Seventeen years is a long time to do anything.
The only thing I have done since I was ten years old (17 years ago) was play basketball and that hasn’t even been a daily, hourly activity.
Yesterday my dad celebrated 17 years of being sober, 17 years of not drinking alcohol, 17 years of not doing something that he enjoyed for two decades prior. Try to tell me to stop eating chocolate and I could last maybe a week… maybe.
I am extremely proud of my dad for so many things and they all stem from his decision to get sober and stay sober. He realized and was able to admit that alcohol was taking over his life and then he was strong enough to work hard to beat it. I can’t imagine needing something, besides the essentials, so badly that I feel I cannot live without it. I can, however, imagine how incredibly difficult it would be to get over that.
My dad is pretty awesome and I know that. But yesterday at his anniversary it was really nice to hear other people say things about him. My favorite compliment that was echoed a few times was, “Craig, when you talk– I listen.” I just love that. To me it not only means you command respect and speak with confidence but that what you say has value, and that means something.
My dad would be the first to tell you that he’s not perfect and that he’s done a lot of stupid things in his life but I still hope I can grow to be like him. I have his height, blue eyes, sarcastic wit, and his temper so I think I’m well on my way. I have been looking and listening to a lot of people’s outlooks on life and thinking about adapting some new ones and his is a good one: “always try to do the next right thing.” Smart and simple, just like him.