Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Monday, October 06, 2014



The people that supposedly know you the best, but seem to say the wrong things consistently anyway.

The people that you love the most, but are also the people that can and will hurt you the most in life.

The people that are supposed to understand what you deal with from day to day in your own life, but manage to be the most selfish in their judgement of you and you decisions.

The people that expect you to commit all your time and energy to them, but never seem to be able to make commitments back to you.

The people that you look forward to seeing during holidays, but you cannot invite everybody because some are too immature to be around each other.

The people that expect you to call them more often, but can never seem to pick up the phone and call you themselves, or even respond to your phone calls, emails, and text messages.

The people that expect you to keep your calendar clear for them, but can never adjust their own schedules for you.

The people that expect you to travel to and stay with them, but hate travelling to and staying with you.

The people that expect you to take time off of work for them, but can never seem to take time off of work for you.

The people that expect you to be able to bring your kids everywhere at any time, but don't have kids themselves.

The people that expect you to travel to them with young children for 12 hours in a car, but don't want to travel to you when they don't have kids to travel with.

The people that you try not to choose sides with or against, but who yell at you because you didn't choose the right side.

The people that bring you the biggest smiles and the loudest laughs, but also the most criticism, tears, and WTF moments.

[the end.]

Friday, September 26, 2014

A toast to my father on his 80th birthday

My mother asked me to give a toast to my father at his 80th birthday party. My wife has it on video, but I hope that never makes it to YouTube. But here is what I had to say...

I love my father. I have always respected my father. I have learned so much from my father. I have spent my life aspiring to be as awesome as my father. And here’s why…

Marriage & Fatherhood:

I firmly believe that children learn by example. You can tell a child what to do and what not to do, how to behave and how not to behave, but at the end of the day, children will most likely exhibit the behavior and the choices that their parents make.

By watching how my father loved, respected, and would do (and buy!) anything for my mother, I learned to try my best to be everything to my wife.

By watching how my father loved, disciplined, laughed at and with, and taught respect and responsibility to my sister and I, I learned how to treat my daughters as the priceless life gifts they are and how to teach them to be all they can and want to be.

Career Success & Leadership:

When I was younger, I had no desire to be a work in finance like my father, but I knew he was a hard worker, an ethical worker, and a fair manager. I met plenty of his colleagues, partners, bosses, and employees, and there was always an honest appreciation and respect for my father.

There have been many of times when I am at work and have asked myself, “How would my father handle this situation,” or, “How can I be more like my father, as successful as my father.” My father has always been an inspiration and motivation to me in my career.

John Maxwell wrote of “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,” such as:

  1. Influence
  2. Respect
  3. Intuition
  4. Magnetism
  5. Connection
  6. Empowerment
  7. Sacrifice
  8. Legacy

When I read that book 5 or so years ago, I thought, “Has my father read this book?” Because I knew he exemplified those characteristics of leadership at work and in life.

Music Appreciation:

When I was a teenager, my father always seemed confused, maybe even disappointed, that I chose to listen to hard-rock and heavy-metal music. I know he’s even more dumbfounded that I haven’t grown out of it! But he never told me what I could or couldn't listen to. He certainly put Classical and Big Band Jazz on every moment we were alone in the car together, probably hoping he could convert me. Don’t tell him, but I actually like Baroque and Jazz music, but it’s not what I blast in my car with the windows down.

Recent psychological studies at Heriot-Watt and Westminster universities discovered that heavy-metal and Classical music listeners, aside from obvious age differences, are basically identical personalities. Above all else, they are:

  1. Creative
  2. At ease with themselves
  3. Gentle to others
  4. Value alone time
  5. Open to experiences
  6. Have a higher drive towards uniqueness
  7. Have a love of the grandiose

This allows both listeners to freely encounter non-traditional occurrences, such as non-mainstream or more theatrical music, with a more open mind than their peers. So Dad, you shouldn't be ashamed of my excellent taste in music.

The Not-So-Graceful Times:

Of course, there have been not-so-graceful times as well. Such as when we traveled to Hawaii and, in the course of one week’s time, my father managed to:

  1. Trip backwards over the luggage he left in the hotel hallway
  2. Leave his credit card at a bar
  3. Temporarily lost is car keys 
  4. And most eventful, set off a sprinkler in his hotel room, thereby soaking all my mother’s clothing and shoes, setting off fire alarms, and leading to the evacuation the entire hotel floor

But I won’t go into the details of that adventure here. You can talk to me afterwards because it’s a great story!


Lastly, I’d like to end this toast to my father on his 80th birthday with a poem. I didn't write it, but I felt it encapsulates what my mother, sister, and I think of my father.

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,

The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,

The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,

Then God combined these qualities,
[And] When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ... Dad

Here’s to my father, Happy birthday!

[the end.]