The Orange Slate

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Happy Father’s Day!

June 19, 2011

Today is Father's Day. Although it is a less-promoted holiday than Mother's Day, in a world in which the role of fatherhood is often undermined, an opportunity to recognize the importance of the men who helped shape us should not go unrecognized.

I've been blessed with a wonderful father. Over the years, my dad has taught me, shown me, and introduced me to so many things. My dad and I are imperfect people with an imperfect relationship. Learning to interact with my dad as an adult daughter is a tricky road, one which requires a great deal of grace and humility from us both.

But at the end of the day, despite our differences and the occasional clashes of our equally high-strung personalities, my dad has played a monumental and irreplaceable role in my life. His support and encouragement have kept me going when I wanted to quit. His convictions shaped me. His courage has inspired me.

From him I learned how to do the dishes, how to drive a car, how to ride a longboard, how to change a car's oil, how to shoot a gun, and how to grill fish.

Dad taught me how to embrace the unexpected, to refuse to settle for the safety of the familiar, and to boldly venture into the unknown. From him, I learned the importance of honesty and generosity and self-discipline and hospitality.

From my dad I inherited a love for the sky, the oceans, and the mountains, my occasionally reckless nature, and my sometimes-bull-headed ways.

And so, in honor of the man who raised me, held me, prayed for me and loved me and who taught me to value independence, goodness, integrity and truth, here is a list of 25 lessons I've learned from my dad:

  1. Grill fish hot and fast.
  2. More costly doesn't always mean better.
  3. But sometimes it's just smarter to pay someone who knows what they're doing.
  4. Store extra water.
  5. People, time, and independence are worth more than money or accolades.
  6. Showing up is 70% of success.
  7. Wear gloves, helmets, and eye protection.
  8. Water is the world's greatest cleaning solution.
  9. Never settle for less than excellence.
  10. Sometimes life needs to be a little cheesy.
  11. Read actions, not words.
  12. Change your car's oil regularly.
  13. Never borrow money.
  14. Practice.
  15. Be persistent.
  16. Let men be men.
  17. Give.
  18. Save.
  19. Invest.
  20. Guests feel welcome when the host is welcoming, regardless of food, setting, or decor.
  21. Keep a U.S. atlas in the car.
  22. Take responsibility.
  23. Sleep and food will solve 80% of your problems.
  24. Be gracious.
  25. Be kind.

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