Hey guys! And Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads and extra dads out there. Often unsung, overshadowed at times by the amazing contributions of our mums, I know my dad has always been there for me to ask for help with a challenge or advice. He’s taught me a lot about life and just like I shared a bit about my mum, I wanted to share a bit about my dad this Father’s Day. He’ll read this in six months and probably make fun of me!
It’s not very often that people have the opportunity to share something that they’re immensely proud of about one of their loved ones on a larger scale. When I was completing my degree, a friend of mine that I worked with as an editor for the Canadian University press asked if I’d be willing to work on a project with him. The project was profiling local volunteers, and one of them ended up being my dad.
My dad has been volunteering since his late teens. He’s always been pretty generous with his time, even now that he’s an incredibly busy business owner, husband, dad of two and dog-dad… he’s still volunteering. It’s often easiest to see those good parts of people, they’re public, often visual. The number of t-shirts he has from volunteering events is ridiculous.
What isn’t so easy to see at first glance is someone’s character. You often learn of it through watching their actions, and how they respond to challenges. How they treat others when life is tough and at times, overwhelming. When I struggle with motivation in life or feel like I can’t do something, I think of two things:
- My mother did not raise me to quit
- I am not following my father’s example
Simple. Where my mom instilled a steely nerve, my dad showed me what that looked like in practice in the workplace. Having owned their business since I can remember, my dad always had a regimented schedule when he was home (in the office by seven, thirty minute lunch, off at five- and always on call, day, night or weekend). He was away a lot when we were kids, and I remember him working at 8pm and later at night when he’d call to say goodnight. As I got older, I realized the longer he worked, the sooner he came home to us. As an adult, I now understand how little he enjoys being away. As a professional, that example taught me what it means to get the job done even when it’s not easy or comfortable.
My dad is one of very few people I know who loves his work and makes a good living doing it. It’s not his side job, it’s his livelihood and he (and my mum) built that from the ground up. When I need an example of what it really means to work hard and be successful, I look to him. And while he’s successful and a leader in his field, the worst thing I’ve ever heard him say about someone is that they were a buffoon. Yep. A buffoon.
Don’t worry, he said it with a lot of feeling. And they definitely deserved the title.
So when I think about what I wish people knew about my dad, it’s not the surface stuff that you could see from his volunteering t-shirts even though that’s great. It’s the guts of him I wish more people know- the persistence no matter what, the great example he sets in business, his love of our family, his soft heart and how he taught me what hard work really means through example.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you.
Ps. These photos are of one of my dad’s other talents… landscaping!