Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lessons from My Dad {work your ass off, and play hard}

Yes, I said ass.  And now I've said it again.  Because my dad would have.

{Let's break for a story.  I'll never forget the time my mom found a secret page in my notebook.  I scratched the word 'asinine' in big dark letters.  I was in big trouble.  When my mom asked me where I heard that word, I told her that my dad used it when he was looking for his 'asinine shoes'.  That day, I felt awful.  Today, I laugh.}

Back to the lesson.

(See what I did there?  Now I didn't actually use the word.  My husband just let a sigh of relief.)  

My dad was always a hard worker, for as long as I can remember.  I could count his sick days from my entire childhood on one hand.  Or maybe even one finger.  

Our 'fun' days on the weekends were spent doing yard work or doing household projects.  My mom would be raking, my dad would be working on the pond (we had a big pond in our yard, which was beautifully landscaped in it's glory days) - and I'd be grumbling away, silently cursing under my breath each time I'd bend to pick up a stick.  My mom would pause, wave to my dad, look to the sky, and say something ridiculous and cruel like "Isn't this fun?!".  She really meant it.

Working hard wasn't a chore, it was a choice.  And they both enjoyed working hard together.  All while their snarling darling worked alongside them.


I'd like to think that today, after all those years of grumbling through it, I might be a sort-of-hard-worker.  Maybe I'm getting there.  Or maybe I have a busy 5 year old that sometimes takes precedence. Or maybe my standard for what a hard-worker looks like was set way too high.  Or maybe I'm just a lazy only child.

Either way, I see the value in a hard days work, done without 'pissing and moaning' (one of my dad's favorite go-to phrases) :)


My dad loved a good vacation.

The Bahamas, Maui (x3!), Mexico, Disney, the much as he valued a hard days work, he valued time away.  With his girls.  Unplugged.  He worked hard, and this was his gift to himself, and to us.

On vacation, our wish was his command.  Want a whopper from Burger King at 11pm?  Awesome!  Eating out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?  Done!  You said you really need that touristy trinket-y piece of junk?  It's yours!  Daddy, I could really go for a $9 smoothie...?  Good, so could I, Ash.

Our family knows how to vacation.  Thankfully, I married a man who also understands this.  Going on vacation to make meals and do laundry and live boringly is just so very wrong.

 December 2005 - BABIES, I tell ya!
I left the date on so I could rub in your faces that we spent Christmas & New Years Eve 2005 in Maui...
Don't hate me.

But playing hard goes beyond the 7 days of a family vacation.

It looked like a dad who would turn up the music and jam with middle school girls on the way home from the movie theater at 10pm.  Or making (delicious, juicy, grilled-to-perfection) steaks on a Tuesday night, because he felt like it.  Or taking your nephew to an arcade and spending a whole Saturday morning goofing off with him.  Or spending the perfect summer evening on the porch, listening to the wind blow through the trees.

These are important things.  And my dad always made time.

One Thing I Know For Sure: Work your ass off, and play hard.

1 comment:

  1. Great lesson! Looking forward to reading more this month.

    Praying and thinking of you tomorrow. I imagine it might be a difficult day. Love ya!


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