Gifts of a New Perspective
I shut down my PC, my Mac, turned the iPhone alert noise off, packed a bag, boarded the dogs, loaded the car and drove 200 miles to meet up with my dad.
At first I worried about the things that were going undone; I get far too caught up in my own sense of importance. Then I struggled with the notion that I might be missing grand opportunities by not checking my email.
How was everything functioning without my constant vigil?
And the flip of that question was, What does it mean that something is functioning without me?
Although my inventory work continually points out that I suffer from an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, I still have trouble admitting it. Four days is a long time to be duty-less, after all. What if somebody needs me–the distinct skill set that only I can provide?
Hanging out with my dad was a terrific antidote for my responsibility malady. From the moment I saw him and he hugged me like only a daddy can, until we tearfully parted on the evening of his birthday, he had my full attention.
I quickly forgot about social media, blogging and other work details. All that mattered was giving my father the respectful attention he deserved.
Yes, it took about 40 years to really become my dad’s daughter.
I remember I was about 10 years into sobriety when my sponsor pointed out that I was finally learning how to be a daughter.
I bristled because of course in my grandiose mind, I was the best of daughters.
“That’s not what I mean,” she said. “You did the best you could with what you had to offer at the time. But now, you give time to your parents without expecting a pat on the back. You show up. You listen. You actually give a damn. You let them know that you love them unconditionally, in spite of anything they said or did in the past. You’ve dropped all blame and you see them as people doing the best they can. That, my dear, is what daughters do.”
Wow. I was doing all that?
Turns out those actions propelled me 10 years into the future, which is now, and gave me the instinctive knowledge of how to be an even better daughter.
Apparently I’m doing alright at my job because Dad has called me twice since we parted to say he misses me and that he had a really great time.
I’d like to think that Mom is grinning with approval from her heavenly perch.
It’s been a long time since I set everything aside and re-prioritized my life. As a result of those four days with Dad, I’m relaxed and re-purposed.
Time with Dad cleared my vision and shifted my perspective.
Are there recent events in your life that provided similar gifts for you?