I've got some sad news to share on a personal level.
A very important dude in my life passed away last week. My dad. He had just turned 85 the week before.
Of course it was a tough week for me and the family...but that's not why I wanted to share it with you guys.
My dad was a great dude...but at the end of the day, he was never a very happy guy. As a kid, I only remember seeing him laugh (really laugh) one time...during an episode of All in the Family. His friends were his and my mom's couple friends, so he never did anything with "the guys."
Truth be told, throughout my life my dad was a bit of a hater...before being a hater was a thing. I noticed it early on...and made a concerted effort not to follow in his footsteps in that regard.
I promise I'm not sharing this to trash my dad. I'm not trying to dishonor his memory. In fact, my goal is to do just the opposite...and here's why.
A little before he turned 80, I was out to breakfast with him and my mom. My mom was complaining about this and that, when I turned to my dad and asked, "how about you...what do you want to complain about?"
His response stopped me in my tracks. "Nothing," he said. "I'm happier than I've ever been. I've got my buddies. I'm playing golf 4-5 times a week, I'm going to the fitness center 4-5 times a week...I'm captain of our bocce team."
Even though I knew most of it, to hear him actually be happy about it and appreciate it...that was new. And over the next 5 years, he was just a happier person. He seemed to really enjoy life and was much more enjoyable to be around.
My wife noticed it, my kids noticed it...my brother his family noticed it. It was that stark a contrast.
And that's what I wanted to share with you guys...celebrate others' success, see the good in people. And no matter how old you are, you can always change.
While I'm sad my dad's gone and I'm sad that he only got to truly enjoy his last 5 years...I'm so happy for him that he actually got those 5 years of happiness. Towards the end, he said, "You had it right. I used to resent how happy and carefree you were...but you had it right."
And that, my friends, is what I wanted to share with you. From one dude looking back at his life at the very end...lighten up, have fun and enjoy the journey. Now that's a legacy to be proud of.
Thanks Pops...rest in peace buddy,
Your Proud Son