Father’s Day is bittersweet for many.
Many of us treasure the time with our kids but greatly miss our Fathers.
Recently another Dad’s Day came and went, and it was remarkably the fifth without my main man Bob Nabors. I thought it would get easier over time, but this celebrated day gets more complex. Sure, I appreciate the 50 years we had together, but I was greedy. I always wanted more. It was never enough with him.
We had a great relationship where I miss all of the little things which were so huge in our lives: sharing the latest YouTube videos, re-watching old movies, taking him to baseball games (he would have loved this Rays season), yet mainly the random phone calls, which always were unpredictable, funny, and motivating.
In the last five years, I wonder how he would have felt about the pandemic, I would have loved to have had him review my first book, and it would be great to share all the stories of my newfound experiences as a college professor as my Dad, who was an accomplished lawyer taught at FSU’s law school.
My father passed on to me so much—the idea that work shouldn’t be work. Following your passion is vital. He encouraged me to build relationships and take chances. I took those lessons to heart, but maybe his most impactful words of wisdom were always staying humble and trusting your instincts.
To summarize that mindset, he routinely said, “Tuck that in your back pocket, buddy.” I want to cry every time I hear him say that–and I still hear it.
“Tucking it in your back pocket” applies to many things, all for a rainy day. It could be a compliment you receive that you may not share with everyone, but it serves as a helpful reminder for another day. It may be an idea you believe in that isn’t universally accepted at first, or it could be simply taking the high road when you want to say or do something else. All reminders of the good in your life and the hard lessons learned—that make you better and keep you going.
Tucking these experiences into your back pocket meant compartmentalizing your life in a space you can revisit when times get tough. This can pertain to your work or your personal life. Since he’s left us, I’ve tucked a lot into my back pocket, but in my mind (just as when he was alive), I feel we have experienced it together, but admittedly it’s not the same, not even close.
I hope my daughters one day feel my Dad’s impact on me in these areas. They are both hard-working, respectful, and driven young women with everything in front of them. My Dad would have been so proud of both of them, who are different in their approaches but have strong cores and affectionate hearts.
A foundation my Dad aimed to build inside me for as long as I can remember. I recall him calling me at the most pivotal times with the perfect words to fight through crucial moments. Even after a great visit, he made it a habit to call right afterward to ensure everything was okay with me and my family. He always went the extra mile.
His central message inspired quiet confidence to be humble, trust your gut, and go for your dreams. He left a legacy for me, all stored in my back pocket.
Passing on the importance of tucking away the essential things in life has kept me going since he passed, a powerful lesson that we all have several reasons to keep trying, keep hoping, and ultimately keep dreaming.
Quite a gift from the ultimate dreamer (and doer!).
My Dad’s back pocket, the first leg on another gallop around the Naborhood. As always, thanks for stopping by.
FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH: Dad has given and recommended many great books over the years. Recently I heard about a book from two random sources–it fell in my lap twice.
My introduction came after recently speaking to the St Petersburg Rotary Club, a man about the same age as my Dad waited for me afterward and, out of nowhere, gave me Arthur C. Brooks’ recent book, “From Strength to Strength.” I initially appreciated the gift but had no idea how much I would enjoy it.
From Strength to Strength delivered many parallels to my talk, which centers around finding success and staying passionate in the second half of your life. You’re not always going to love your job, but if you have a passion, it keeps you going and pushes you through whatever obstacles you may face. The book taught me how to add to my motivational talks, which I pass on to my students and my kids too.
A month after getting the book, I seemed unable to avoid it; where a few weeks later, a good friend who has been battling career obstacles randomly told me to read it, telling me it had inspired him to trudge forward. I agree. It motivated me as well.
“From Strength to Strength” gives many of us a reality check and shows that we need to appreciate our achievements more as we grow older while finding that work/life balance.
