I might be in my thirties, but if there’s anything I’ve learned in three decades, it’s that I’ll always need my Dad.
He’s also taught me some pretty great lessons over the years.
In honor of my old man’s birthday (November 1st for those of you who know him and want to wish him well) I’ve put together the top 15 lessons I learned from the best Dad a girl could ask for.
1.) Take care of your car. I’m pretty bad at it, but I know I should check my oil, tire pressure, and miscellaneous fluids on a regular basis. It also couldn’t hurt to give the old girl a vacuum every once in awhile either.
2.) Family first. Friends come and go but your family is forever. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you right back.
3.) A deep and unwavering love for ALL things musical. Of course he taught me to appreciate the classics but the man has the MOST eclectic taste in music. Pretty ironic considering he can’t hear for shit! Just kidding Dad 🙂
4.) Gratitude and appreciation. Every night at dinner, without fail, Dad proclaims to Mom, “This is the best thing I’ve had to eat all day!” It doesn’t matter if it’s fish sticks or filet mignon, he appreciates the hot meal she takes the time to make for him. Thank yous go much farther than you’d ever think.
5.) Hard work pays off. The man worked a rotating schedule and almost never had a weekend off for 20 years, but he retired at 50. I call that WINNING.
6.) Celebrate your victories. No matter how small you think a win is, take a moment and appreciate a job well done.
7.) A place for everything, and everything in it’s place. As kids, if we didn’t put our stuff away, it was likely to get thrown out. On the plus side, if you always put your shit away, you always know where it is.
8.) Paddling a boat around a lake brings a unique sense of accomplishment and peace of mind. It’s pretty hard to be anything but happy surrounded by calm waters and wilderness.
9.) Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Take pride in your work or no one else will.
10.) Be kind. It can mean the world and it costs you nothing. I’ve never seen my old man be rude to anyone. That includes people I’m pretty sure he can’t stand. Exclusion is for assholes. Being nice to people you don’t like doesn’t mean you’re fake, it means you’re mature enough to tolerate your dislike towards them.
11.) Bitching and moaning is a waste of time. If you can fix something, FIX IT! If not get over it already.
12.) Make some “me” time. Whatever it is you enjoy doing, make time for it. A hobby is a great way to blow off steam and challenge yourself.
13.) Find the funny. Trips home from the Cape usually included a stop at Friendly’s before the bridge. One time, as Dad went to put ketchup on his fries, when he shook the bottle, he (and the whole restaurant) discovered the cap wasn’t fully on. Ketchup sprayed EVERYWHERE! The first person to laugh was my old man. That always stuck with me, because really, if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?
14.) The value of a dollar. As kids we got paid to rake the acorns in our yard. Let me tell you with four oak trees back there, that’s a shit ton of acorns. All I had to do was look at the calluses on my palms to realize money was something you earned.
15.) Enjoy life. No one gets out alive so you might as well have some fun while you’re here.
Happy Birthday Dad!! ILY