Working from home has its challenges, the biggest of which is endless opportunities to waste time. Yesterday’s to do list included two blog posts, paying some bills, a phone call to my Dad and laundry. Sometimes I am my own worst enemy with regards to being productive, but sometimes, productivity isn’t all it is cracked up to be.
Productivity gurus would say write first. I decided to call my Dad instead. I hadn’t spoken to him for a while and while he has lived out West for more than 30 years, he still runs on East coast time. The best time to reach him is in the early, early morning his time.
My biological father and I have a complicated history. One that involves divorce, distance, alcoholism, sobriety, perfectionism, stubbornness, and uncertainty. My parents split when I was three and I was very fortunate that Dennis stepped into my life when I was six. Dennis wasn’t my dad, but he was. I wasn’t his daughter, but I was. Dennis always encouraged my relationship with my Dad, and for a variety of reasons, some of them circumstance, some of them my fault, some of them my Dad’s, we’ve never been especially close.
A little more than a decade ago, my world was turned upside down and I realized that what I thought I knew for sure, might not have been true after all. I always thought my perspective on things was independent, but the glasses I’d been wearing were shattered and I realized that perhaps, my opinions had been more heavily influenced than I originally thought. Since then, my Dad and I have stayed more in touch and worked to get to know one another. It is a journey we are taking together and I dare say we are enjoying.
I called yesterday to touch base and we ended up talking for quite a while. I knew some things that were helpful to some issues he was dealing with. We said our goodbyes and I moved on to writing. A while later, he called back. He was looking for something and needed my Internet skills.
The conversation focused on one of his interests, classic films.
While he’s a movie buff, I’ve always been more of a music person. During our conversation I revealed the fact that I’ve never seen Breakfast at Tiffanys. To his way of thinking, this is a huge failure in my cultural education. My college roommate was a film person, and given how many other classic films I have seen, it does seem like a bit of a gaping hole.
My father is a fabulous story teller and in his younger days was active in the New York bar scene. Yesterday, he regaled me with more of his exploits as it related to his movie knowledge. It was really fun to help him find what he was looking for and to learn more about what makes him tick. We said our goodbyes and again I turned back to work.
I turned up the volume on iTunes to find that the current song was Cracklin’ Rosie by Neil Diamond. On the weekends we did spend together, my Dad and I spend countless hours in the car and Neil Diamond was one of our perennial favorites. Cracklin’ Rosie was a song that ALWAYS made me think of him. I had to call him back to share the serendipity with him. We ended up talking for another 20 minutes sharing memories of some of our adventures.
We can’t change history. In one way or another, we’ve both said we’re sorry. There is still distance and uncertainty between us and yet we are actively taking steps to close that gap. There is no destination on this journey. I have no “goals” for my relatiohship with my Dad other than continuing to share stories and make memories.
I never did get the blog post written, but in the words of Brad Paisley, it was Time Well Wasted.
Photo Credit, David Ryan