30 life lessons from Dad

Here are 30 life lessons from dad – my dad. I made this piece to put on my dad’s headstone today. I know it will be removed, but that’s okay! My dad always expected me to make him things, so why should that change now? I wrote all the things I remember the most about him, and across the front, it reads, “I miss you so much.”

This is the first Father’s Day without my dad. I’m going to be strong! To honor him, I thought about all the lessons he taught me.

The biggest gift I can offer is to prove to him I really was listening to all those lectures!

Happy Father’s Day to all the daddies out there (and mommies that fill in for daddies). And those of you who had your dad pass on, peace and love and hugs to you.

LIFE LESSONS FROM DAD (in random order)

1. Always let the cake cool before you add the frosting.

2. Don’t rub your eyes, touch your face, or pick your nose while de-seeding chile pods when making tamales. Cook the beef and pork in separate pots, and don’t add too much or too little masa to the corn husk.

3. Keep your mouth closed while running, otherwise you’ll taste bugs.

4. Never use up every socket on the power strip and turn each item on high – it WILL blow the fuse.

5. Keep family issues in the family.

6. If the car is overheating, don’t open the hood and pour water on the engine.

7. Weekdays are for work, nights and weekends for hobbies.

8. If you want something bad enough, you’ll work hard enough to get it.

9. If you have to cut your hair or dress a certain way to impress your friends, they aren’t really your friends.

10. Do it right the first time.

11. Never make a big decision in an instant, sleep on it.

12. Make – and appreciate – what you have and don’t compare. Just because someone else has fancy equipment or tools doesn’t mean they know how to use it/them! Have confidence in what you have, and learn to work it to the best of its ability.

13. If your preteen daughter tries to sneak out of the house wearing blood red nail polish after you told her not to…and you discover she poured the polish remover down the sink thinking you’d have no choice but to let her go to the school dance like that – no worries! Wiping her nails down with turpentine from the garage will remove the polish!

14. Treat elders with respect.

15. Sometimes it’s okay to stop waiting on others and just go out on your own.

16. Perfect measurements don’t always equal perfect results, sometimes you just have to trust your instincts!

17. Stand up for the underdog!

18. Belly dancers make a nice gift for a dad’s 50th birthday party. Seeing him blush is priceless!

19. Always have a Swiss Army knife on you.

20. Take care of your car and it will take care of you.

21. Listen to your mother.

22. It’s wrong to hate something before you even try it. (This is when he tried to get me to eat sardines and pig’s feet! No way!)

23. If you want to keep the little kids busy for a while, tell them you threw silver dollars in the backyard grass and for them to go find them. If you want to keep them out of the backyard, tell them that’s where you keep the pet lions.

25. Teach your kids how to tell a good story, show them by example!

26. The secret to being a good parent is to always practice unconditional love.

27. Let loved ones know you are happy to see them by greeting them with a smile.

28. You needn’t be a millionaire to lead a rich life (but that doesn’t mean to go blow your money on crap!)

29. When you need to escape, go to the casino.

30. Make the most of every day. Appreciate being alive. Get up and go live your life and make the most of it!

Oh, there are gobs more!!! Thank you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day!

Please share lessons from your dads too!

Love & light,


9 Responses

  1. Kathy, your Dad’s comments reminded me of some of my Dad’s words and thoughts. One of my favorites, when my friend, Claudette & I were headed to Guatemala on April Fool’s was “we have all these people wanting to come over here, and 2 fools headed that way!” Pretty classic, wouldn’t you say? Thanks for sharing the tidbits of wisdom.

  2. Thank you for sharing those great words of priceless wisdom! I lost my mom at 22 and at that point I decided to reunite with my dad. It has been a long 7 year journey of tears, forgiving, joy and a lot of long overdue laughter, but it has been well worth it! I am so blessed to have a second chance with him and feel beyond lucky that he is in my life. My heart goes out to you and your family today and thank you for sharing this intimate and fragile time with all of us who read your blog. I loovvee reading your blog and wish you peace and continued success in all that you do! Thanks for the inspiration, laughter and for being REAL.:> Much love to you and remember our loved ones are always with us.

    Jenjen :>

  3. I used to work with your dad in Avondale and reading this brought back many fond memories of him, especially #19! Keep up the great work, Kathy. Your dad was very proud of you and spoke of you often.

  4. brilliant! you inspired me to sit down and make my own list in honor of my father. he passed away three years ago but it feels like yesterday. thank you for the idea! what a magical way to lighten the mood on this day that normally brings me down…

  5. Kathy, Thank you for sharing these lessons. They are wonderful! I am glad your dad was also able to instill some of this wisdom upon us, your readers. Mil gracias!

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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