There are countless ways in which I am a lucky person. Just one of these is that I arguably have the best father around. Not only is he smart (he can explain every word in Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire!”), he is also loving, thoughtful, and generous. My father is famous for his stories, but it is his tidbits of advice that play through my head during my day. I imagine some of these statements won’t make much sense to those outside our family, but others are jewels of knowledge that transcend the confines of my bloodline.
In this post, I’ll try to channel his voice as I share some of his one liners as if he wrote this himself (which he did not. I’m not sure he knew what a blog post was until I started this blog).
Advice from dear old Dad:
Drive a Convertible. Why wouldn’t you want the wind blowing through your hair (or in my case blowing across my bald head)? I’m a car guy, and if I can’t get in and out of a Corvette anymore, I’m getting in and out of a car with the top down.
Wear bow ties. Anyone can wear a necktie, but bow ties make a statement. They say, “hey, I be stylin’.” They also say I don’t take myself too seriously, but seriously enough not to wear a tie with Mickey Mouse on it to work.
Loosen Up. There is no point in gripping the reigns. Let go already.
Pretend there is an egg under the gas pedal. In driving and in life, haste makes waste. Don’t be in such a hurry because you’ll get yolk all over the interior.
Save the (%&$*) Pieces. Mistakes happen. Things get dropped, but most of the time they can be fixed.
Tell a Good Story. Have you ever heard about the great pine nut worm infestation or the silicone baloney nano chip factory? Well if you heard it from me, you’d never forget it (and not only because I’d tell you over and over again). Stories are great ice breakers, mood lighteners, and time passers. Wouldn’t you rather be the guy with the interesting story than the jerk who complained about the delayed flight?
My Grass Actually is Greener. I have the best yard in the neighborhood, and I take pride in that. Create something you can be proud of.
Do Crosswords. They keep your mind sharp, they introduce you to interesting words (epee or ern, anyone?), and they give you something to do while sitting on the john.
If a problem can be solved by money it’s not really a problem. I’m not a rich man, but I’m smart enough to realize that there is no luggage rack on the hearse. Be generous and giving, especially if it means you can help someone else.
Eat the good food. Yes, everything in moderation, but let’s make sure the cookies aren’t the fat free variety. I love pizza, and I eat it every week even if it means I drink a kale smoothie to counter it.
Tell Corny Jokes. Why did everyone want the mushroom at their parties? Because he was a fungi. Get it, “fun guy?” You might groan, but your grandkids will love it.
Reinvent yourself. I was a schoolteacher for ten years before I changed careers. I took up golf in my late fifties. I started making gluten-free pizza in my late sixties. There is no expiration date on figuring out the intersection between who you are and who you want to be.
This is the dad that I have grown up with, whose advice is always with me. My father is more a man of the spoken rather than written word, but he’s pretty good at that, too. I hope those of you who know him will see little bits of him shining through this post. I hope those of you who don’t know him will get an idea of how good I have it.
Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads, especially mine.