Lessons From My Dad

By Nick Ellis, Editor at The Water Coolest

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Well, it’s Father’s Day on Sunday. Did you know that? If not, go out and get your dad a case of beer. It’s the least you could do for disappointing him the past 20+ years.

I’m very fortunate to say that my dad is still in my life. Has been since day one, although he did literally say to me a few years back that when I was born I “had the face only a mother could love”…. That must be why she never wore her glasses.

My parents helped guide me into the person I am today. When starting college, we discussed what I wanted to do with my life, and I saw how the corporate world allowed my dad (with equal help from my lovely mother) to afford the life we lived while also making it home in time to watch me stand there on the sidelines every Saturday morning for JV football. 40/40 club represent.

So, I went into the family biz, if you will, being a cubicle jockey in the corporate machine, with aspirations one day for middle management. And you know what? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Here are a few lessons I’ve enjoyed over the past that I’d like to share with you:

That’s good enough

When I was a freshman, I enrolled in the management information systems program at my university. It had a 95% job placement rate and one of the highest starting salaries out of college. But, I got cold feet and experimented with teaching and communications studies too, to which my parents steered me back on the right path. That’s not the only experiments I did in college, aayooo.

When I brought up that I wasn’t sure what exactly I’d do with my degree, or if I’d love it, they gave me this advice: “Not everybody loves their job. Few do. But if you like it enough and it pays well, then that’s good enough.” 

It’s cyclical

Work isn’t always constant. Sometimes the amount of work you have is minimal, where you sit in your cubicle reading The Water Coolest (EVER HEARD OF IT?!) on one screen with an excel doc opened on the other, and then other times you’re burning the midnight oil doing data mapping till night time.

As long as you’re able to work hard doing the busy times, stay on track with your assignments, and your boss likes you, then you’re doing alright.

The days go fast

When I was in high school, my parents told me that “if you think life goes fast now, just wait until you start working.” And they were absolutely right. The days go slow, but the weeks go fast, and on our weekly call at the end of the week, my dad will answer “Can you believe it’s Friday again?”

No, no I honestly cannot. Following Loverboy’s advice, ‘working for the weekend’ is great, but so is being present on a Tuesday and taking things in stride.

So I guess what I’m saying is appreciate the days you have, because life goes fast.

“I wish there was a way to know you were in the good ole days, before you actually left them. Someone should write a song about that.”

Thanks Big Kev. Happy father’s day, you guys. 

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