My dad is not one for gifts. He prefers to show his love in other ways like making you the bright pink mini-tanker you asked for or taking you to his secret standup paddle spot.
But little does he know, he gave me the greatest gift this Christmas–perspective. Over the phone on Christmas Day, after briefly explaining how we, Matt and me, got roped into doing something that we did not want to do, he asked me rhetorically, “Tav, How old are you guys?” And when I answered, he said, “Right. Too old to let people tell you what to do.”
And he’s right. We’re a set of independent thirty- and thirty-five-year-old adults who have difficulty saying no, especially when it comes to good friends and family, who we occasionally let walk all over us.
My dad has lived his life doing what he wants to do when he wants to do it (a slight generalization), but he is kind, generous and loving in his own way. He proves that you can set your boundaries and still be beloved by your family and community. It just requires, in an open and friendly way, being upfront and transparent about what you will and won’t do. Perhaps easier said than done, but I like to believe that setting expectations and boundaries will get easier with practice.
So, Dad, thank you.