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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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My Annual Weekend With My Dad

Comments (10)

I spent the weekend in Austin with my dad who has written a nice post about his experience with me.  We ate, hung out, ate some more, wandered around, saw a shitty movie, had a fantastic dinner with friends, went for a run, and enjoyed being together.  We’ve been doing this for five years.  My rules are simple – we go anywhere he wants and I pay for everything.

This weekend with my dad is one of the work-life balance things that I do on an annual basis.  I’ve got several of these that make up the rhythm of my non-work life, including the annual Feld Men’s trip, my month in Alaska during the summer with Amy, and my quarterly "total disconnect" vacations with Amy.

As I sat on the flight home and reflected on the weekend, I realize how precious the 48 hours we spend alone together once a year are.  My dad is turning 70 next month and – while he’s in great shape for a 70 year old – we both know that neither he nor I are immortal.  We occasionally discuss heavy things like this, although this year we mostly just chilled out together.

Life is a special experience.  I’m lucky I’ve gotten to spend so much time – especially as an adult – with my father.  And I’m really glad that I figured out early enough the value of creating annual rhythms to keep things in balance.

  • http://15meanings.com Will

    Brad,
    Thanks for this post, thanks for sharing about your relationship with your dad. It served as a kick in the rear for me to spend more time with mine. He is diabetic and not getting any better and I do not want to waste away anymore time. I need to cherish the time we both have left.

    Thanks again!

  • Tim Stephens

    Brad – you are very fortunate to have such a wonderful relationship with your father. I dream of having such a relationship with my father – the closest I can come to that is being a good father to my five year old son and give him what you have and what I never had. Thanks for posting this – I am a big fan of your Dad's blog as well. The apple did not fall far in the Feld orchard.

  • Tim Stephens

    Brad – you are very fortunate to have such a wonderful relationship with your father. I dream of having such a relationship with my father – the closest I can come to that is being a good father to my five year old son and give him what you have and what I never had. Thanks for posting this – I am a big fan of your Dad's blog as well. The apple did not fall far in the Feld orchard.

  • http://www.craigmische.com Craig Mische

    Sounds like a great weekend. You both are fortunate men.

  • http://www.wynnewilliams.com Brian Wynne Williams

    Thanks for sharing this, Brad. I was lucky enough to convince my dad to start Viget with us back in 1999 — as one of our lead developers — even as he continued his “real” career as an airline pilot. We were both early-birds, and I'd often spend hours talking to him about the clients & company before anyone else even got into the office. Being able to work with him closely every day, in retrospect, really changed our relationship and gave me a chance to get to know him in ways I never would have otherwise.

    We lost him very suddenly in 2003, and I was devastated, but I'll always cherish those years working with him — I'd feel awfully disconnected from him without them. Now that I have kids, you can bet I spend those hours everyday connecting with them. My 3 year-old daughter, in fact, just got her first “computer” and is insisting that she comes into the office tomorrow for “a meeting.” Sounds great to me!

  • Ginger Cohen

    You and your dad are both lucky guys. After reading his blog I wish he would run for president.

  • Dan Pingree

    Thanks for sharing, Brad. I have an annual getaway with my father each year which I look forward to all year long. It helps me maintain a good balanced perspective.

  • http://stan.feld.com Stanley Feld M.D.,FA

    For all those that have commented above, I believe the key is mutual respect and understanding. I have been able to enjoy those two important words with both Brad Feld and Daniel Feld.

    Both can be cultivated. It is never to late

  • Dave G

    Thanks for your posts Brad & Dr. Feld. It's a bit coincidental that I'm reading your post today, the anniversary of my Dad's passing in 2001 when I was 28. Such is life. I love to see others who appreciate how precious time with their parents is as an adult, when you have a deeper appreciation for them and relationship with them. It feeds my imagination of how my relationship with my dad would be. Whenever I see people who don't have this wisdom, it affects me profoundly and I tell them my story. Hopefully things like my story and your blog will help people cherish the time with their parents.

  • Nancy

    Brad – In the busy startup / high tech life, we sometimes get wrapped up in the day to day and forget to keep our family connections alive.

    Many thanks for sharing your experience and giving thoughts on how to keep the those connections that are so important. As these things often go, the timing of your message was perfect.

  • Steve Bergstein

    Not all parent-child relationships survive the child's transition to adulthood. As you might expect given that statement, my relationship with my father didn't. While I'm unhappy about the loss of the relationship, its demise is connected to a loss of the mutual respect that your father mentions above.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/craig24 craig24

    Sounds like a great weekend. You both are fortunate men.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/barnwilliams barnwilliams

    Thanks for sharing this, Brad. I was lucky enough to convince my dad to start Viget with us back in 1999 — as one of our lead developers — even as he continued his "real" career as an airline pilot. We were both early-birds, and I'd often spend hours talking to him about the clients & company before anyone else even got into the office. Being able to work with him closely every day, in retrospect, really changed our relationship and gave me a chance to get to know him in ways I never would have otherwise.

    We lost him very suddenly in 2003, and I was devastated, but I'll always cherish those years working with him — I'd feel awfully disconnected from him without them. Now that I have kids, you can bet I spend those hours everyday connecting with them. My 3 year-old daughter, in fact, just got her first "computer" and is insisting that she comes into the office tomorrow for "a meeting." Sounds great to me!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/will83 will83

    Brad,
    Thanks for this post, thanks for sharing about your relationship with your dad. It served as a kick in the rear for me to spend more time with mine. He is diabetic and not getting any better and I do not want to waste away anymore time. I need to cherish the time we both have left.

    Thanks again!

  • Ginger Cohen

    You and your dad are both lucky guys. After reading his blog I wish he would run for president.

  • Dan Pingree

    Thanks for sharing, Brad. I have an annual getaway with my father each year which I look forward to all year long. It helps me maintain a good balanced perspective.

  • Stanley Feld M.D.,FA

    For all those that have commented above, I believe the key is mutual respect and understanding. I have been able to enjoy those two important words with both Brad Feld and Daniel Feld.

    Both can be cultivated. It is never to late

  • Nancy

    Brad – In the busy startup / high tech life, we sometimes get wrapped up in the day to day and forget to keep our family connections alive.

    Many thanks for sharing your experience and giving thoughts on how to keep the those connections that are so important. As these things often go, the timing of your message was perfect.

  • Dave G

    Thanks for your posts Brad & Dr. Feld. It's a bit coincidental that I'm reading your post today, the anniversary of my Dad's passing in 2001 when I was 28. Such is life. I love to see others who appreciate how precious time with their parents is as an adult, when you have a deeper appreciation for them and relationship with them. It feeds my imagination of how my relationship with my dad would be. Whenever I see people who don't have this wisdom, it affects me profoundly and I tell them my story. Hopefully things like my story and your blog will help people cherish the time with their parents.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/steve_bergs2127 steve_bergs2127

    Not all parent-child relationships survive the child's transition to adulthood. As you might expect given that statement, my relationship with my father didn't. While I'm unhappy about the loss of the relationship, its demise is connected to a loss of the mutual respect that your father mentions above.

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