Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Things I've Learned From My Dad:

1. Attitude matters. One of my dad's favorite quotes says that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you make of it. My dad has taught me that I can't control what others say or do, but I can control how I react to it. I can't tell you how irritating this motto made me when my dad would reprimand me for fighting with my brother, but I have come to understand its truth in later years.

2. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. My dad makes casual conversation with everyone from the gas station attendant to the cashier at the grocery store. I've learned that if you treat people nicely, most people will be nice in return.

3. Laugh. I've always appreciated my dad's quick wit and unique sense of humor. My dad tries to give me a hard time because he wants me to learn not to take myself so seriously.

4. Its only money. Obviously, those who have more money can say this with more ease than those of us who have less, but my dad has taught me that objects are just objects. Shortly after getting my driver's license, I totalled my car. I was really nerveous to call my dad, who was out of town at the time, because I was sure that he would scold me for being reckless. After I told my dad what had happened, the first thing he said was, "its just a car." He only cared that I was safe.

5. By the same token, I've learned from my dad how to take care of the things that I do own. My dad told me that he may not have had the nicest or newest things growing up, but his things were always clean and well-cared for. I watched my dad shine his church shoes most Saturday evenings and learned the importance of taking care of what we had. I think my dad coined the word "dung-out" and it became a standard word in our family vocabulary as we would 'dung-out' our house each Saturday morning to make our house as nice as it could be.

6. My dad doesn't live the gospel in a flashy or pushy way, but he is unwavering in his commitment to living the gospel daily. It isn't unusual for acquantainces of my dad's to approach him and ask him about the gospel because they envy the "light" he carries. I think my dad defines integrity.

7. Think outside the box. We've always teased my dad about his obsession with buying and selling. One of his favorite pastimes involves the classified section of the newspaper and a good 'marking pen.' My dad seems to always be able to profit from taking a risk, thinking outside the box, and being creative. My dad is constantly coming up with new programs or incentives for his ward or job. Sometimes Aaron tells me that I'm just like my dad because I'm always trying to think of 'the next big thing.' I would be proud if I had inherited that trait.

8. Work hard/Play hard. I never had to be told to do my homework or study for an exam. I knew from watching how hard my dad worked that it was just expected. My dad always provided for our family. He often travelled during the week or worked on weekends so that we would have enough for our needs. When my dad wasn't working, he was having fun.

9. Ain't nobody happy unless mom is happy. Watching the way that my dad prizes my mom, I've learned how I want to model my marriage. My parents just like spending time together whether its pulling weeds in the yard or going for a Sunday drive, they just enjoy each other's company. When Aaron and I first got married, my dad counselled with Aaron and shared with him a story of when he and my mom were first married. My dad told Aaron that after a silly fight, my mom had started to cry and my dad decided right then that no argument was worth ever making her cry. My dad told Aaron that if Aaron ever makes me cry, its Aaron's fault. period.

10. Ask Dad. Growing up, whenever we wanted something (pizza for dinner, a puppy, etc) our strategy was always to ask dad. We knew that dad was the softy. My dad gives me a hard time because whenever I call home I usually ask to talk to my mom since we just gab about this or that. When I really need help, have a serious question, or need advice, I still ask dad.

This list is certainly not exhaustive. I could make a list a mile long and not be able to write down all of the lessons that I've learned from my dad. I probably don't tell him often enough, but I wanted to honor him this Father's Day by telling him that I love him and that I'm grateful for all of the things that he's taught me. I love you dad!


Lauralee said...

that was fun to read courtney! fun to learn more about you! hope your day was good!

Bobbi said...

Thank you for summarizing exactly those things that I have learned from dad. My list would be the same. Dad is a very genuine person and I appreciate all that he has taught me.

CATHY said...

Great advice. After reading about your dad I see a lot of my dad in him. Keep bloggin along..Cathy

The Farmer Family said...

sounds like a good daddy to me. I love dads. I've never met yours, so I'm glad I got to read a little bit about him.