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Lessons I learned from my Dad

By: Hayley Thrift Bledsoe

With Father’s Day right around the corner, it’s a great time to reflect on the wonderful men in our lives. As I get older, I’ve learned just how wise my Dad really is. As a teenager, you can’t stand your parents, but as an adult, you realize they might have been on to something all along. As Father’s Day approaches, I wanted to share just a few of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from my Dad.

Girls can do anything boys can do

Growing up as the only girl sandwiched between two brothers, I was determined never to be left out. I played on the same little league teams as my older brother – soccer, basketball, tee ball – you name it, we played it. Dad was always our coach and weekends were spent playing catch in the yard. Of course, we all quickly realized that sports just weren’t my thing and I was much better at ballet than anything else. However, my Dad cheered me on in every sport I tried, just as he did my brothers, and he continues to cheer me on no matter what activity I’m tackling.

You only tackle the person who has the ball

If I’ve heard this once, I’ve heard it a million times. My Dad likes sports metaphors, and he used this one often. No matter what stage of life you are in, there will always be people who hurt you, disappoint you or ridicule you. In football, you tackle the person who has the ball, because the ball is the key to scoring. In life, people will try to tear down others who have what they want. Jealousy unfortunately exists well after high school. My Dad always taught me that if people seem to be after you, you must be doing something right, so don’t stop, keep going!

If you’re on time, you’re late

My family is notorious for being perpetually early. We call it “Thrift time.” It started with my grandfather, maybe even earlier, and has been carried down through each generation. I never thought much of it until I realized as an adult that tardiness can be extremely rude in certain situations. Being punctual is a trait that has served me well and it’s something I’m proud of. While it seems so small, being early can make a big impact when interviewing for a job, meeting with a client or simply meeting someone for lunch. To this day, I keep my watch ten minutes ahead of time.

Life is tough

This sounds simple, and it is, yet as a millennial, it’s something I’ve realized not everyone understands. As part of the “snowflake” generation, I wasn’t raised to be fragile. Maybe it was constantly fighting with two brothers, but I was taught to be tough – mentally and physically. Life is not always fair and it’s not always easy. You can’t have everything you want handed to you, you have to work hard. My Dad always taught me that hard work never goes unnoticed, and he’s right. Your boss will notice, your coach will notice and people around you will notice if you aren’t afraid of hard work.