“He didn’t tell me how to live;
he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
~Clarence Budington Kelland
Hats off to all dads – here, there and everywhere. Yours and mine.
I have been reflecting on a project I recently finished for my dad on his 70th birthday. I enlisted my brother’s help and we talked (or typed) to 70 people to collect 70 perspectives on what they admire about him. I assembled the stories and photos into a book format, including my own 70 memories. It was an enlightening project being privy to stories from near and far. Not surprising, an author from Alaska offered the longest and most clever story. The grandchildren letters were the most heartfelt. The one thing they all had in common: they were all eager to participate and loved the opportunity to express their appreciation or fond memories. Every single person we asked… participated and exceeded my expectations with their thoughtful responses. I am pretty sure this book ranks right up there with his favorite gifts of all time.
Today I am summarizing some of his advice in the form of seven life lessons so far… If you know my dad (or me for that matter), you know brevity and succinct “advice” (or as my girls would say…. lectures) are not in our DNA. Today however, I am going to make this summary short and sweet.
1.) Pack a camera and use it. I will never forget when his sunset photo was featured on the KWWL evening news as the photo of the day! The photo was titled, railroad to the sun.
2.) Be passionate about your hobbies. Share what you learn. Inspire others to catch your enthusiasm!
3.) Work hard, but play harder. Always make time for joy.
4.) Talk to strangers. Then listen intently. This was embarrassing for me when I was younger. Learn their story and what it might offer you in the form of lessons on your journey.
5.) Travel far. And stay awhile. Check.
6.) Savor life and tell your story. Be grateful for all of it – even the yuck.
7.) Give back. Then, give and contribute more. More time, more muscle, more energy, more love. Show up and give.
I adore my dad. If I added another adult lesson it just might be… cocktails are fun. Much love today and always.
“His purpose in life is to help you… help yourself.”
– Scott Reiter
A sample quote from the book project!