Sunday, June 21, 2009

Perspective - the best Father's Day gift

2009 has been a tough year for us so far, but you have managed to keep it all together well - especially as a husband and father. Thank you for keeping your priorities in place and being there for our kids and me. I know Katie and Ben appreciate everything you do for them ... and you know how much I need you. You are a wonderful father and husband, and we love you.

That's the note my beautiful wife, Roberta, wrote in the Father's Day card she gave me.

If it's true that my wife and kids are lucky to have me, I'm luckier tenfold to have them. They make me happy, keep me grounded and give me a feeling of security.

Mostly, they help keep things in perspective - and in our society these days, the only thing in shorter supply than money is perspective. 

I see people who lose their jobs falling apart. Many have reason for concern and sadness, of course, but panicking certainly isn't the answer. Now is the time to accentuate the positive and think of what we have, not what we have not.

Even worse, I hear people who have good jobs complaining about them. Not only my fellow sportswriters - though this definitely applies to many of them - but also multimillion-dollar athletes, corporate CEOs, politicians and others who have absolutely no reason or right to whine.

I admit that there have been times I've felt blue since I got dumped by a bad company in a bad industry, but such feelings always pass quickly. What's weird is that I find myself wondering why I feel so good 99.7 percent of the time. Then I think about it and I realize it's because of all the great people I have in my life.

On this Father's Day, I unwrapped the gifts I received - a baseball cap and sunglasses from Roberta and a cool Beatles Anthology book from Ben and Katie. I took a couple of nice walks on this first day of summer. I partook in my annual tradition of golf (U.S. Open) and guacamole (Roberta's delicious homemade recipe). I thought about my wonderful dad, who passed away 11 years ago. And I thought about how fortunate I am to be the father to my family. 

If you have a dad and haven't called him, get on that phone right now. If you are a dad, I hope your day has been as incredible as mine. 

Even if neither of those apply to you, I'd still like to give you the Father's Day gift of perspective.

No matter what, refuse to feel sorry for yourself. 

Appreciate everything you have but realize that things are just things - easily replaced and ultimately unimportant.

Hold your loved ones close. 

Take care of yourself by staying (or getting) healthy, both physically and emotionally.

Do at least one truly fun thing every day. 

Celebrate life, dammit, and that's an order! 


  1. I have read your them in the Champaign IL News Gazette...until your former employer made you a former employee. I always liked them, because even if I didn't always agree 100%, they were a good read.

    Today's post brings me to another conclusion:

    You're a damn good writer.

    Happy Father's Day.

    That's all I have to say about that.

  2. heh damn it i have a job and feel sorry for myself...but then i am not a father so maybe that is dad is 83 and i kicked his butt in gentlemen's rummy while watching the open...what a day.

  3. Truer words have never been spoken. Michael, you are a very good writer As a dad, and I beg to disagree with you, I am the luckiest Dad in the world. My son is 14 and my daughter is 12 and every night I am home, they come and give me a hug and a kiss and say goodnight. I am marreid to the most beautiful woman in the world and I have such a crush on her.

    My fathers day was spent at a fastpitch 12U tournament, relaxing and steaks on the grill.

    I only wish my dad were here he's been gone 12 years now....