I recently began a very deliberate and calculated journey of ensuring that I create meaningful and valuable memories with my father. As he ages, it becomes apparent that a person that once seemed invincible and unaffected as the years flew by, is in fact aging. The deep and dark reality is that he won’t be with us one day. So, in response to this stark reality, I do as I always do when I want to accomplish something – make a plan and get it done.
For the most part, the plan is going just the way that I designed it. Me and my dad spend time together almost every time that I travel back to Detroit and although he talks a lot and is always the life of the party, even when there is no party, it’s been pretty cool. But, alas, there has been one particular development that has made me stop and rethink my approach.
If you were to spend a few hours with my dad, you’ll likely be entertained with stories and jokes and experiences that are animated, detailed and filled with laughter. Because of this, my friends absolutely love hanging with, talking to and being regaled with tales from my dad.
For me, I’ve heard these same stories like 50 million times. I can likely tell you the stories detail by detail just as he would. So, for me, I don’t get a natural kick out of these stories anymore. Honestly after hearing them so many times, you start to get tired of them. So, me being the forward thinking, evolving person that I “think” I am, I shared this with him one day.
“Dad, why do we have to keep re-living the same stories over and over again? Can we please talk about the present or what you want to do in the future.”
My dad shared with me that he genuinely felt like his best years were behind him and that he was unsure and uncomfortable with what the future might be. I completely disagree with him, as he (and I) can’t predict what the future holds, because as we all know, life has this way of surprising us in unique and astonishing ways.
While my dad has aged, I do feel like he has many years ahead of him and he likely does. But for him, these aren’t intended years ahead of magic, amazing experiences and travel similar to what he recalls and can relate to from the past.
Regardless us of what I think, feel or imagine will happen in the future, fears, apprehensions and hesitations are real. As an entrepreneur, I have them myself – often. But, it’s interesting that in those moments that my dad deals with his by reveling it what has been, my ability to embrace those memories of his is challenging. Perhaps, I’m just to focused on my master plan.
So, what does this mean? It means that if it is my plan to create great memories with my dad, I have to be willing to embrace and learn about those memories that he holds near and dear to his heart. If it means hearing that same story that I’ve heard a trillion times so be it, because as the lost of my mother a few years ago has taught me, when you can’t hear those old stories anymore, all you want to do is hear those old stories.
Scarlet Says…In our own natural human haste, we rush and sometimes haphazardly skip through life in pursuit of accomplishing our master plans. Without an intentional pause every now and then to ensure that we’re considering others and what our actions and words do to others (and ourselves), it makes the very master plan that we’re pursuing increasingly difficult to obtain.
Until Next Time,