Fatherhood, Faith and the Fine Art of Being PresentInsights
Don’t let your mind get weary
And confused your will be still, don’t try
So, Father’s Day has come and gone as if on cue from Mother Nature. Spring has yielded to summer and the longer, more carefree days that accompany it. I was blessed to spend the day surrounded by my family and friends. It was a wonderful day of eating and drinking, swimming and cornhole. It was a day to celebrate life, a time to connect with those we are closest to and those at a distance. It was also a time for reflection, reflection on my own father, my father-in-law and all the other important, impactful dads that have made their mark on me. Reflection upon my own three children and how I have and will hopefully continue to positively impact their lives. As an avid runner, I spend a great deal of time in self-reflection. I strive daily to try to improve myself and in turn those around me. Yesterday, I took a particularly long run in search of a message and a meaning for the day. I pondered it with mixed success. As the day quieted down and the family retreated into our personal moments of post dinner contentment, I checked my phone messages and was delighted and comforted by what I saw. My dear friend, Kevin, who has three kids of his own and had recently lost his father, found the time and inner wisdom to send our friend Pat and me a message entitled, “A Valuable Lesson for a Happier Life.” I had seen a similar message before but, Kevin’s exquisite timing, as the sun disappeared on the longest day of the year truly struck a nerve within me.
Don’t let your soul get lonely
Child, it’s only time it will go by
As mankind learned in 2020, we are social beings and we do need one another. Life can and does change quickly and out of the chaos, the beauty of simplicity was revealed in many ways. For Kevin, Pat and I, along with our wives, simplicity came in the form of regular, small dinners together. These smaller dinners grew out of necessity with the pandemic and quickly became some of my most fond memories of the time. As a table of six we chatted and ate and chatted some more. We spoke on wide ranging subjects and, most importantly, we laughed, a lot (mostly due to Pat). As the pandemic drew on, we became closer. I would argue much closer, and I will be forever grateful as a result. During one of our earlier meals the subject of a special trip came up. As the pandemic wound down, we decided that we would celebrate Christmas together in Key West. The table of six was beautifully transformed over time to a table of fourteen.
Don’t put your trust in walls
‘Cause walls will only crush you when they fall
Just like golf balls in the video, these people (and our mutual friends), are the first to go into my jar. We make each others' lives better. These are long term relationships that are built on trust and a genuine sense of caring and selflessness. These are people that I trust implicitly, our families have known each other for many years and we have helped guide one another through some of life's very big decisions. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was in a minor quandary and reached out to Pat. That simple act of reaching out to a trusted friend for a bit of life advice brought back an avalanche of well thought out guidance and life experience. Guidance befitting a father, guidance that opened a whole series of other discussions that took us to yet another level of trust and friendship.
Be, be here now, be here now
Be, be here now, be here now
The notion of time as an invaluable asset has been discussed here many times. The simple, yet vivid reminder that family and dear friends need to be first in the jar to make room for the less important elements that persistently compete for our time is priceless. You see, I am a lucky man as these dear friends are also my clients. They make my job easy as our interests are and always have been aligned. As an advisor, I feel that is more important than ever to have a comprehensive life plan and a trusted co-pilot. To be present in the now and to have a well defined, mapped out sense of the future and how we are going to get there, together.
Written By: Rob Armstrong
Songwriters: Raycharles Lamontagne
Be Here Now lyrics © BMG Rights Management
A beautiful version: Live on the BBC