I always find it interesting where inspiration comes from, or how great memories are dredged up from the deepest recesses of our minds, just when you need them.  A couple of days ago I read a blog post that penetrated me deeply.  You can find it here: https://beautybeyondbones.com/2016/11/28/showing-my-cards/  I follow this blog and I’d invite you to check it out.  Some great stuff.  As I responded to this particular post, a memory came flooding back to me about my late father.

My Dad passed away when I was only 17, of cancer.  It was one of the most difficult experiences I had ever gone through but I’ll save that for another time.  In the relatively short time he was on the earth, he spent so much time with me, teaching me all he could.  I often wonder if he was given foreknowledge about leaving this mortal life and therefore wanted to provide me with everything he could, to ensure my growth, prior to his passing.

On one occasion, we were in the workshop.  We were always in the workshop. This is where I developed my love of tools and my honed my talents to fix things and work with my hands.  I remember one Christmas, instead of getting me a bike, he bought me a lathe.  I was elated.  I turned everything on that thing, from bats to bowls to bedposts.  I loved it.  But, what I loved more was all the talks we had, in that workshop.

He once said to me, “Rob…woulda, coulda, shoulda, don’t be one of those people.”  Being an adolescent at the time, I was quite puzzled by this statement so I pressed him for clarification.

“Don’t be the person who says, ‘I woulda done this but…or, I coulda done this but…or, I shoulda done this but…’…don’t make excuses, don’t live in the past, just move forward and do what you want and don’t be afraid.  Be accountable.”

I honestly didn’t get it at the time.  Actually, it took me years to figure out.  But, when I read the post on beautybeyondbones.com, it hit the point home again.

The only person that holds me back is…me.  It’s always me.  It’s that simple.  There can be a roadblock that seems impenetrable.  It can be a mountain that appears unclimbable.  But, I can find a way to push past it, climb it, and overcome it.  It’s all me.  So, now I blog, sharing parts of my life with complete strangers.  And, in a very short time, feel right at home. I do not aspire to the lofty realms of being a writer, but I press forward.  Thanks to all of you who are making this “Single Dads are Cool” blog a reality. Hence, no more “woulda, coulda, shoulda” in this guy’s life.

And, when I shared this wise saying with my oldest teenage daughter last night, she replied, “Dad, you sure have a lot of sayings.”  We both burst out laughing.  I thought, “You have no idea, kid, but you will.”