hotel room. There’s a line where his yumminess, Paul Walker, is talking about Vin Diesel’s character, Donovan, to his character’s sister (Vin’s, not Paul’s). It was something to the effect of, “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from your brother, it’s that nothing really matters unless you have a code.” And so, I’ve come up with a few rules to live by of my own for this next decade of my life:
- The older I get, the less likely it is I’ll know what I’m doing. So I might as well just go for it anyway.
- The more I aim for perfection, the less likely it is that I’m going to succeed, so I might as well just go for it anyway.
- Tomorrow is not guaranteed, nor is it known. So I might as well just go for it today.
- The more I give myself what I want, the more I want others to also have more of what they want. So… I might as well just go for more of what I want today.
I see a pattern emerging. And with that… wish me luck! Time to go for it all anyway!
What exactly is it I’m going for? Well… everything. You’ll see!