Saturday, June 18, 2016

Father's Day

It's Father's Day, or close enough so as to count. If I were closer I'd be taking him out to eat today because I work tomorrow. (No, the picture on the right is neither me, nor my dad. It's a father/son I've known since the dad was the age of the son and it makes me smile whenever I see it. It's one of my favorite pictures in the world.)


I was talking to someone recently about something we'd been talking about doing, the mechanic's test at work. Evidently it's in three parts and takes from 6-8 hours to complete and MANY people don't pass it the first time.  The other person said they didn't want to fail it and have everyone know they'd failed. I said they'd do fine and the real question is how long do we have to wait after passing to become a mechanic and what kind of training is involved, and what if we hate it do we really have two months to say we didn't want it?

They asked, "You're already thinking of what you'll do if you pass?"

I said, "Um. It could happen. I've passed things by accident before."

The thing is, the idea of NOT passing it hadn't really crossed my mind as a serious thought. The same of the Pharmacy Tech Certification Test thing I had to take. A lot of people take it more than once. I toyed with the idea of what if I didn't pass it, but it never really felt real that I might not. I'm not a super genius. I really am not. But I am confident I can do what I set my mind to do.

I saw that growing up. Both my parents, from my point of view, seemed to make up their mind they were going to do something and they just did it. I'd never seen my dad roof a house before but then he did it. Chop down/up trees after a hurricane? Did it. Build just about anything? Yup. This was even before YouTube so he wasn't learning it on the sly by watching videos online. It was just a thing. Once you decided to do something you found out how to do it and then you did it.

If I had one thing to kvetch about growing up it would be that I was inadequately prepared for failure. It just wasn't something that came up an awful lot. It wasn't an option that was on the table. My parents, to my eyes, didn't fail and they did impossible things all the time. What's that? Want to go to Germany and be teachers? Okay. So, they did and we went to another country, half way around the world.

I'm sure there were times when they weren't as fabulously successful as they appeared and I probably never knew about the times that things didn't go the way they were supposed to, but the lesson I learned from watching him just DO stuff was that the expectation was, once you make up your mind to do something you'd better, by God, do it. Learn it, do it. In that order. There's not a lot of room in there for Mess up and start over or do it again. All that won't fit between the comma after "Learn it," and the words "do it."

So, this Father's Day I'm celebrating the confidence and expectation of success I got from both my parents. Not in a "You will be the best or you're a failure!" way, but in an "Of course you can do it if you want to. You just have to figure out how first and then do it," way. The expectation that we kids were capable of whatever we wanted to learn how to do and then DO, has turned out to be valuable to me in life.

The confidence in my abilities is good, but that first step is the important part so many people don't have. TONS of people believe they can do anything but not as many realize, "learn how" is the first part. Maybe it's because my parents were both teachers. They valued learning and reading and competence. Today I still have those values and I know where they came from. My parents. They believed in me before I did.

Thanks Dad. Thanks Mom.

Happy Father's Day, and eat something good for you! :P

And, since I know he'll see this because Mom will share it with him...

Love,
Rich
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