Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.
QUESTION: It’s Father’s Day on Sunday. What’s the best advice your dad ever gave you … about life, writing, love, family, or about just about anything you’d like to share.
Susan Nye: Both my grandfather and great grandfather had a huge influence on my dad. Here is one of Dad’s favorite lessons from his father that he has passed on to me:
When you are out to eat and order dessert, always ask for your pie à la mode. That way, if the pie isn’t any good, you can still enjoy the ice cream.
My dad is an optimist. No matter what the circumstance, he can always find something good to enjoy in life.
Lisa J. Jackson: His advice to me in my 20s: “start saving at least 5% of your income now, but more if you can.” It took me a while to get started, and it ‘hurt’ a bit to have the money out of play, but I’m so glad I did that. It’s part of what eventually gave me the security to start my own business. No regrets following that advice and I’ve shared it many times over the years with others.
Jamie Wallace: This question made me smirk a little. My dad will be the first to admit that he’s an expert at giving advice, but he’s not so great at following it. Ever since I was a wee thing, my dad has been giving me all kinds of advice about how to be true to my dreams, beat my own drum, and stand up for myself. My dad is great at breaking down difficult situations. He has a way of combining logic and psychology that helps you quickly get to the bottom of any interpersonal dynamic. He also gives a hell of a pep talk. Though I am grateful for all the advice he’s given over the years, I think the one I still love best (even though I sometimes hate to hear it) is, “You can have anything you want. You just can’t have everything.” Though it annoys me to have to admit the verity of this statement, it’s a damn important reminder about setting priorities and remaining focused. And it’s a piece of advice that you can apply to every aspect of your life. Life is short. You really do have to pick and choose where to focus your energy.
Diane MacKinnon: The piece of advice that comes to mind immediately when I think of my Dad is: “Family comes first.” Growing up in a house with four siblings, there was a lot of vying for attention, but we always knew we were important to both my parents. I think that gave me a certain kind of confidence when I went out into the world. And now that I’m middle-aged, my relationship with my parents has changed but they still come first with me. Another benefit is that my brother and my sisters are all my closest friends.
Julie Hennrikus: I am blessed with a really wonderful father. He was/is always supportive, and is proud of his three daughters. His best advice? I was going to college in the early eighties, and he told me not to learn how to type. (This was pre computers.) Typing might limit my opportunities from management. And he also told us never to offer to make coffee for the office–it would undermine as equals. I did learn how to type, but I still don’t make the coffee. Happy Father’s Day Paul Hennrikus!
Deborah Lee Luskin: My dad has given me lots of advice, some of it memorable, some of it good, but the best thing he has done is taught by example. From him I’ve learned that life is a gift, to follow my passion, and to pick myself up after a fall.