Apparently, my dad died just after I got off the phone with the nurse.
When my brother called a few minutes later to tell me our father has passed I thought he was playing some weird, sick joke.
But alas no. Dad was gone.
And in some strange way, so was my fear of disappointment. My fear of rejection. Of being found wanting even given my best efforts.
Dad wasn’t the source of all that fear, I am extremely fortunate to have wonderful parents.
The source was a false sense of time. That there was time to wait for the perfect conditions, or more time to plan, or more time to get ready.
The simple fact is we rarely know how much time we have. Having my father die less than two weeks after the birth of my second child brought the whole “circle of life” thing home.
The fleeting nature of life having hit me squarely between the eyes, I did something that surprised even myself. I got to work.
No more time to waste. No more time to spend aimlessly in front of video games. No more wasted nights chasing pipe dreams at the bottom of the bottle.
That time, that attention, that energy. They were mine. And I needed them back.
Because those things are precious.
But also because they can set you free.
Because if you don’t like it, you can use those things to get better. To elevate your life by conscious endeavor. To find motivation and then turn that motivation into discipline. And then you turn that discipline into positive action. Then repeated positive actions start to compound.
And then you can do just about whatever you devote yourself to.