I always liked my parents.
Although, things did get iffy when I was 13 and both of them went through a non-stop polyester pants wearing phase.
But I liked them before that. And after… you know, once they embraced denim.
When I was in my early 20s, I declared that even if I weren’t related to my mom and dad, I’d still choose to hang out with them. I didn’t find out until years later that this statement made my father so proud, he shared it with nearly everyone he met.
It’s been seven years since he passed away.
Seven years of sliding headfirst into a new normal.
Seven years of getting used to it.
My dad was a tall, handsome, witty and thoughtful man who made an instant impact on everyone he met. He was a teacher – not by trade, but by behavior. He would have been right at home in ancient Greece, wearing robes and flip-flops, engaging in discussions about important things because not only did he look the part of a philosopher, he was a thinker.
And, he did love sandals.
I’m quite convinced my dad knew everything, regardless of the topic. We often referred to him as our walking encyclopedia. He read, all the time, and he sought out every opportunity to learn more because as he often said, “A true sign of intelligence is admitting that you don’t know it all.”
I can’t begin to understand even half of what my father had filed away in his brain. Still, he did manage to impart some lifelong wisdom on me during the 37 years I knew him.
These are the things my father taught me. They are words to live by.
And so, I do.
1) Be patient, with people and things.
2) There is nothing to be gained by yelling at the television.
3) Don’t waste your time trying to expose a fraud, they will eventually do it on their own.
4) You can’t cheat an honest man.
5) Trust your instincts, but only if you are intuitive.
6) If you aren't intuitive, be methodical and take a step-by-step approach to solving problems.
7) Read the instruction manual and TAKE YOUR TIME.
8) Make back-ups of everything you do on the computer.
9) Don’t be rammy and keep the protective coating on all of your electronic equipment.
10) Save the box to everything you own.. Because, you never know...
11) Take your vitamins. For real. Don’t flush them down the toilet.
12) Make plans and follow your dreams.
13) Do what you love and you will love what you do.
14) Don’t ever presume to know it all, because no one ever does.
15) Stand up for yourself.
16) Stand up for others.
17) No one is perfect.
18) DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GET YOU DOWN.
19) Cut yourself some slack.
20) Get over yourself.
21) It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.
22) There is strength in silence.
23) Never engage in straw man arguments.
24) Be bloody minded when driving stick.
25) Don’t put all your trust in experts.
26) Believe in your own abilities.
27) If you don’t know how to do something, LEARN.
28) Eat yogurt everyday.
29) To hell with what others think of you (if you like polyester pants, wear them).
30) Yes, your nose is big. It's a Mulder nose. Deal with it.
31) Be honest. No. Matter. What.
32) Keep your word.
33) Make notes because the brain gets slippery.
34) Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
35) Never feign affection.
36) You don’t have to tell people you love them for them to know it.
37) Actions speak louder than words.