It is not lost on me that I am a very fortunate person. Among my many blessings, I count my Dad. And I count on my Dad. He is there for me and always has been. Whether he was cheering me on at soccer games (his infamous chants of “Pressure! Pressure! Intensity!” and “Katy Bean! Bean! Bean! #22!” were at once embarrassing and cherished in high school) or bailing me out of tough jams in college (buying last minute plane tickets for me and a friend when we got stranded in L.A. and needed to get back to school in Colorado), he always showed up with a commitment born out of fatherly love. He didn’t always understand what I was up to (“Your tattoo says No Salt No Pepper?” “No Dad, it says No Self No Problem”) but he has always been invested in my success. He has always marveled at my determination and repeatedly told me growing up:
“The future is so bright you need dark glasses,”
which of course as a child in the 1980s always made me laugh (Cory Hart’s “I wear my sunglasses at night” was a huge hit) because Dad come on they are called sunglasses! But in his seemingly unhip lingo was buried a timeless truth.
This Sunday he turns 76, and to pay tribute to him, I’m sharing some of my favorite pictures of him (along with some of his very best sayings).
“You are limited only by the scope of your own ambitions.”
I wanted to write an amazing, brilliant, perfect tribute to my Dad. To do him justice. To say thank you. To say I appreciate him. But life keeps happening, interrupting me! My son had his 4 month check up and my 4 year old daughter had a melt down because I wouldn’t let her use the iPad. But then I’m reminded of another thing my Dad says:
“Perfection is the enemy of good enough.”
I used to think this was some kind of resignation. It seemed so off-message because my Dad is always fighting for achievements and rejecting mediocrity. But as a parent, I have really come to appreciate this saying. When I am working on something, I realize I have to let go of the expectation of perfection: it is better to get half the laundry folded than none; it is better to run 2 miles and walk 1 than forgo running because I can’t have the perfect 4 mile loop; it’s better to get my blog post written, with good and thoughtful intentions, than not write at all for fear I will be judged and my writing deemed not “good enough.” More than anything, I have learned that you have to practice the process all the time: the process of living the life I want to live; the process of being the runner I want to be; the process of parenting like the parent I want to be. As a mom, I’ve come to know perfection is a moving target but good enough is something I can work on, work with, and practice. Good enough is attainable and…it is good enough!
Thanks, Dad! Happy birthday! I love you!