With Father’s Day weekend ahead, I thought I’d share a quick list of things I’ve learned from good old Dad, although I’m pretty sure I could fill an entire book with everything he’s taught me about life.
First of all, let’s get this squared away: my cooking skills have in no way been influenced by my father! He absolutely loves eating healthy food, but he’s pretty helpless when it comes to cooking. (Dad, if you’re reading this, sorry. But deep down, you’ve gotta know this is true!) Other than simple things like smoothies and oatmeal, he doesn’t do much in the way of food prep. Thankfully he’s married to my mom, a wonderful cook with good kitchen sense. (And he has me for a daughter, of course.)
My dad has eaten many of the recipes you see here at Daily Bites. Like I said, he loves all food (I think he’d eat grass if I could make it taste good…), but he does like some things more than others. Throughout this post you’ll see photos of some of the recipes that Dad has especially loved.
1. The early bird catches the worm.
Growing up, my sister and I rarely slept in. We didn’t want to! Dad taught us from a young age that getting up and at ‘em early in the morning was a sure way to get ahead. Laziness never pays off. To this day, I’m an early riser. There’s something so satisfying about getting a big chunk of work done well before noon.
2. Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.
My dad is the opposite of a procrastinator, whatever that is. He plans ahead, is always on top of things, and rarely lets details slip through the cracks. He packs every day full of productive tasks, whether they’re for work or leisure. I try to follow his example and stay ahead of the game whenever I can.
3. There’s no perfect way to boil eggs.
If there’s one thing my dad can do in the kitchen, it’s boil eggs. Over the years, he and I have tried just about every method under the sun for getting those eggs perfectly cooked and easy to peel. But try as we might, we’ve learned that you just never can guarantee flawless results. I think it all depends on the freshness of the eggs, but it may be a mystery we never solve…
4. Try to learn something new every day.
My dad is a lifelong learner. He’s always got his head in a newspaper or book. He’s taught me that reading is one of the most effective and accessible ways to learn. In one of my earliest childhood memories, we’re reading Berenstain Bear books. I think it’s all of the reading we did growing up that inspired me to write as much as I do today.
5. Always read in good lighting.
Dad’s a stickler on this one. Trust me, when he’s around you don’t want to be caught reading in the dark! He’s all for burying your nose in a book, but it’s all for naught if you don’t have good reading light. I used to laugh it off and tell him not to worry about it, to which he said, “You’ll understand when you’re older.” Well, I’m getting older and now I’m beginning to see his point! With all the technology and “screen time” we have these days, you’ve gotta give your eyes all the help you can.
6. Don’t just work hard. Work smart.
My dad has taught me so much about time management and working efficiently. I know that without his diligent, hard-working presence in my life, I would not be nearly as disciplined in what I do. Dad taught me that it’s not just about working hard and putting in the effort. It’s about using your strengths to your advantage and managing your time wisely. So true!
7. Travel light.
I’ll admit it—I’m still working on this one. I think it’s impossible for a girl to learn to pack light from her mother, but my dad certainly knows a trick or two when it comes to traveling without a lot of baggage. It’s a tough one to master, but when you’re hauling through an airport to make a tight connection, you want to be as unencumbered as possible.
8. Always, always, always root for the Green Bay Packers.
I’m a pathetic excuse of a football fan. But that said, no matter where I live, I won’t stop rooting for the Green and Gold. Dad’s drilled it into me from my very first years. What can I say? I’ve been a Cheese Head from birth. (Ironically, I don’t eat dairy…)
9. Put family first. Every time.
My dad is the kind of guy who loved nothing more than spending weekends with the family when I was growing up. He could have been doing a lot of other things with his time, but he wasn’t. He would rather be playing in the backyard with his girls than doing anything else in the world.
10. Don’t let life get too big. Find joy in the little things.
Despite a sometimes stressful job and long hours of work, Dad has never let his life spiral into some big drama. He is a diligent, dedicated man of integrity who puts his family above everything else. He finds pleasure in life’s little blessings, like an invigorating workout or a family dinner on a Sunday afternoon. In the end, it’s those little things that make life sweet. It’s where the joy is found.
So Dad, if you’re reading this, thanks for everything you’ve taught me over the years and for shaping me into the person I am today.
Happy Father’s Day. I hope it’s the happiest one yet.