The best lesson I ever learned: TIME = LOVE
One time my dad asked me as a teenager, “how do you spell LOVE son?”. After my likely sarcastic teenage boy answer, he replied by saying, “wrong son, LOVE is spelled T-I-M-E, so be sure to call your parents more and spend time with us, you will be glad you did later”.
You see, my dad didn’t really have a family. His mom died when he was young, his father left also at an early age, leaving him to live with his grandmother who then passed away when he was 15! My dad literally lived alone, in his childhood home, at the age of 15 with a court appointed guardian. No one should have to experience that, and I don’t even believe that’s legal! So then how did a man who didn’t receive much love, learn to love so well? And evolve into the most loving and selfless father?
My dad was the best dad and is my hero- he gave up career promotions to be with his family, and every night after 12 hour days of managing retail, he still found time to teach me to play baseball and basketball, went to all my games and my sister’s cheerleading most days. And every night he put down his briefcase and kissed my mother. And now 50 years of marriage…..wow, beautiful and a rarity these days, especially with newer generations.
I will say, at 42 years old, the two most special moments and greatest achievements of my life were this past month taking my first father/son trip to the beach- Destin, FL- where we always went on family vacations. And the second was presenting my dad with his retirement gift- a brand new red Ford Mustang GT, for him to enjoy and reminisce on his first new car in his 20’s (also a red Ford Mustang) in which he picked up my mother on their first date.
On this trip we honored my mother who is currently in a memory care facility and not doing well. We grieved, laughed, and cried together, all while creating our own new memories. We shared every meal together, cooked, had margaritas on the beach, relaxed with toes in the sand, and played a father/son pickle ball tournament and won! We also found old photos of my dad and mom when they were younger that had been hidden in my mom’s closet- the timing couldn’t have been more serendipitous. My goodness was she beautiful – I want to remember her this way, as her current appearance is simply a reflection of the disease, but her heart and soul is, was, and always will be gorgeous. I also got to joke with my dad that I now see where I got my looks from (hint: not him!).
As a boss, I want to model this philosophy that TIME is the real gift, and have attempted to do so my providing our team with a generous PTO policy and fully paid paternity and maternity leave. Julie and Carson both recently got to enjoy this time as they expanded their families. This may be my 3rd greatest accomplishment to date, seeing my amazing team happy and getting that precious time with family. We can always work, but we cannot get back TIME. The entire team has a very flexible work schedule, with the only requirement being to love and serve clients well.
I hope- no, I commit- to creating more memories and experiences like these, as they will be things we remember at life’s end, not how much money I or we make in the stock market. Thank you God, thank you friends, family, and clients for being a part of this journey.
Let us all think of ways to spend our time creating experiences and memories over accumulation, as TIME is the only real currency.
Oh yeah! That rings a bell, someone wrote a book about this! For more information order the “The Currency of Time” on Amazon.