A Letter to My Father

Like many people, I have mixed feelings about the whole Father’s Day thing. I don’t need a particular day for Keira to acknowledge me, every day we let each other know about the love we have for one another, and I’ll readily admit there’s something fun about a little fuss being made too. This year, we are off on a long walk this Father’s Day with some good friends, I’m really looking forward to it.

I was tidying up some papers yesterday and I came across an old letter I wrote to Dad, shortly after Carole and I got married back in August 1992. By way of context, after Mum died in 1984 my relationship with Dad deteriorated…a lot. We were frequently horrible to each other and there were times I was sure we’d never reconcile things. As is often the case, I was wrong, and Dad and I started to get it back together a little while before this letter was written. Reading the letter for the first time since I wrote it almost twenty two years ago, I sense a clunkiness and awkwardness to it at times. Nevertheless, I’d like to share it with you, and if Father’s Day works for you, I hope it’s a happy one.

Dear Dad

Carole and I have been married for over a month! Time flies when you’re having fun. After all the excitement of the last few weeks, life seems to be returning to some sort of normality, if there is such a thing. We would both like to say how very grateful we are for all your help towards our big day, and the rest of our life! Not only for the invaluable financial generosity but also for everything else.

I think I now have some understanding of the importance of the reliability and guidance of parents. That is not to say that you and Mum have seen eye to eye with everything that I have done or tried to do. Despite the fact that shortcomings in my life have given you justifiable cause for concern, upset and other feelings I’m sure you’d ideally not wish to experience, I can now stand back and look at my life which is basically happy and sane, I think! I owe no small part of this to you and Mum and I’m truly grateful.

As you know, it is unfortunately all too difficult to talk frankly and openly, especially to those closest to you and though I’m just as hopeless as the next person in this department, I want you to know that it is with the greatest sincerity that I tell you how proud I am that I was able to share our wedding day with you, and Helen and Moira.

I take a great deal of pleasure from the music I listen to, I know you do as well. People who you have no personal knowledge of can write words which make you think ‘I really know what you mean’. The following few lines sum that sense up for me.

Good work is the key to good fortune
Winners take that praise
Losers seldom take that blame
But sometimes the winner takes nothing
We go out in the world and take our chances
Fate is just the weight of circumstances
That’s the way that lady luck dances
Why are we here? Because we’re here
Roll the bones

Cheers Dad, take it easy and thanks again

Love – Doug

I’m Gonna Sit Right Down…

…and write myself a letter.

Except we hardly ever do, do we? Email, Twitter, Facebook – all these things mean we can type out and send our thoughts quicker than ever before, and the simple pleasure of sending and receiving a letter is disappearing.

At the ConnectingHR tweetup last week a few people asked to see the Stop Doing Dumb Things cards. We were drawing cards from the deck and Kate picked the one you can see here. Kate told me she writes a letter every day. I love that idea. I enjoy sending letters and among all the bills and ‘special offers’ that the postman delivers, I always appreciate seeing real handwriting on an envelope. Those ones always get opened first.

One of the reasons for this card is simply to act as an aid to slowing down for a few minutes, and taking the time to send someone a personal touch. Another, is a reminder of the simple joy of putting pen or pencil to paper, and in so doing, strengthening a real life connection. What does it do for you?

This post is one of a short series written to share how people are using Stop Doing Dumb Things. If you’d like to buy a set and tell us how you use them – here’s all the information you need.