7 Best Pieces of Advice From My Dad

Last month, I wrote a blog post about the best pieces of advice I’ve received from my mom for Mother’s Day. And since Father’s Day is right around the corner, I decided to dedicate this post to the one & only, JoeJaws.

My dad is by far one of the strongest, most intelligent & truly amazing people I know. He has a very deep understanding of life & his family is consistently his first priority, over everything. He’s hard-working & easy-going at the same time–his favorite place in the world is probably on our boat, beer in hand. He’d always have these nuggets of wisdom for my sister & me growing up, and it’s only recently that I’ve truly appreciated them. Here are some of my favorites.


JoeJaws, the man, the myth, the legend. 

Be aware

When I was a little, I used to aimlessly wander around. We’d be in a crowd & I’d just cluelessly meander through all the people (I mean, I still do this sometimes TBH).  My dad would (often) remind me to “be aware,” mostly because I’d run into someone or just completely disregard what was going on. Obviously, I’ve grown out that little kid habit of just wandering, but I still try to “be aware” in my daily life. To quote Ferris Bueller (one of my dad’s favorite movies), “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

Keep the faith

My dad is a devout Catholic & his faith plays a large role in his life. You can usually find him reading philosophy or something by C. S. Lewis, and I always enjoy discussing some of these “big picture” ideas with him. Whenever I go through a hard time, my dad always reminds me to “keep the faith.” Whether you believe in God or the Universe or karma, the fact is, we only can see a small part of the picture–there are big, amazing things around the corner that we just can’t see yet. So keep the faith that it will all work out.

Classic rock is the best music

More often than not, my dad is listening to classic rock. It doesn’t matter if he’s in his office or in the garage, Queen or Bruce Springsteen is usually playing in the background. Because of this, my sister and I have a pretty solid appreciation for classic rock & know a good number of “the classics.” One time, my whole family and I sang the entirety of “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the car (yes, I know every word). If you’re looking to switch it up, play some classic rock (plus it’s the best summer music ever).

Get outside your comfort zone

Back when I was in 4th or 5th grade, my dad helped coach a girls’ high school basketball summer camp down in Hilton Head, SC. Emphasis on the high school basketball part. As budding rec-league basketball players, Krista and I somehow found ourselves playing with girls 5-6 years older than us who were also very, very good. I remember the first day, I came back crying because it was the first time I had ever run suicides, and I was pretty sure I never wanted to do it again. But my dad made us go back for the rest of the week, despite my blood (definitely skinned a couple knees), sweat & tears. By the end, Krista and I actually had fun & felt pretty cool to be playing with high schoolers. My dad’s whole goal? To get us out of our comfort zones. He clearly knew that we couldn’t play at the same level as the other girls, but we would definitely improve once we got out there. Growth doesn’t happen in comfort zones, right?

Be Humble

(No, he’s not a Kendrick Lamar fan.) Humility is a big thing for my dad. He was always our coach for rec sports growing up (basketball, cross country, softball, track, you name it) & it didn’t matter if we won or lost, he made sure we did it gracefully. It’s good to be proud of yourself, but ya gotta be humble at the end of the day.

Enjoy the small things

Running. Good books. Boats & beer. Working in the garage/out in the yard. Reading the newspaper in the morning. Golfing. A cozy blanket on a comfy couch. Summer sunsets. These are some of my dad’s favorite things. Happiness is often found in the simple things. 

Do Your Best

My dad is super proud of his girls. He often tells my sister and me that he’s proud of us & our accomplishments (which is really all we can ask for as daughters). But I know that even if I completely failed at something, my dad would still be proud of me. It doesn’t matter what challenge/new stage I’ve faced in my life, my dad has always told me to do my best.  Failing is a part of life–do your best and no matter what the outcome, you can be proud of yourself for giving it your all.

JoeJaws, you’re the best (and all my friends agree).  Happy Father’s Day! &.

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