One of my new years resolutions is to do my best to stay in touch with the people that I care about. Historically I'm horrible about keeping in touch but I'm slowly getting better at it. When I've tried in the past I've done an all or nothing approach which generally works for a little while but then I fall back into the same old, bad habits. I've decided to take baby-steps this time. My first step is to respond to emails within a few days (so far so good). I think my second step will be to try and call somebody I haven't talked to in a while at least once a month. So far I missed January but I talked to my friend David Clawson for about 45 minutes the other night which was very cool. I haven't heard from him in ages so it was a real pleasure. My next step is to email Leanne Grimsby and Amy Olson, both of which I haven't talked to in ages. Once I've gotten that far I'll take a giant leap by starting to write to my family in England. I've only been over there twice to visit them so I hardly know them. It sounds rather morbid but I would hate for my Nan (grandmother on my mother's side) to pass away when I hardly even know her. I recognize her voice, I know a little bit about her and I have some fond memories of her. She bought me one of my first video games when I was young and she came over here when my mum was learning how to drive a stick-shift. My mum was taught that before starting up the car you need to make sure that it's in neutral, so she would "wiggle, wiggle" the stick-shift to make sure. I distinctly remember getting in the car with both my Nan and mum and having Nan say, "wiggle, wiggle" in her wonderfully comforting voice. It's really strange the things that you remember. Even now I can't help but tear up over those memories and how much I miss her and the rest of my family.One of my second resolutions was to post to my blog more often. Too often I find myself bottling a lot of stuff in which can be very harmful to your health. Having a place to vent, even if it's in public, is incredibly therapeutic. The stuff about my family in England above pretty much came out of nowhere. I started typing and couldn't stop. Thus, lesson learned.
There is so much about my father that I don't know. Over the years I've heard many stories about my dad's experiences growing up, his father, his wishes and much more (sometimes multiple times). Half of the stories I've heard from him first hand and the other half I've heard from friends, my mum or other people I wouldn't expect to hear them from. This is a real problem for me as it's been made abundantly clear that, in general, I didn't have enough interest in my father's stories growing up to really dig deeper and learn about him.Over the weekend Sari worked at the Starbucks in Fremont serving drinks (she usually works at the corporate offices but she was given the opportunity to work in the store for a day). I was there with my book and laptop sipping chai and enjoying my father's company. It was the first time in a long time that we'd been able to sit down and talk together without any distractions (such as broken computers...) and because of that I got another one of his wonderful life stories. It suddenly occurred to me how little I knew about my father. I had done a report in junior high about our roots in Scotland and I know that all of my relatives live in England but that's about it. It's only been in the last couple of years that I've really grown interested in my family background, which is very sad. I've decided that as a new year's resolution I'm going to commit myself to sitting down with my dad regularly and picking his brain. At the same time I want to put together sort of a mini biography about him.I've always fancied myself as a writer, though the amount of writing I have under my belt is limited to school assignments and the few and far between blog posts that I write. I hope this ends up being a good exercise for my writing but also will help me learn more about my father and perhaps the rest of my family in the process.