Today is Father’s Day, and I’m lucky enough to have a dad who I’m incredibly close to and has taught me an awful lot over the past 22 years!
Here’s a round-up of the top five:
1. Friends are important. My dad is probably one of the most sociable people I’ve ever come across, and it’s definitely from him that I’ve learned to give everyone time, and really get to know them. He has so many close friends, some from school, from university, from various jobs, from playing sports… He’s always busy, always socialising, and having such a wide group of friends allows him to enjoy all the different things he loves, with great groups of people.
2. Listening has its place. Fitting in neatly with the friendship theme, my dad often finds himself in a bit of an ‘agony uncle’ position. There’s something about his open nature that lets people know they can trust him, and over the years friends have spoken to him for hours on end about all sorts of things, be it their health, family lives, marriages, or work situations. I find it really inspiring that so many people see him as someone they know will lend a sympathetic ear, and they trust him for sound advice.
3. But don’t lose yourself. Another trait I’ve inherited from my dad is that we ‘invest in people’. That is, if we have a friend, or build a relationship with someone new, we always want to see the best in them. Which is a brilliant thing – but sometimes people don’t deserve the pedestal you put them on. People can take advantage of someone who will forgive again and again, and tell themselves that ‘next time they won’t let me down’. This one has definitely led to some tears over the years, as I take situations to heart that many people may just let pass them by. But I wouldn’t trade that away, because it’s worth wearing my heart on my sleeve a bit when I look at the real friendships I have around me.
4. There’s always time for a sneaky theatre trip. Dad is a massive theatre fan (and an avid Shakespeare fan, in particular), and so growing up I’ve been lucky enough to see an awful lot of incredible shows. From Wicked last week, to Derek Jacobi as King Lear, to a dance production of Othello, to a stunning adaptation of Greek play Orestes, we love our theatre outings, and I’m looking forward to our next chapter of theatre trips once I’ve moved to London!
5. Work hard. Dad set up his company very soon after I was born, so I’ve grown up seeing him progress and grow and keep learning. I’ve seen him secure amazing clients, and feel down when there’s a slow month, and get up at 5am to finish off that report that’s come in at the same time as ten other things. Working for my dad for just over a year after graduating gave me even more of an insight into both the ups and downs of his working life, seeing exactly the work that goes into what he does day-to-day, and the effort that goes into making sure every client is treated in the best possible way. The lessons I learned in that period will always be ones I carry forward.
So there we have it, five lessons from a top, top dad. Barrie, you’re brilliant J