This is a letter I wrote to my Dad, and step mom recently.
NORMALLY IT’S THE PARENTS writing letters to the kids, but I’ve been doing a bunch of soul searching recently and have had some incredible moments of clarity in this searching. One of the things that I realized was that sometimes, a small gesture can put a big smile on people’s faces, so I figured I’d be a little weird (duh) and give them a nudge about stopping working and heading towards retirement. Both of them have worked extremely hard their whole life, and quite frankly, it’s time to cut the crap, stop the 9-5, 6, 7, sometimes 8 o’clock days, crawl the hell out of the office and get to living! I left this letter for them to come home to, along with an easel, poster board, and real Magic Markers. Luckily, it was well received, and I will be sure to post their dream board when I see it!
Dear Father and Bonus Mother,
As I head off to training to bust my ass for the next 3 months training on the 767, I was reflecting upon how much you guys work and bust your ass as well. In doing this, I was contemplating how to make the things I have for boating and water activities available to you while I am gone so that if you wanted to use them, they would be easily accessible. In keeping with this thought, all of the possible fishing and diving gear that you need will be in my living room for you both. There are bags of ice in my deep freeze downstairs as well as some beer and lots of booze in my kitchen.
As I considered the effort and trials you both have endured in life in order to get to where you are, (far from where you once were) it is clear that continued and focused hard work has been at the core of your path to success. (I’m especially looking at you, Nancy) Even though I don’t have a kid, I know that a beautiful daughter like Jenna doesn’t raise herself, and I know you’ve been grinding at Harris for a long fucking time.
With that said, I also don’t in any way want to pretend that I know how you feel about what you are currently doing, or what you want in life, or what your goals and dreams are for the next 5, 10, and 15 years. Unfortunately, those aren’t the kinds of conversations parents have with their children too much; although I would be interested to hear about it.
The reason I’m mentioning this stuff is because I have been in a period of transition over the last two years and seen all of the things, the goals, the dreams, they are real, and they are possible. To add to the excitement, I’ll also toss out there… I’ve realized (sadly) that I am, in fact, not getting any younger, and neither are you; no one is. The average lifespan in the USA, who ranks #31 in life span, is 79.3. That number is the average of when people die, so you’ve gotta figure you’re out of commission well before then. I’m guessing I’ve got another 35 years of active and healthy life where I can ride a bike, go for long walks, or get out of bed and make coffee for the person sleeping next to me without my creaking joints giving away the surprise. How many do you guys have?
So, the time is now (whatever now means to you). I want you to know that I believe in both of you 110%. They say we’re supposed to leave no stone unturned. Well, I want you to leave no sick time unused, I want no spare money left un-saved, I want no financial planning left un-done, no workout weaseled out of, no champagne to stay corked, no lips un kissed, and I expect a board with a list of hopes, dreams, and goals to be proudly displayed for you both to revel in. (HINT: I’ve already put a board with lots of Magic Markers at your house to get you started) It is important to do this now, because the reality of just how attainable our dreams are once we take away the mental blocks the world has imposed on us, can take a while to set in. Ya know, the fog takes a while to clear, and the vision for your dreams takes a while to adjust and improve.
I also expect the boat to be used and some beer bottles left in there for me to clean up when I get done with my training. And for there to be at least a few days where you both do abso-fucking-lutely nothing other than enjoy that you’re alive on this fascinating, medium-sized planet, in a medium-sized solar system, swinging about halfway out on the arm of a medium-sized, spiral galaxy, we call home. I will be very disappointed in you both if this doesn’t happen. 😉
You both are free people, no kids, no nothing and you don’t owe anything to anyone, especially not some fucking slave merchant company or the millionth “just this one more project,” (john).
Again, I believe in you 110% no matter what and will support you and help you in any way I can. Hopefully starting with taking you sailing in November.
Consider this, your written invitation! 😉