Today is my dad’s birthday.
After graduating college, he set a goal to start and open a business in his small hometown, and went to bank after bank until one finally agreed to finance his dream. Many would have given up; many would have said what he wanted to do couldn’t be done at such a young age. Not my dad.
He’s spent his life an entrepreneur and business man and even when businesses failed, I never remember him being negative. When the economy collapsed and with it my parents’ business they spent a lifetime building, in the midst of losing nearly everything, all I remember him saying was, “I don’t need much”.
Through my mom’s cancer, his faith didn’t waiver, his strength and optimism were apparent throughout her battle. He continues to stay positive in his role as care taker as she deals with the long term side effects of her treatments.
One of my strongest memories of my dad while I was growing up is his singing. He often sang around the house. He sang (or whistled) as he worked. Everyday when he drove me to preschool, he’d sing the same song, On a Wonderful Day Like Today. It didn’t seem to matter what kind of day it really was, to my dad, it was wonderful. At least that’s what he showed me.
The other day when I was getting Meghan up, I opened her blinds like I always do. She looked out the window and exclaimed, “What a beautiful cloudy day!”
I realized that optimism is a natural tendency. Only with age do we gain skepticism and pessimistic attitudes. But we can fight it. As we get old and wise to the ways of the world, we don’t have to succumb to the negativity that surrounds us. We can all embrace the beautiful cloudy days.
From that day on, I’ve been singing On a Wonderful Day Like Today to Meghan in the car every morning when I drive her to preschool. I found out that singing is powerful. My dad was on to something.
I don’t have his singing voice, but when I belt out those words in the morning, I can feel my spirits lift and a smile naturally spreads across my face. What a great way to start the day.
I hope that I’ve inherited even a fraction of my dad’s optimism and I can pass it on to my children, too. Optimism is powerful tool to take through life.
Thank you, Dad, for showing me that. Happy birthday!
Here’s the lyrics for On a Wonderful Day Like Today for anyone who wants to add a little optimism to their mornings!