Just as I was on Mother's Day, I find myself particularly nostalgic this year. And the adventurous, reflective, and rewarding life I'm living has much to do with my father's influence. So on Father's Day, I'd like to share a few of the things my dad has taught me over the years.
Some lessons were practical, some were necessary, some were life changing, some happened when I was little, and some happened today. But all of them were a gift from my father.
My dad taught me:
- how to throw a ball and "have a catch."
- how to drive a car. And change the oil. And change a flat. And drive over a piece of trash with precision. Using each tire. And drive in reverse for a 1/2 mile. Really. That happened.
- how to fish. All of it, from making lures with a hot lead mold to building my own rod to "getting it in the net" to filleting.
- how to fix things. So many, many things. Gluing chipped ceramic figurines, to patching holes in walls, to fixing running toilets, to repairing broken bicycle chains, etc. All things I broke in the first place.
- how to create an incredibly abundant garden. From seed. Literally and metaphorically.
- how to be coachable. "When the coach is interested in your perspective, he'll ask. Otherwise, learn from him." And yes, my Dad was my first, favorite and most insightful coach. (He took stats at every one of my basketball games. Pic below.)
- that hard work is as nourishing as healthy meals.
- to think "things" through and prepare for the most likely and most important outcomes.
- how to think like a scientist.
- to learn the difference between the quick, convenient decision and a solid, deliberate decision. And that each has its place.
- how to be physically adept, mentally strong and intellectually competitive while participating in sports. It's part of what put so much fun in sports for me.
- what the true meaning of respect means. Even if you don't respect a person's decisions, respect his/her position. And that self-respect is the most important kind.
- that life is too short to worry about things you can't control. Keeping your sense of humor in tact is critically important during those moments.
- to maintain an appropriate balance between academics, athletics, a social life and a spiritual life.
- right from wrong. And that sometimes it's not that simple.
- how to be calm in times of stress.
- how to embrace confusion. If you push past it, you'll learn something.
- how to advocate for myself. Intelligently.
- that family is everything.
- ...and so much more.
I look forward to spending time with you this summer!