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Thursday, March 3, 2011

life lessons

I have had this great idea for a June, Father's day post about my father.. but I think it can't wait.

My father was always interested in cars. I was not. My dad was not exactly a lecture type. I am not saying he did not have advice for me.. but not in the form of a lecture. I might not have followed all his advice.. but now at the age of 42... I  often hear in my mind...  10 things my father was right about....
Caution: may cause you to feel... flashbacks from your own childhood
10. "You will miss me when I am gone"...My father said this so often.. it was when he did something gross, silly or different.. and we would say," your gross, weird or ok.. ok." He died suddenly in his sleep at a young age.. and those words.. still ring in my head.


 9. Talking about sex is not taboo.. it's healthy
My dad came to one of my classes.. family life in high school and talked about how he was married twice.. first time to my mother very young... and how talking about sex early... was important.. He was very affectionate to my step-mother around us.. and it was normal and loving to see grown-ups kiss.. and touch around us. He checked in with us when we were dating... and sometimes asked personal questions... but we felt cared about.
8. Don't let anyone tell you, your nothing.. or put you down Long ago, I had self-esteem issues.. and I would tell my dad I wanted a boob job... to feel better. He said.. fine, let's get it done. I chickened out in the end.. and I am glad I didn't now, but he wanted me to feel good in my own skin, and morals.
7.Stop Worrying My dad, like many other guys of his generation, was a doer, not a talker. Just "fix it" he would tell me. His swift and decisive action used to strike me, a champion ditherer, as impulsive, but I've come to realize that consulting your gut leads to better decisions than exhaustive. 
6.Be neat... No cob jobs... My dad was big on neat, not half ass jobs. If you cleaned do it right, if you fixed something glue it right. If you were making a line, use a ruler..be neat about it take pride in it.




5.Know how to change a tire I had to call my dad a few times for a flat tire. He showed me... then took it off and made me do it myself. I don't think I could do it now..but in college.. I think.. I could rock it out.






4. Be Joe Jovial  My dad was the king of being in a good mood. To enter a room and always say hi... and to kiss family when you enter the room. To smile even if you don't feel like it. Be happy with life,laugh. He would say.. Hey.. be like me.. I am Joe. Jovial.

 3.Wear make-up when going out in public
In high-school I loved clothes and mono chromatic outfits, but I was not exactly a girl girl. I have never been able to paint my nails ( my dad did my toenails once) or style my hair.. like the stylist. I fall seriously flat... when trying to put an outfit together or style my hair.. with a blow dryer.I would show up at my dad's sometimes with no make-up on and my eyebrows needing to be waxed and my hair pulled back messy, and wearing wrinkled clothes. My dad would say.. wear make-up dress up... I was hurt when he told me this .. I thought it meant he did not love me .. unless I had on make-up. I think he just meant.. I might feel better if I looked better. I still have trouble remembering to put make-up on before I leave the house. So I try to echo my dad's words.

  2. Food...I am not sure if this piece of advice.. was best for me.. but food was comfort.. love, family.
 1. Learn how to play the game-The first time he told me this I got angry. I said," I don't play games, I am honest with people." He explained that it meant.. if you know it's important to someone to act happy around them do it. If it's important to work in the yard for your family.. and you know if you help them.. they will help you.. like if you want money to go to the movies. I did not like the tit for tat attitude.. he further explained it as... Living life the way you want .. but trying to do things.. for others too...
I am still learning.. this one.. but after my dad died... a good friend of my brother's told me..." Your father is the only person I know..that lived his life exactly the way he wanted." built a company from the ground up.. made a name for himself.. without a college degree.. Built 2 dream homes both before 50. Retired at 50 and went on numerous vacations and cruises.. with family and friends as being number one.
Not a bad lesson there.

So don't roll your eyes and grumble.. at your dad's advice.. and if your children roll their eyes and grumble at your advice.. maybe they are still listening to every word. 

1 comment:

Holly said...

Oh my friend...what a lovely and poignant post about your dad. It was touching...I have goosebumps, and I am thinking about my Dad (and mom too)

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