Nothing Good Happens After Midnight and Other Life Lessons from my Dad
I recently started really contemplating some of the top tips and life lessons my dad gave me over the past 28 years (I guess this would be adulthood?). Everything from direct advice to what I've picked up from his actions in life. So for Father's Day, I share some of these life lessons that impacted who I am today. Thanks dad!
Nothing good happens after midnight
This wasn't just life advice, it was actually a rule until I moved out of the house. Worst curfew ever. While in my life I found many situations where I did have very positive experiences late into the night, this life lesson is actually pretty accurate. Only those crazy kids and hoodlums stay out past midnight, and everytime I got myself into trouble, it was after the bewitching hour.
Have six months reserve in your bank account before you invest in anything
My dad has provided me with a plethora of financial advice, from the basics to investing to real estate. He's managed every aspect of his money his entire life to this day and to say the least, knows what he's talking about. The one thing he's had on repeat to me from the past 10 years is this: have six months reserve of cash in your bank account. Our generation might say "that is cray", but it really is some of the most solid financial advice you can use.
Go out of your way to help others
My dad's never explicitly told me to do this, but his actions speak louder than words. He's a real DIY-er, he's a photographer, he's a carpenter, he gardens, he boats, if it's broken he can fix it, and apparently he can kill snakes really well as that's the latest I hear the neighborhood is asking for. With all of these skills he gets called on a lot for help, both from the fam and from...well it seems like the entire town he lives in. He doesn't hesitate to provide assistance to others, and he's very humble about it. I've always thought this is an important quality in people and have tried to emulate where I can. Once my mom said "Your father does a lot of things for other people and never takes the credit." While some other life lessons have taught me that you have to sometimes loudly take credit, the essence of this should drive how you interact with your fellow humans. We all have talents and will be called upon to use them. Be humble, help others.
Take care of your things
A no brainer, eh? Here's an example: I never missed an oil change on any of my cars and I thank my dad for this. I don't take things for granted because I appreciate the value and hard earned money invested in them. Money doesn't grow on trees, take care of your things. I'm tired of "this is why we can't have nice things" schtick.
Don't stop learning, ever
As per mentioned above, my dad has a lot of skills and interests. He retired at 55 from an engineering job at Alcoa and the first things I remember him doing was taking a part-time job at the local newspaper as a photographer and signing up for a gardening class (so he could landcape our yard himself, obviously). He's an incredible inspiration to me to continue learning new things. Then one day when you're retired you can build your own boat, just because.
You have to have hobbies in life
I bet you could guess my dad has a lot of hobbies! One thing I noticed growing up is that my dad worked really hard, but came home and enjoyed time with family, and worked on his own fun projects. What it taught me was how important it is to have interests and hobbies outside work, this is where you find happiness with friends and family. I was lucky to have a father who was involved and also had enough cool hobbies to share with me when I was growing up.
These are just a few things that my dad taught me about life, and greatly impacted who I am today. Thank you dad for this and more, from teaching me how to fish, for always making sure I had a tool box in my apartments, giving me both some left brain and right brain capabilities and always being there.