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The Gift of Time!

I had a meeting recently with a longstanding customer of mine who is also a friend (the best kind). We have the kind of old fashioned British relationship whereby a trade of insults and banter masks the real underlying relationship of trust like a blanket of bravado to save any embarrassment around saying anything too deep. So he told me something in his round about way, by retelling me the story as if it was really meant for someone else, you know, the way us old fashioned British men do.

He described himself as the richest man in the world, to which I of course chuckled. But he was serious, he didn't smile, he just looked at me and qualified his statement. "I have worked hard for decades, and now I can afford anything I want, and thankfully I don't want a lot!" then he smiled.

This got me thinking, I have just started a new business, I have a mortgage to pay and costs to cover, so I do need to make sure that I keep that focus. But in a few years, what is it that I will want? Then the weekend came, it was my birthday this Saturday 4th March, I am difficult to buy for.

My daughters are both very hard working students, they are clever and determined young women making their way in this world. I am proud to say that they have both made it clear that they want to pay their own way through college and University where possible. They both have a number of jobs they fit around their studies, and they are both very good at balancing the good times with the head down and work times. I am an extremely proud Dad. They both study and live a long way from home so I don't get to see them much, they both have boyfriends and busy lives, too right.

They are doting daughters and wanted to give me a good birthday, they were pushing my wife (their step-mum) for ideas and she rightly told them that I wouldn't want them wasting hard earned money on token presents, what I would really love is just something that helps me think fondly of them.

So they gave me the best gift ever, their time and their undivided attention. They both traveled over for the day, (the youngest after she finished her shift), they prepared a meal and set out the table dinner party style, just like I used to for them when they were little girls. We all ate a meal together, my wife and their boyfriends, we laughed and joked, then cleared the table and played games. Not once did anyone look at their phone or switch on the TV, we just played, and laughed and hugged and made the most wonderful memories with that precious time we had together.

Time is the biggest gift you can give anyone, make sure you fill the minutes wisely, memories are priceless.

Incidentally, my eldest was 21 two days later, the gift she wanted was a "Daddy Day" this could work out a little more expensive, but how nice is it that she wants my time just as much as I want hers. There must be a lesson here somewhere.

If you have any spare time, invest it in someones memories, the interest rates on that investment will pay you back very well indeed.

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