Thursday, February 28, 2013

Three-Quarters of a Century!

My dad turned 75 yesterday. He's been alive for  three quarters of a century! That's a long time! His goal is to hang in there until he has completed that last quarter. Youthful and in good health, he just might make it (and I really hope he does).

My dad has lived several lives during his 75 years. He started out as one of eleven children in rural Georgia. He worked two jobs to make his way through college. After graduation, he spent a few years in the army before landing in Cleveland Ohio. He's been in Cleveland for 50 years. Grad school, marriage, family and a successful career as a school principal followed. Retired now, Dad is enjoying travel and working his home-based business.

I think it's from my dad that I get my determination. He instilled in me a strong work ethic and the belief that I truly can do anything if I want it bad enough and am willing to work hard enough to get it. Other lessons from Dad would include:

  • "You've got two ears, two eyes and one mouth. So you should be watching and listening twice as much as you are talking."
  • "Live off of 80 cents out of every dollar you make. If you tithe 10 cents and give the other 10 cents to yourself, you will never be broke"
    (Okay, I still struggle with these first two but that doesn't mean that it still isn't good advice!)
  • "No matter how high you go, never look down on anyone else." Everyone has their own talent, skills and abilities. You will never know what you can do for someone or what someone can do for you.
  • Watch people, especially when you are in a new place or different surroundings. Learn how to blend in.
  • Be independent and know how to take care of yourself. So, in addition to knowing traditionally 'female' things like cooking and cleaning, my dad taught me how to top off my oil, check my fluid levels, change a flat, jump a battery, paint a room and make simple repairs.
  • If a man can't appreciate you for the awesome woman you are, then he's not the one for you. Cut your losses and keep it moving!
In a world where the role of fathers is often discounted or dismissed, I am living proof that a great father figure can give you so much more than you can ever imagine. I love my dad to pieces and am looking forward to spending another quarter century with him.

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