The book has something for everyone—it’s motivational, educational, and extremely spiritual. It makes you think about how you approach work, your family, and your mortality. Just because studies show the older you get, your skills may lessen doesn’t mean your impact does. Having experience is immeasurable at the workplace, and this book backs up one of my biggest beliefs —it’s never too late to reinvent yourself. Use the skills you have acquired to pivot towards new passions and avenues you have always wanted to pursue. It was nice to read a fresh perspective on this topic.
Brooks’ book puts your outlook on life into a great perspective from many angles. It will motivate many to look forward to the second half of their lives with greater purpose—I highly recommend it.
ODE TO SAJAK: There are several American staples: Sports, Apple Pie, Fireworks….and Pat Sajak. Can you remember life without him?
For many, that’s all we’ve known as the host of the legendary Wheel of Fortune’s career is spinning toward retirement. Can you imagine if someone had told Sajak when he was 35 that he would still host Wheel in ….2023? The man has staying power, and if you are 45 and younger—you can’t remember life without him?
Sajak is worshipped by many in a variety of ways. There was Raymond Babbit in the Academy Award-winning film, Rain Man, who knew his lines by heart, and then you had Martin Short’s character in Saturday Night Live (the immortal Ed Grimley) whose life goal was to meet the immortal Sajak. Grimley had the funny line, “Maybe me and Pat could be best friends”……?!
Like Alex Trebek and Bob Barker, Pat Sajak has been a part of our collective family for years. He started as a radio DJ, then became a weatherman in Los Angeles when media mogul Merv Griffin gave him his big break in 1981. Griffin replaced Chuck Woolery who, after hosting Wheel for six years, left because of a contract dispute. Sure, Woolery would host “Love Connection,” but Sajak went on to host over 7000 Wheel Episodes.
Sajak’s job is an excellent gig—he makes 15 million dollars and works 48 days each year. His legacy is intact, but he leaves behind controversy for a show built on consistency. Ryan Seacrest replaces Sajac, a safe move, in my opinion–wish the higher-ups would have opened the floor to several guest hosts, and then you have longtime sidekick Vanna White has been with him since 1982 and is holding out for more money—White claims not to have been given a raise in 18 years.
Stay tuned, life (AS) “after Sajak” will never be the same. There is something to be said for longevity.
NOBODY ASKED ME…..BUT: My favorite athlete is a future baseball Hall of Famer, but many of you probably haven’t heard of him.?
To bring this blog full circle, my father introduced me to baseball in elementary school by taking me to see the local minor league team, the Cocoa Astros. They had a slow catcher who seemed like the least likely player to make the show–yet Bruce Bochy beat the odds.
He became my favorite player (here in his mid-20s as a catcher for the Houston Astros) a pic my dad took around 1979.
Bochy went on to play almost ten years in the big leagues but made his mark as a manager. First, he took the San Diego Padres to the playoffs four times and then led the San Francisco Giants to three World Series titles in four years. After sitting out of the game for three years, he is back as the skipper of the Texas Rangers, and you know it–they are in first place, with a healthy lead over last year’s champion Astros in the AL West.
These days Bochy is 68 years old, and recently when covering a Tampa Bay Rays game, I got to visit with him pregame. It was fantastic! I showed him the old Astros pic above. We reminisced about the old Cocoa days too. I told him my Dad, and I saw his first major league home run in the Astrodome and remembered when he took the time to play catch with me when I was a batboy in Spring Training. It was a fun conversation on so many fronts.
One day when Bochy is inducted into the Hall in Cooperstown, I plan on being there–maybe I’ll bring my grandkids and tell them all the stories. It’s been a heck of a career, one that was unexpected, but those are the best kind.
EXTRA POINT: Many of you have seen the season finale of Succession (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t), but unlike some epic shows with terrible endings—I thought it was great with one exception–I was hoping “nobody” would win in the end. Amazing how such a great show can keep you glued even when you are watching a group of characters who are “all” bad eggs…would you want to hang out with any of these people? That’s what made it unique, I’ll miss it.
UNTIL NEXT BLOG,